A female doctor talking to a female patient about her health

The Importance of Well-Woman Visits

Going to the doctor because you’re healthy may sound strange, but annual doctor visits are crucial to your overall health and well-being.

Women and men differ in their routine health service needs. One yearly appointment women should take part in is a well-woman visit. A well-woman visit is an annual appointment with your doctor to check on your overall health and conduct any necessary screenings or blood work. The main goal is health maintenance and prevention.

Well-woman visits are nothing to be afraid of or shy away from. The appointment is focused on checking on your overall health and monitoring for any health concerns that could become more serious. During your visit, you can expect all or some of the following, depending on your needs:

  •  A health history questionnaire
  • Physical exam
  • Breast exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap test
  • STI screenings
  • Immunization review
  • Counseling

You can prepare for a well-woman visit by having your health history on hand. You can also help by making a list of any questions you may have for your doctor related to your health. Your doctor can advise you how to stay healthy, how things impact your body and why it’s important. If needed, your doctor can also refer you to specialists in the area.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans are required to cover one well-woman visit per year. An added benefit of having annual well-woman visits is that you’re strengthening your doctor-patient relationship, which helps your doctor know you better and makes you feel more comfortable around them. When it comes to your health, prevention is key.

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Photo credit: FatCamera

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