Well Woman Exam

The well-woman visit is a key part of preventive care. This consists of an evaluation of your general health and an exam of your breasts and pelvic (reproductive) organs. With this exam, your ob-gyn:

  • Looks for health problems in their early stages
  • Detects risks to your health
  • Tells you how you can change your lifestyle to lower these risks
  • You also may have certain tests and immunizations. It depends on your age.

You should have a well-woman exam on a routine basis if you are sexually active or age 18 or older. Most women should see their ob-gyn once a year. More frequent exams may be needed based on your health risk factors. If you have a health problem or notice any changes in your body, such as an unusual vaginal discharge or genital itching, you should contact your doctor right away.

Your Periodic Health Evaluation-Routine Tests/Immunizations

Ages 13 to 18 years:

  • Pap test: Yearly when sexually active or by age 18 years
  • Tetanusdiphtheria booster: Once between ages 11 and 16 years
  • Hepatitis B vaccine: One series for those not previously immunized

Ages 19 to 39 years

  • Pap test: Annually
  • Tetanusdiphtheria booster:Every 10 years

Ages 40 to 64 years

  • All the above (in each category), plus:
  • Mammography: Every 1 to 2 years until age 50, then yearly
  • Cholesterol testing:Every 5 years starting at age 45 years
  • Fecal occult blood testing:Yearly starting at age 50 years
  • Sigmoidoscopy: Every 3 to 5 years after age 50 years
  • Fasting glucose testing: Every 3 years after age 45 years

Ages 65 years and older

  • All the above (in each category), plus:
  • Urinalysis:Yearly
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine:Yearly
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: Once