An annual gynecological exam is an important part of reproductive healthcare. Genesis OBGYN providers recommend yearly exams for two crucial reasons: as a preventative health measure and as a diagnostic exam.
Our providers do our best to give compassionate care for each of our patients across Tucson, Phoenix, and Sierra Vista, Arizona. Learn more about the importance of annual exams below.
An Annual Gynecological Exam Is Part of Preventative Healthcare
Like a yearly physical, an annual gynecological exam gives your provider an opportunity to catch potential signs of a health issue early and help stop their development. Gynecological exams focus on your reproductive system, including your vagina, ovaries, vulva, and uterus.
When performing an exam, your provider looks for:
- Signs of ovarian cysts
- Signs of a sexually transmitted infection
- Changes to the skin around your pelvic area
- Growths/signs that may indicate ovarian or cervical cancer
We will let you know what’s going on every step of the way and do our best to make you comfortable. If you have questions about any portion of the exam or what we might be looking for, feel free to ask.
Annual Gynecological Exams Can Also Be Diagnostic Exams
An annual gynecological exam can serve a second function: to help diagnose potential pelvic pain or other symptoms you may be experiencing. Your medical history or current symptoms may indicate further testing or a more involved exam. Our providers will let you know what’s happening and walk you through the exam and testing.
Let your provider know if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Pelvic pain
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Painful sex
- Urinary problems
You don’t have to wait for an annual exam to report discomfort. If you experience any of these symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with your provider at any time.
Preparing For Your Appointment and Annual Gynecological Exam
Preparing for your appointment and annual gynecological exam is easy. Make sure to give us a call to schedule your appointment and let us know it is for your annual exam.
Some women prefer to schedule annual exams during a time when they are not menstruating for their own comfort. Your exam may be more comfortable if you empty your bladder beforehand, but this is not required.
We also recommend writing down any symptoms you’re experiencing, so your provider can recommend the right care. Our providers are happy to talk about whatever reproductive healthcare needs you have, including STI testing, contraceptive options, and pre-conception planning.
When to Schedule Your Annual Mammography Screening
As part of your preventative healthcare, your provider may recommend an annual mammography screening. Mammography machines take X-rays of your breasts, called mammograms. This screening is a preventative test to check for breast cancer and catch potential signs and symptoms early.
Women of average risk should have an annual mammography screening beginning at age 40. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, based on your health symptoms and family history, your provider may recommend that you start annual screenings sooner.
On the day of your mammography, don’t wear any lotions, powders, or deodorants. These products can appear on the x-ray, making them more difficult to read. The mammography technician will walk you through the process and do their best to keep you comfortable every step of the way.
Your provider will contact you with the results of your mammography. These follow-up tests can confirm the presence of cancer. Our team will be available to answer any questions you have and provide you with all the information you need.
Schedule Your Annual Gynecological Exam Today
If it’s time for your next annual gynecological exam, you can schedule it at Genesis OBGYN. Our providers do their best to make the experience comfortable and approach each appointment with compassion.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Tucson, Phoenix, or Sierra Vista, AZ.