December 31, 2022

Preventative Screenings To Do Before The End of The Year

It’s time to get back on track! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many women missed important exams while staying home and trying to prevent themselves from catching the virus at the doctor’s office. Now, people are wondering how they will do their medical checkups after COVID.

With how sterile and safe doctor’s offices are, as well as the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, booking your annual appointment with your OB/GYN is likely something you can start doing again!

Medical Preventive Screenings 2021

Medical preventive screenings are extremely important for your body, which is why we have yearly checkups with our physicians! Unfortunately, many women tend to forget or neglect the yearly checkups they should be having with their OB/GYN too. 

Getting a well woman exam is a crucial part of your annual wellness checks with your OB/GYN. Dr. Susan Fox and her team are ready to give you the care you need!

Well-Woman Exam | 2021

Although you should first visit your gynecologist or OB/GYN in your mid to late teen years, you should start getting annual checkups when you’re 21. 

Specifically, your doctor should be administering a well-woman exam, which includes important medical screenings for breast and gynecological diseases. It’s also important to note that we highly recommend starting your yearly checkups three years after becoming sexually active, which may have happened for you before the age of 21.

Our professionals take special care in performing quick and effective examinations that will be both informative and helpful.

During your time with Dr. Susan Fox, she’ll ask you some questions about your health and lifestyle, and answer any questions you may have about your body. 

Your doctor will also perform a physical exam of your breasts and pelvis. The well-woman exam is a great time to discuss pre-pregnancy counseling and do screenings for sexually transmitted diseases.

Girl at the doctor's office getting checked in. During Covid pandemic.

Getting medical checkups after Covid may still feel weird for some time, but it’s important that you continue getting the preventative screenings you need every year.

Pelvic & Pap Smear Exam | 2021

A pelvic exam and a pap smear go hand in hand. They essentially check for uterine or ovarian abnormalities and are important medical screenings for cervical cancer. 

During a pelvic exam, your OB/GYN will examine the surrounding genital regions, such as the urethra, the vulva folds, etc., for any signs of abnormal discharge, cysts, inflammation, or genital warts. If everything looks normal, this is a quick and easy process. 

A speculum will then be inserted into the birth canal to look into the vagina and cervix closely. This is a stainless steel or plastic device that looks like a duckbill. You should breathe deeply and try to relax your vaginal, rectal, and abdominal muscles while your doctor inserts the speculum. 

After inserting the speculum, we’ll utilize a cervical brush to scrape certain areas and collect an endocervical and ectocervical sample. Specifically, the procedure of gathering this sample is called a pap smear. 

This is another routine and quick part of the Well Woman Exam, and it’s a medical preventive screening because the test is performed to search for any early signs of severe abnormalities such as cervical cancer. 

The lab results of your pap smear exam will allow our experts to address the issue in its early stages and could potentially prove to be life-saving. This is why our professionals view well-woman exams as preventive care. 

Even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms, you should still have these checkups to be safe. We know you may be hesitant to have medical checkups after COVID, so you are welcome to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.

Breast Exam | 2021

The type of breast exam that your OB/GYN performs will vary depending on your age and medical family history. For example, if your mom, grandma, or other family members had breast cancer, you may want to start getting mammograms before 45, the recommended age to start getting them. However, you’ll likely only need a physical breast exam from your doctor before 45, where your OB/GYN will check every part of your breasts with their hands to feel for any abnormal lumps.

STD Testing | 2021

If you’ve been sexually active, get tested for STIs. It’s especially important to get tested if:

  • You’re about to begin a new relationship
  • You and your partner are thinking about not using condoms
  • Your partner has cheated on you or has multiple partners
  • You have multiple partners
  • You have symptoms that suggest you might have an STI

If you’re in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, and both you and your partner were tested before entering the relationship, you may not need regular STI testing. However, many people in long-term relationships weren’t tested before they got together. 

If that’s the case for you and your partner, it’s possible that one or both of you have been carrying an undiagnosed STI for years. The safest choice is to just get tested, and we provide STD testing here at Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women.

Dr. Susan Fox and her team are ready to give you the care you need! Contact us today and book an appointment at our Miami office right through our website.

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