Annual gynecological exams for women in Cleveland are important to maintaining reproductive and sexual health. During these visits, a gynecologist will screen for issues early in their development to mitigate more serious problems. These yearly exams can also act as a form of preventative healthcare, as it allows our team to identify possible illnesses you may be at risk for. Our caring gynecologists
in Lyndhurst and Westlake could then help you develop a plan that prevents the onset of certain illnesses and targets your specific needs.
When Should a Woman Start Having Annual Gynecological Exams?
A woman’s first annual exam with a gynecologist in Cleveland should start in her teenage years, preferably between the ages of 13 and 15. An internal pelvic exam should start being performed at the age of 21. However, an internal pelvic exam may be done earlier, especially if a patient faces issues such as painful periods or abnormal discharge.
What Does a Yearly Gynecological Exam Look Like?
Usually, an exam starts with your gynecologist asking you a couple of questions about your past medical history. These questions can include information about:
- Periods, such as the date of your last period and possible abnormalities (if they are painful, heavy, or irregular)
- Sexual History, such as if you are sexually active, using birth control, using protection, and if there is a possibility of being pregnant
- Abnormalities with your vaginal area, including discharge, itchiness, dryness, discomfort
- Any medications you are currently taking
During this annual visit, our Cleveland gynecologist may also perform a number of physical exams. These may include:
- Measuring a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, weight, height, etc.
- Conducting a breast exam to identify possible lumps as a form of screening for breast cancer
- STD testing
- Pap testing
The Ob/Gyn also may perform an external and internal pelvic exam
. During this assessment, you will likely be asked to wear a gown and lie down with your feet in the stirrups. The gynecologist will then examine the external genitalia and insert a finger into the vagina as while placing a hand on your stomach area. This allows the gynecologist to examine your uterus.