If you’ve never had a well-woman exam, the thought of scheduling one for the first time can be very daunting. If you don’t know what to expect, the odds are that you’re pretty nervous.
While you should still ask your doctor to explain the process and what to expect as well, here’s an overview of what to expect during a well-woman exam in Kissimmee.
Why Do I Need a Well-Woman Exam?
Unlike regular physicals and doctor’s appointments, a well-woman exam is centered around the health of your vagina, cervix, uterus, and breasts. Your health will be taken into account as a whole, but the main focus of a well-woman exam is your reproductive health.
Well-woman exams usually include three things: a pap smear, a pelvic exam, and a breast exam. These exams are essential as they can catch early signs of cancer or other health problems before they get out of hand.
At the time of the appointment, you may also speak with your doctor about other health concerns you have.
What Can I Expect During a Well-Woman Exam?
When you arrive for your well-woman exam, you’ll go through the regular physical exam process of having your weight taken and your pulse and blood pressure taken. You may also be asked for a urine sample.
After this, you are given a paper gown and left alone to undress and put on the gown in the examination room. Unlike other times you may have worn a paper hospital gown, the opening goes in the front so that your doctor can perform the necessary exams. Before reentering, your doctor will knock and make sure you are ready for her to enter.
Once your doctor reenters the room, she will begin the pelvic exam, pap smear, and breast exam. Here’s what you can expect for each one:
For the pelvic exam, your doctor will put on gloves and lubricate two gloves that she will then insert into your vaginal canal to perform a quick exam. She’ll apply some pressure to your abdomen and check for abnormal lumps or pain. Expect pressure around the middle and sides of your abdomen, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel pain or tenderness during the exam. That’s the whole purpose of it.
This is perhaps one of the more daunting exams, but it’s a routine procedure, and there is no reason to feel intimidated by it. If you are, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to explain the procedure and ask any questions you may have.
During the pap smear, your doctor will insert a lubricated speculum into your vaginal canal to view the inside of your vulva, vagina, and also your cervix. She’ll swipe your cervix with a cotton swab and send it to a lab in order to make sure there aren’t any signs of cervical cancer and ensure your cervix is healthy.
For your breast exam, you may be asked to lift one arm behind your head so that your doctor can easily examine each breast. The exam itself should be pain-free as your doctor gently massages each breast in small, circular movements. She’ll look for any abnormal lumps or possible cysts.
Breast exams will catch early signs of breast cancer. While not all lumps are cancerous, catching them early on will help reduce the risk and let your doctor know what to keep an eye out for. If any lumps are found during the exam, your doctor will order a biopsy to determine if they are cancerous or not.
Getting your first well-woman exam is a daunting procedure, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Never be afraid to ask your doctor to explain what they’re doing, and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to be comfortable. Call us today to schedule your well-woman exam, and our experienced doctors will do their best to keep you comfortable during the exam.