It’s not uncommon to avoid the doctor unless you feel sick, however, there is a multitude of benefits to periodic check-ups! These visits not only give our team of healthcare providers the chance to catch any potential issues early on, but they give you the chance to ask any questions you may have regarding your body and overall health. Knowing what to expect during your annual appointment can help you feel comfortable during your visit and confident in your care! Keep reading to learn more about wellness exams with the doctors at MOGA!
What is a wellness exam?
An annual women’s wellness exam is exactly that – a yearly exam to evaluate your overall health. Also known as gynecological exams, pelvic exams, or wellness visits, these are all about you, your body, and your reproductive health. No matter what you call it, seeing your MOGA physician when you’re healthy can help ensure you stay that way!
These visits typically start in adolescence, as you begin to navigate the transition through puberty and into adulthood, between ages 13 and 15. This may seem early to some, but it can help young people feel comfortable with their bodies and foster a positive relationship with their medical provider.
While you may be primarily focused on reproductive factors, a wellness exam will typically cover your overall health. Aspects of your health that don’t directly connect with reproductive health often have secondary connections. For example, diet and nutrition impact all areas of your health. Carrying extra weight, for instance, puts you at greater risk of polycystic ovary syndrome, so your annual visit may include weight-loss counseling to reduce your chances of developing PCOS.
What happens during a wellness visit?
Every woman’s needs are different and here at MOGA, we’ll always take that into consideration. Your needs will also change depending on your age and your current stage of life. That being said, every visit will start with a vitals check from a member of our team. We’ll check your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature as well as review your medical history.
If you’re under the age of 18, you may receive shots, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In some cases, your annual visit will be a standard checkup and a conversation with your doctor. This is a great time to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have about your period or any irregularities you’ve noticed. Depending on your age, there are also some tests and exams you may need.
What kind of tests should I expect?
Once you reach the age of 21, regular Pap tests and pelvic exams are usually added. If you are sexually active, testing for sexually transmitted infections and requests for birth control may be included, as well. As you get older, your MOGA physician may suggest adding mammograms, or increasing the frequency of Pap tests if you’ve had elevated risk factors in the past. Once you reach menopause, you may want to discuss your options for controlling the symptoms you experience.
What kind of questions will I be asked?
Here at MOGA, we’re committed to providing you with the highest quality, personalized care possible. That means asking a few questions! First, we’ll talk about you and your family’s medical history. This provides a baseline of understanding of your overall health. Other questions may include information about your period and any recent changes you may have noticed. Questions about your sex life are also normal, since the nature of your sexuality may have an impact on health risks, including your family planning intentions. While many of these questions are intimate, being honest about your situation guarantees that you’ll receive the most appropriate health care to fit your lifestyle!
Your annual appointment is also the perfect time to ask any questions you may have. We can address anything you may be concerned about, including:
- Birth control
- Bleeding or pain after intercourse
- Irregular periods
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal itching or discomfort
- Vaginal discharge or smell
When you come to us with questions about your health, you can often avoid any further issues from arising as well as gain peace of mind.
Preparing for your annual appointment
Annual wellness appointments with your MOGA healthcare provider are typically pretty straightforward. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare! Unless you have a bleeding issue that your doctor wants to observe first-hand, try to schedule your appointment when you’re not on your period. Bring a list of questions for your doctor to make sure you don’t forget to ask anything that you may have thought of before your appointment.
Schedule your annual appointment with MOGA
Prioritizing your health and well-being is one of the best things you can do for your body. Annual wellness visits with the healthcare providers at MOGA can help you maintain your health, find any potentially harmful issues, and get answers to any questions you may have regarding your body! Once you know what to expect during your annual appointment, you can feel confident that you’re doing what’s best for you.
If you’re searching for your healthcare home or are ready to schedule your next MOGA appointment, contact our office today. Our team is always ready to help and with offices in Memphis, Germantown, and Bartlett, Tennessee, as well as Southaven, Mississippi, you can choose an office that’s convenient for you. We look forward to working with you to achieve your best health!