Annual Exams

Annual Exams Specialists
A woman goes through a lot of changes during her lifetime, and that means she can experience a wide range of health and medical needs as she gets older. Annual exams provide important information about a woman’s health to ensure she receives the best care based on her evolving needs. At OBGYN Care, Dr. Sharon Smith provides comprehensive well woman exams for patients throughout the Houston, Texas area, providing skilled, compassionate care customized for every woman.

Annual Exams Q & A

OBGYN Care

Why are annual exams important for my health?

Annual exams provide Dr. Smith with important information about a woman’s health and wellness, which can change dramatically over time. By having well woman exams every year, the doctor will be able to spot subtle signs and symptoms that could indicate the very early stages of a disease or medical condition so treatment can be provided as soon as possible.

Annual well woman exams ensure patients receive the most appropriate medical screenings, treatments, and guidances based on their risk factors and their changing needs. And of course, having a well woman visit every year provides patients with the ideal opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns about their health so they can take a more proactive role in their care and their wellness.

What happens during an annual exam?

Well woman visits begins with a thorough health history to help identify possible risk factors for diseases. Health histories include information about the patient’s health as well as the health of family members, past medical treatments, and current medications and supplements the patient may be taking.

During the exam itself, Dr. Smith will begin by taking your blood pressure and weight measurements, then perform other evaluations including a breast exam, an evaluation of the heart and lungs, and usually a pelvic exam.

A Pap test or HPV test may also be performed, along with urinalysis. Depending on the age of the patient, the doctor will ask about the patient’s menstrual cycles, menopause symptoms, or other issues.

Once the examination is complete, any recommended treatment options will be discussed and patients will be provided with medical and lifestyle guidance based on their needs, their health profile, and other factors.

What happens during a pelvic exam?

During a pelvic exam, the patient lies on her back on an exam table and places her feet in supports or “stirrups.” Dr. Smith will perform a visual examination of the external genitalia, then a manual exam of the vagina and pelvic area using a gloved finger.

Next, a lubricated speculum will be inserted into the vagina to gently widen it so the cervix and vaginal walls can be easily evaluated. If a Pap test is being performed, a long-handled swab will be used to collect a small sample of cells from the surface of the cervix before the speculum is removed. Most pelvic exams take 5 to 10 minutes to perform.

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