For Houston Women: What to Expect From a Well-Woman Checkup
While seeing a local Houston doctor for any health concern is important, annual general health exams are an important part of maintaining health year in and year out. Women especially need special exams called Well-Woman Check-ups. Obviously, there are some elements to the human body that differ between men and women, which is why specific care is given to support all your uniquely female needs. If you’ve never had a Well-Woman check-up before it can be intimidating when it is unclear what may be expected. Listed below will be the steps to a basic Well-Woman check-up when you come in to Angels Medical.
What to do Before the Well-Woman Checkup
Document Your Health History
Before the exam, the doctor will ask some questions about your overall health.
- Personal Medical and Family Health History
There can be some benefit in knowing of any illness your family has had. Sometimes they can be passed heretically can be a bigger threat if the immune system is week. Don’t forget to write down any history of mental illness.
- Sexual health and sexual partners
This can be an embarrassing part of the visit if it’s not prepared for. While such matters are not always discussed openly, they are important to discuss with the doctor. Topics include Birth control options, Sexually transmitted diseases, Menopause, Preparing to get pregnant, and any personal questions and concerns.
- Eating habits and physical activity
What, when, how and why are all important things to know when it comes to eating habits and nutrition. The doctor will discuss eating healthy, being more active, the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Use of medications, vitamins, minerals, or herbs
If you feel confused about vitamins or natural remedies, make sure to discuss what it is currently being taken and for what, any substance you would like to try or are curious about, or any concerns you would like more information on. the doctor might prescribe medication and they will need to know this information to make sure there are no unhealthy reactions between drug, herb, vitamin or the like.
- Mental health history
This is an important topic to discuss with the doctor. Mental illness or injury is like any other physical injury or illness. Make sure to talk with the doctor about any anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues being experienced.
- Relationships and safety
If there are any family or relationship issues that are dangerous, frightening, or uncomfortable physically or mentally you need to tell the doctor. Your safety is very important and they can assist in getting the right people involved while also providing safety and medical assistance.
- Ask Questions
Always ask questions. It is sometimes difficult to know or have confidence in our own knowledge, but the doctor can help. Feel free to ask them questions about:
Do I need any important shots?
How can I protect myself from HIV and other STDs?
Which form of birth control is right for me?
How do I know if my relationship is healthy and safe?
Where can I get help for a mental health issue?
What changes can I make to eat healthier?
How can I be more physically active?
*Take a notepad to write down the answers or use a smartphone in order to remember them later.
What Will Happen at a Well-Woman Check-up
Well-Woman check-ups include the full health exam focusing on the overall health, the examination of any specific illness or injuries for a woman’s body and mind, and are a perfect time to answer any questions that might be had. These visits focus on preventive care for women.
Shots play an imperative part in improving physical health by preventing diseases and other health problems. shots can be uncomfortable but are not a required part of every check-up. If a shot is not needed, a shot is not given.
Medical tests and exams are for finding injuries or diseases before they get worse and preventing them if possible. The doctor may recommend screenings for:
- Certain types of cancer
- HPV (human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer)
- HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Osteoporosis (weak bones)
Education and counseling
The doctor is there to also help patients make informed health decisions when it comes to safety, physical health or psychological counseling concerns.
Getting a physical exam
The doctor will examine your physical status.
- Measuring height and weight
- Calculating body mass index (BMI) to make sure it is a healthy weight
- Checking blood pressure
- Checking body temperature
- Doing a clinical breast exam (feeling your breasts and under your arms for lumps or other changes)
- Doing a pelvic exam (looking at your vagina and feeling around your pelvis.)
Setting health goals
The doctor or nurse will talk probably talk about the next steps for staying healthy. Together, you decide which screenings or follow-up services will work best. This may include creating a personalized nutrition plan and setting up goals for exercise and weight loss or strength and heart health.
Additional Appointments and Specialists
During the check-up, the doctor may recommend seeing a specialist or getting further screenings. When scheduling an appointment with a specialist make sure to go prepared with the same illness history information and any findings from the Well-Woman check-up. All first appointments can be somewhat repetitive but it is always important that medical professionals have all the information to better treat the patient.
*Try to schedule these follow-up appointments as soon as possible and schedule your next annual visit with our awesome staff before you leave the doctor’s office.
If that’s not possible, just click here and schedule your next appointment with us when you know what your schedule will be. And our team will happily get you the contact information for any specialist so you can schedule your appointment soon.
Having a clinic such as Angels Medical available for community members all over the Houston area is a wonderful opportunity to have regular health check-ups with exceptional professionals at low rates for all patients. And hopefully, now you feel prepared for your experience and confident in what to expect. You can call to make an appointment today, but no appointment is necessary at Angels Medical, just come on down and let us help you be your best!