Annual Wellness Exam
As a woman, you take on many roles throughout your life, and it is imperative to stay healthy in order to thrive throughout each new challenge. At OCWMG, the terms Well Woman/Annual/Yearly Exam all refer to the annual women’s preventative health care appointment. It gives you the unique opportunity to learn more beneficial health habits, complete preventative health screenings and develop a long-term relationship with your physician. During your visit, your doctor will go over your health and lifestyle behaviors and will perform a physical exam of your pelvis and breasts. A well woman exam is comprised of four parts: Health history, physical exam, breast and pelvic exam. At OCWMG we follow all guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist.
Your well visit (preventive medicine) includes the following services:
Most women’s health visits begin with a consultation to discuss your current and past health history. Your doctor may ask about any pregnancies you’ve had or plan to have. Eating and exercise routines may also be discussed, along with potential health risks for such habits as smoking. Your doctor will also review your immunization records to make sure that your immunizations are all up to date. The provider will also discuss contraception or hormone replacement therapy and refill these prescriptions at that time.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) and the Affordable Care Act has also mandated a mental health screening to be a part of your well visit exam. This screening can help start a conversation about the importance of mental wellness to overall health. We have also developed a good referral network to help our patients get the care they need and feel their best.
After the initial consultation, your doctor will proceed with a physical examination. In addition to measuring your blood pressure and body mass index test, your doctor will evaluate your general health in these areas:
- Lungs and heart
- Pelvic organs
- Bones and spine
The purpose of a breast exam during a Well Woman visit isn’t meant to replace regular mammogram screenings.
This exam is a surface inspection performed by hand, where a doctor checks for conditions such as dimpling, nipple inversion, redness, soreness, rashes, or swelling. Your doctor may also feel for any lumps or thickening in the breasts.
During the pelvic exam, your doctor will examine the external and internal parts of the reproductive system like the vulva, labia, the vagina, cervix, uterus, and ovaries. Your physician may also perform a pap smear (if indicated) and HPV testing (if indicated). This is a procedure where a small sample of cells is collected from your cervix. The results of a pap smear will be sent to a lab for analysis.
For women who have experienced menopause, your doctor may spend some time discussing issues such as bladder function, hot flashes, and issues with sexuality. Your doctor may also order a bone density for signs of osteoporosis.
Concerns that are outside of your Annual Exam
Since the wellness woman exam covers your general health and review of your health history, you may have a concern that takes more time to discuss than your annual exam. This may be a new problem found at the time of your annual exam or a particular change to your lifestyle that affects your health that needs addressing in more detail than the time permits.
We want to allow you the time you need to discuss your concern and for your doctor to coordinate any additional care that is appropriate. For these additional concerns, a separate appointment may be needed.
**Please note: If a medical problem or illness is addressed or an abnormality is encountered in the exam and the problem is significant enough to require additional time and work by the provider, a separate office visit may be charged in addition to your wellness women annual exam. Please be advised that this additional visit is accepted as “billable” by the American Medical Association and may or may not be covered by your insurance. You will be responsible for any office visit co-pay designated by your insurance coverage for the added office visit.
Getting your annual well woman is fundamental to wellness, health promotion and early disease detection throughout your life.
Schedule your annual well women exam appointment today! Your first step in ensuring your health and wellness for the future. (949.829.5533)
OCWMG’s goal is to provide quality care and service to our patients. We know that understanding insurance coverage and benefits can be challenging. We encourage you to become familiar with your plan and contact your insurance with any questions.