Every woman knows the importance of this annual visit but, often times, taking care of ourselves falls to the end of the to do list. Dr. Turner’s expertise in Women’s Medicine gives her extra insight into conditions and even anxiety that can be associated with gynecological visits and applies her knowledge in a way that can make this important and necessary visit comfortable and insightful. Preventative Medicine: Annual Wellness Exam with Dr. Turner
What does a well woman exam include?
- Annual Clinical Breast Exam: although it is important to perform your own monthly self-breast exam, it is also important to get a clinical (done by a physician) breast exam once a year. During your exam with Dr. Turner, she will instruct you on how to do your monthly self-breast exam and answer any questions about timing and technique.
- Annual Pap Smear: this is done for two reasons
- Pap Smear: a sample is taken to assure the cells of the cervix are healthy
- HPV test: the sample is tested for the high-risk strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The high-risk strains of this virus are associated with cellular changes, cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer. “HPV positive” does not mean there are cancer cells, but it does mean you have an “abnormal pap”. Knowing your HPV status will indicate if and how aggressively you need to treat it. The Pap Smear and HPV test together are part of your annual preventative wellness exam with Dr. Turner.
Additional Exams and Tests may be indicated depending on any current symptoms, age of patient and family history such as:
- Urine test: this will show if there is any blood, infection, protein or sugar in your urine.
- Abdominal Exam: Dr. Turner will examine the intestines, liver, spleen and digestive function.
- Thyroid exam: assessing for any thyroid enlargement or nodules
- Cardiovascular and Respiratory exam: checks for proper heart and lung health
- DEXA (bone density to check for osteoporosis or osteopenia)
During the Well Woman Exam Dr. Turner will also discuss:
- Contraception options
- Fertility awareness and conception planning
- Hormone replacement options (for peri and post-menopausal women)
- Other preventative health measures
How often should a woman get a pap?
See the guidelines at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (updated 2013). Remember how frequently you need a pap will depend on your medical history, any symptoms and any known STD exposures. Be sure to discuss with your physician how frequently you need your pap done. Here are my general recommendations:
“Dr. Turner is insightful and compassionate. She heard my concerns and addressed each one with real solutions. During the wellness exam, she provided a soft fuzzy blanket, which was warm over the usual cloth gown, and also comforting. As a result, it’s the most relaxed I’ve ever felt during a wellness exam in the last 20 years. I recommend every woman to go see her for truly exceptional care.” ~RV