A pap smear is a test that uses cell scrapings of the cervix to closely monitor the health of a woman's reproductive system. Abnormalities in the cervical cells can indicate a variety of health conditions, including cervical dysplasia, cervical cancer, the presence of a yeast or other vaginal infection, as well as the presence of sexually transmitted diseases like human papilloma virus. Uncovering HPV infections in their earliest stages can prevent the abnormal cells from becoming cancerous. Early detection and treatment can protect a woman's reproductive health, as well as their general well-being.
A well woman exam includes a pap smear, a thorough pelvic exam, a breast exam, a mammogram, STD testing (if requested), and an overview of the patient's general health. The pap smear and mammogram will help to identify potential cancer threats, while the pelvic exam can uncover the presence of fibroids, cysts, and other abnormalities that may be present in the abdomen. The doctor will go over the patient's information to determine if there are any abnormalities with the woman's menstrual cycle. Women who are in their child-bearing years may have questions about the use of birth control, while women in menopause may be interested in hormone replacement therapy.
Many health conditions progress at extremely rapid rates. Cervical, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers can be extremely fast growing, leaving patients little time for finding effective treatment options. Receiving a well woman exam on a yearly basis helps doctors to closely monitor the patient's health. Early detection allows for more efficient and effective treatment options. A yearly exam can also point out other potential health problems within the reproductive system that could affect a woman's ability to conceive and carry a child. The exams and tests performed during a well woman exam can be repeated as needed if the doctor uncovers any abnormalities.
We participate with most local and many national insurance plans. However, it is your responsibility to understand whether your insurance has limits on the doctors you can see or the services you can receive. Please contact our office or call your insurance carrier should you have any questions.
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