For most women, gynecology exams should occur once a year. If women are dealing with major health issues or are at elevated risk for health problems, the visits may need to occur twice a year or more often.
Pap smears are often one of the components of an annual gynecology exam. Most women need to have pap smears, but the frequency of the pap smear varies based on a woman's age and health. Generally, women who are between 21 and 30 should have a pap smear every 3 years. Women who are over the age of 65 may not need to have pap smears any longer if they've had 3 normal pap smears in a row. Most women find it very convenient to have this simple test performed during their exam when they are due for a pap smear.
A gynecology exam can be different from one woman to another, as it is customized based on specific needs and concerns. Most women will have a basic check-up, which includes a pelvic exam. The doctor and patient will talk about concerns such as family planning, heavy periods, irregular periods, painful periods, menopause, urinary incontinence, infertility, hormone replacement therapy, and other female concerns. The doctor can diagnose any new illnesses or conditions and can provide treatment as necessary. Ongoing conditions are also monitored at an annual gynecology exam. The yearly exam is an excellent time for the doctor and the patient to address concerns and questions. No matter what part of life that a woman is in, the yearly gynecology exam is a time to learn, ask questions, and to achieve the best possible overall health and wellness.
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