Facts about Well Woman Health Exams You Should Better Know
As a health conscious woman you’re supposed to undergo a thorough gynaecological exam once a year. But what exactly happens during those visits? Dr. Hikmat Naoum – a renowned gynaecologist in London – shares his experience in handling patients during those visits.
Annual well-woman visits
- More about preventive health than anything else
An annual well woman health exam revolves around preventive health, says the doctor associated with the Gynaecology Clinic at Harley Street in Marylebone. The cost of this thorough medical diagnosis is covered by your health insurance. These visits prove unbelievably helpful to understand an individual’s own personal health risks and how well those risks can be avoided. A well woman health check mainly includes medical screenings and education.
It is important to note that chronic sicknesses, injuries and follow-ups for any on-going medical condition are categorically not covered during well-woman exams. Therefore you should better book separate appointments for those issues.
- A healthy relationship with your healthcare service provider is important
As far as well-woman health exams are concerned, you should better choose a healthcare provider who is easy to talk to. The provider should show an authentic interest in your health and wellbeing without being judgmental on grounds of morality. You two have to build up a bond of mutual trust that will make your visits less awkward and more satisfactory.
- Well-woman visits can be customised to suit individual needs
A well woman health exam includes customised services based on your present health condition. The services may include the following:
- Guidelines on practicing safe sex
- Comprehensive contraceptive counselling
- Screening for alcohol abuse, cholesterol, psychological depression, STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
- Immunisation and vaccines
- Counselling on your diet and nutrition
- AIDS and HIV screening
- Extensive discussion on your menstrual cycle
- Breast exams to detect breast cancers early
- Comprehensive pelvic exams
- Pap smear – though only if the doctor feels necessary for you
- Mammograms – depending on your age and risk level
- Know your health insurance clauses well
Usually health insurances cover preventive services including well-woman checks. Certain plans also exist that cover mammogram every alternate year. Go through your plan to know how often these routine visits are covered. It is also important to understand what scopes are covered and whether any cost is linked to these regular checkups. To put it in other words, it is important that you know your specific plan thoroughly to make the most it offers.
- Well-woman checks are not always one-and-done
Usually a well-woman visit is a one-time, annual visit but it does not stop there on every occasion. If breast cancer runs in your family, the provider may schedule you for a mammogram, for which you may have to book another appointment at some other time and place.
- Ask questions in between getting tested
Healthcare professionals associated with a renowned Well Woman Clinic in London suggest a well woman health check is not only about getting tested but also asking questions in between. Feel free to discuss anything and everything about your health and wellbeing with the provider during such visits. Make sure your discussion covers the following points:
- Diet and nutrition
- Stress level
- Sex life
- Family medical history
When you put up questions, the provider gets to know what is more relevant to you and what aspects she should emphasise upon during the screening. You must be honest and transparent to get the best services.
Get prepared to answer some questions as well
You are likely to field some questions from the healthcare professional during your visit. These questions cover aspects like the following:
- Your immunisation history like flu and HPV shots, booster dosages
- Your detailed medical history
- Information about any surgery you have had
In addition to the ones mentioned above you are also likely to face the following questions:
- Your menstrual cycle details like when was the first day of the last period?
- How long your menstrual cycles usually last?
- Whether it is heavy or light?
- Does it occur monthly or more irregular?
Your detailed family medical history covering cancer:
- What types of cancer and when were they detected? (patient’s age during diagnosis)
- Whether there is a family history of diabetes, thyroid, heart disease (hypertension, heart attack, irregular heart rhythms) or strokes?
Detailed information about your medical screenings:
- When you took the last Pap smear test?
- When you had your last mammogram?
- Did you ever take a colonoscopy exam?
- What were the findings of your bone density scan?
Contraceptives you use or prefer:
- Are you currently on any contraceptive?
- What kind of birth-control measure are you using?
- How will you rate it?
- Do you take it the way prescribed?
- How often do you miss using it the prescribed way?
Your plans and expectations on family and settlement issues:
- Do you want to have kids?
- When do you want to have children?
- How much age difference you prefer between your kids?
Detailed information about your current medications:
- What medications are you currently taking?
- Why are you taking those medications?
- What are the dosages?
- How frequently are you taking them?
Your detailed allergy history:
- Do you have allergic reactions?
- What are your reactions?
Information about your lifestyle and habits:
- Do you smoke?
- Do you prefer vaping?
- How often do you smoke or vape?
- Do you want to quit smoking?
- What have you tried to kick the habit?
In this time and age, locating a reliable Gynaecological Clinic for well woman check is easier than ever. Go online and use search strings like “well woman clinic near me”. Remember well-woman check-ups are your safest bet to stay fitter, stronger and healthier longer.