What You Can Expect From Your Annual Wellness Exam

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At FPA Women's Health, we recommend that everyone have an annual visit with a clinician, but what occurs at that visit can vary depending on your age.
Many reproductive illnesses have no symptoms, which is why regular preventative screening is so important! 

Pap Smear

Cervical cancer screening is not recommended for women less than 21 years of age, even if they become sexually active much younger.  The ASCCP (American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology) recommends waiting because most young women are exposed to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) which causes cervical cancer and genital warts. 

During the first few years of exposure, women are likely to have abnormal pap smears while their immune system is learning how to fight the HPV virus.   

At your annual visit, we will recommend the HPV vaccination series to protect individuals ages 9 to 45 against cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. 

STI Testing

If you are 25 years old or less, FPA follows CDC recommendations and recommends STI screening every year (this includes testing for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis).  Your clinician may recommend consistent use of condoms to reduce the risk of STI infection. 

Birth Control

If you are at risk of an unwanted pregnancy, we will review effective and safe methods of birth control at your annual visit. Our clinicians can help you pick the best pregnancy prevention method that works best for your lifestyle.

Breast Cancer Screening

If you are 40 years old or older, your clinician will recommend a clinical breast exam and a routine screening mammogram.  If you are less than 40 and have pain or an abnormal lump in your breast, make sure you mention it to your clinician. 

Pelvic Exam

Routine pelvic exams have not been shown to reduce any illness.  At FPA, your clinician will only perform a pelvic exam if you are having pain, abnormal bleeding, or abnormal discharge. 

An annual exam is a perfect opportunity to make sure you are in good health and stay that way! Book your appointment by calling you nearest location or booking online through our convenient scheduling tool.