Annual Well-Woman Exam Q & A

Why should I see a gynecologist instead of a general practitioner for my physical exam?

Women’s health needs can vary significantly from the health needs of men, especially as women get older. While general practitioners can provide well-woman care, gynecologists are skilled in identifying and treating medical issues unique to women. That means they have extensive training in identifying diseases in their earliest stages and recommending important medical screenings to identify risk factors as well. Plus, gynecologists are deeply familiar with the changes and symptoms that can occur throughout a woman’s lifetime, from puberty through menopause, and they can customize a plan of treatment and preventive care specifically for those evolving needs.

What happens during a well-woman exam?

Well-woman exams begin with a review of the patient’s medical history, followed by measurements of weight and blood pressure. Dr. Shilad performs a breast exam and other general assessments, including listening to the heart and lungs and gently palpating the abdomen, neck, and underarm area to check for areas of swelling or tenderness. Depending on the patient’s needs, a pelvic exam and Pap smear may also be performed, and additional tests or health screenings like blood work, urinalysis, or bone density testing (also called DEXA) may be ordered. Dr. Shilad customizes each visit to the needs of the patient, providing guidance to help women with specific issues like family planning, birth control, menopause, sexually-transmitted disease concerns, and other issues. Plus, he’ll provide important guidance and information to help women proactively maintain optimal health and wellness. Some immunizations can also be provided, including the Gardasil vaccine to prevent infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Does Blue River Women’s Health Care offer gynecological visits for adolescents and teens?

Yes, Dr. Shilad is skilled in providing compassionate, discreet guidance and care for young women, helping them gain a greater understanding of their sexual and reproductive health so they can make smart, empowered decisions.

How often should I have a well-woman exam?

Ideally, women should have a well-woman exam every year to help them stay healthy. Women’s health needs can change significantly from year to year, and having routine well-woman exams is one of the best ways to identify and treat issues in their earliest stages.

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