A well woman exam is a time for Dr. Scarborough to evaluate a patient's health overall, with a particular emphasis on concerns specific to women. Well woman exams normally include 2 main components: a pelvic examination and a clinical breast examination. Most women have a well woman exam once a year, but special health issues or concerns may require more frequent visits. Well woman exams allow women a chance to talk about family planning options, get tested for STDs or other illnesses, get pregnancy tests, and to learn more about their overall health.
To provide the best treatment, Dr. Scarborough needs a realistic picture of a woman's lifestyle. Typically, this requires asking questions about menstrual cycles, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, prescription drug use, cigarette use, and sexual activity. Patients can be honest with Dr. Scarborough about all of these things, as these answers help him to create the best treatment plans for them.
Pap smears are sometimes a component of well woman exams. This type of test checks for cervical cancer, and it often allows for a very early diagnosis to be made. The earlier the diagnosis, the more treatable the cervical cancer is. Pap smears are done during a pelvic exam, and they involve taking a small cell sample from the cervix. Most women don't experience pain during this test, and it takes just a few minutes. Depending on age and health, patients may need to have a pap smear once a year, every couple of years, or even less frequently.
A regular check-up focuses on all aspects of health while a well woman exam is focused mainly on the female reproductive system. By having both regular check-ups and well woman exams at Family Life Medical, patients are able to work with Dr. Scarborough and get the most personalized care.
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