Annual GYN Exam Specialists
Maiden Lane Medical
Gynecologists located in New York, NY
Annual gynecology exams are an important part of staying healthy. Board-certified gynecologists at Maiden Lane Medical provide comprehensive exams to help women from New York, NY, maintain optimal health at every age.
What is the purpose of the annual gynecologic exam?
The purpose of this visit is to discuss women’s health issues, perform screening tests, detect current problems, and identify risk factors for future problems that can develop.
At what age should you start annual visits to the gynecologist?
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends the first visit to the gynecologist take place between the ages of 13-15 however this visit generally does not need to include a pelvic exam unless indicated by the patient’s medical/sexual history or symptoms she is experiencing. Annual exams for all women age 21 or greater will include a pelvic exam.
What can I expect to occur at this visit?
During the annual visit, you can expect a comprehensive medical history to be taken, a physical exam which will include a full body exam along with a breast exam and pelvic exam. At the time of the pelvic exam, the provider will use an instrument called a speculum to allow visualization of the internal walls of the vagina as well as the cervix. It is during this part of the exam that a pap test can be collected as well as other tests such as cultures for infections. Depending on your age, blood samples may be drawn and other tests may be ordered or recommended.
What is the pelvic exam?
The pelvic exam consists of 3 parts:
- Visual inspection of the external genitalia
- Speculum exam – Allows the provider to see the inner walls of the vagina as well as the cervix and collect specimens such as the pap test, cultures for sexually transmitted viruses as well as cultures for vaginal infections.
- Bimanual exam – The provider will insert 1 or 2 fingers vaginally while his/her other hand palpates your pelvis from the top. This allows the provider to assess the internal pelvic organs and structures as well as to assess internal pelvic floor musculature.
How often do I need a pap test collection?
National guidelines recommend starting pap test collections at age 21 and although the age to stop collecting paps is still controversial, most gynecologists recommend stopping anywhere between age 65-75 years old.
In addition, the pap test no longer needs to be collected every year at all annual visits. The national guidelines recommend a pap every 3 years for women aged 21-29 and a pap test along with HPV testing for all women aged greater than 30 years old, every 5 years.
If it is a year that I am not due for my pap do I still need to come in for my annual?
Yes! A lot of women confuse the annual exam with the pap and think of the two as the same. The Pap test is just one small component of the annual visit. It is important to note that even if a patient is not due for her pap test in any given year, it is still recommended to come in yearly for the annual visit and exam.
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