Here at Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC, we specialize in women’s preventive health care. By partnering with patients to proactively manage health risk factors through lifestyle choices and preventative care strategies, we’re able to positively impact a woman’s future health and wellness.
What is preventive care?
Preventive care shifts the focus of health care from treating illness to maintaining wellness and good health. That means it occurs before a patient feels sick or has any noticeable symptoms. In fact, it is designed to prevent or delay the onset of sickness and disease.
This type of care may include a healthy lifestyle, exercise, diet, and a variety of health care services, such as physical examinations, screenings, lab tests, counseling, and various immunizations.
What is women’s preventive care?
As a woman reaches adulthood, it’s important to take an active approach to health care by scheduling routine screenings and services. Regular preventive care improves overall health outcomes, and can even help identify the potential for disease before it happens. Catching any issues early on can result in more effective treatment.
If you are between 35 and 50 years old, understanding your health risk factors and the additional screening you may require as you age is essential to building a strong foundation for health. Let’s take a closer look at how our expert team can help you achieve this through the services and counseling we offer!
General health screenings
Thought many of us only tend to think about scheduling a doctor’s appointment when we’re ill, periodic check-ups are an excellent way to stay on top of your health. An annual well-woman visit will allow your doctor to perform a thorough physical and discuss your lifestyle habits, along with any questions or concerns you may have. They will also make sure you are up to date on any immunizations or prescriptions and go over the various forms of contraception available to you if applicable.
Adult women should receive a clinical breast exam at least every three years, during which your doctor will examine your breasts, underarms, and the area beneath your clavicle for any abnormalities or differences that have occurred since your last exam.
Mammograms also become an important part of preventive health care as you get older. These low-dose x-ray exams play a central role in the early detection of breast cancer because they are often able to show changes in the breast before a patient or physician are able to feel them. Mammograms are also useful for detecting ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a collection of abnormal cells in the lining of a breast duct that can develop into invasive cancer.
If you have no family history of cancer, you should begin scheduling mammograms in your early 40’s. If you do have a history of breast cancer within your family, we may recommend you begin them earlier as part of our cancer screening process.
This process may include labs that check the patient’s blood and other fluids, genetic tests that look for inherited genetic markers linked to disease, and imaging procedures like MRI and ultrasounds, along with a breast exam and mammogram. The goal of these cancer screenings is to detect the disease at its earliest and most treatable stage, thereby reducing the total number of deaths.
Reproductive and sexual health
Pelvic exams and pap smears are typically performed at the same appointment, and are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing, and there are significant differences to be aware when being proactive about your sexual and reproductive health.
Most women begin receiving pelvic exams as they enter adulthood and will continue to have them at each annual checkup. During this exam, your doctor will assess your reproductive organs by checking your vulva, vagina, cervix, ovaries, uterus, and pelvis for any abnormalities.
Pap smears normally begin around the same time as pelvic exams, and are generally recommended once every three years from ages 21-65. By the age of 65, or after a total hysterectomy, women who have had adequate screening through the years will no longer need Pap smears.
During a smear, the doctor will collect cells from your cervix in order to detect any changes or abnormalities in your cervical cells. Detecting cervical cancer early with a Pap smear gives you a greater chance at a cure.
Depending on your age and risk of infection, you may also wish to have STI tests performed during a well-woman exam. Women under 25 who are sexually active should be screened by a doctor on a regular basis, while older women should be tested for STIs if they have new or multiple sexual partners.
Find high-quality preventive care for women of all ages at MOGA
When it comes to safeguarding your health, both now and in the future, finding a doctor who prioritizes proactive and preventive healthcare for women is essential. Fortunately, our practice has many doctors who do just that!
When you work with our highly-qualified healthcare providers, you’re making the important decision to take responsibility for your health and quality of life. It’s much easier to make truly informed decisions about your health and lifestyle when you have the guidance of a trusted doctor.
Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecological Association, PC (MOGA) is proud to support the kind of preventive care that can empower women in Memphis and across the Mid-South to lead healthier lives. With offices located in Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, and Southaven, we make it simple and convenient to see us at a day and time that works for you! Appointments can be made by calling our office or scheduling online through our website.