Women's Health Q & A
What screenings and tests should I undergo regularly?
Pelvic exams check your internal and external female organs to ensure they’re normal in shape and size. Pap tests check for cancer of the cervix. A clinical breast exam examines your breasts for any signs of cancer. You may also have your blood pressure and other vitals checked as well. Depending on your age and health history, you may be referred for a mammogram or undergo a test for HPV.
In addition, during an annual wellness exam, a woman can discuss issues such as:
- Irregular periods
- Painful intercourse
- Vaginal dryness
- Birth control
Other topics you might address include sexually transmitted diseases, yeast infections, and fertility. Of course, these issues don’t have to wait for an annual appointment. An annual exam is also a good time to develop a relationship with Dr. Hurst so she can get to know you and your health history.
What types of sexual problems can I discuss with a gynecologist?
Dr. Hurst is open to discussing any number of health-related sexual issues. As a woman ages, her libido may decrease, for example. Hormonal changes can make intercourse less pleasant, too. Stress, anxiety, problems in a relationship, depression, and past sexual experiences are all relevant to a woman’s overall health and vitality.
When should a woman have a well-woman exam?
Girls aged 13-15 may benefit from having their first well-woman exam. After age 21, these exams may include pelvic and breast exams, as well as, Pap smears. After you’ve had your first exam, it’s a good idea to come in annually to have your reproductive health checked.
What other types of issues are discussed at a well-woman exam?
Dr. Hurst will address all aspects of your health to ensure that you’re maximizing your well-being. Of course, you should come in with specific questions, but she’s likely to ask details about the frequency of your periods and their length. She’ll also ask about the heaviness of the flow and as to whether you bleed or spot during your cycle.
She’ll want to know if you’re sexually active or have multiple partners; this just helps her screen you for possible infection. She’ll want to know if you’re interested in or using birth control, and if not, if you might be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.