It’s natural to think of doctor visits only when you’re ill, but periodic check-ups not only offer the early detection of potential issues, they’re also a perfect time to ask questions about your body. The physicians of Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC, with locations in Memphis, Germantown, and Bartlett, Tennessee, as well as Southaven, Mississippi, standby, ready to keep your good health in order. Call the office or request an appointment online today.
Whether you call it a wellness exam, well-woman visit, or annual physical, seeing your MOGA physician when you’re healthy is often a key factor in remaining healthy. These visits typically begin in adolescence, helping you navigate the transition into your adult body. This is when you begin to build a trusting relationship with your medical caregivers.
While you may be focused on the reproductive factors that define you as a woman, a wellness exam usually covers your overall health. Aspects of your health that don’t directly connect with reproductive health often have secondary connections. For example, diet and nutrition impact all areas of your health. Carrying extra weight, for instance, puts you at greater risk of polycystic ovary syndrome, so your annual visit may include weight loss counseling to reduce your chances of developing PCOS.
There’s not a standard checklist that your MOGA physician uses during your annual exams, since every woman’s needs are different, and these change with different stages of your life. Standard vital sign checks, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature are usually included, as is a review of your medical history since your last appointment. You’ll typically be asked questions about your health.
When you’re under 18, you may receive shots, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Once you reach the age of 21, regular Pap tests and pelvic exams are usually added. Testing for sexually transmitted infections and requests for birth control may start as you become sexually active. As you get older, your physician may suggest adding mammograms, or increasing the frequency of Pap tests if you have elevated risk factors. Once you reach menopause, you may want to discuss your options for controlling the symptoms you experience.
Your MOGA doctor or nurse may ask about your periods, their regularity, how long they last, and whether you’ve experienced recent changes. Questions about your sex life are also normal, since the nature of your sexuality may have an impact on health risks, including your family planning intentions. While many of these questions are intimate, being honest about your situation ensures that you’ll receive the most appropriate health care to match your lifestyle.