Women’s health is a crucial aspect of well-being, and one of the most important parts of maintaining it is through regular gynecological care. Routine visits, Pap smears, breast exams, and bloodwork are all essential for women’s health and can detect or prevent diseases that are specific to women. Xpress Wellness now offers women’s health visits at our Tulsa Hills location to provide these routine procedures to benefit the overall health and longevity of women of all ages. Find out what to expect at these visits, and how often they should occur.
Like annual physicals, regular gynecological exams (also known as “well woman” visits) are important for establishing a baseline for health, and for early detection of certain health conditions and diseases. At a well-woman visit, healthcare providers will discuss lifestyle, exercise, diet, and hygiene practices with their patients. Vitals such as blood pressure and heart rate will be measured and recorded, along with an up-to-date list of medications and supplements the patient is taking. During this part of the visit, the healthcare provider will listen to the woman’s heart and lungs and may palpate the thyroid and lymph nodes along the neck.
This crucial screening tool plays an important role in the early detection of cervical cancer. During this procedure, a small sample of cells is collected from a woman’s cervix. The sample is sent to a lab for examination for any abnormalities that may indicate the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells. Pap smears take only a moment and are virtually painless but can be instrumental in early cancer detection.
Breast exams are another vital part of women’s health that focuses primarily on early cancer detection. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, second only to skin cancers. Regular self-exams in conjunction with breast exams performed by a healthcare professional are integral to identifying any changes or abnormalities in breast tissue. Healthcare providers may also order additional tests such as a mammogram for certain age groups, or patients with abnormal findings or certain risk factors.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Women’s Health
Despite increased awareness surrounding women’s health, some myths and misconceptions persist. This may influence the frequency with which women seek out gynecological care.
Myth: Pap smears test for STDs
Fact: Pap smears do not test for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an STD that can cause cervical cancer, but Pap smears only detect abnormal cervical cells – not the presence of HPV itself.
Myth: Gynecological care only monitors reproductive and breast health
Fact: Routine visits for women’s health exams encompass many concerns. Blood pressure, urinary tract health, blood work, and mental health are just some of the other areas that can be addressed during a regular gynecological exam.
Myth: Only sexually active women need gynecological exams
Fact: Breast cancer, irregular or painful cycles, and abnormal blood work or exam findings can occur in any woman – regardless of age or activity. Teenage girls just beginning their cycles can benefit from gynecological visits to discuss everything from hormonal acne and headaches, to learning how to perform self-breast exams.
Frequency of Gynecological Care
Women’s health exams should occur once per year, and Pap smears at least every 3 years for most women. Depending on age, risk factors, medical history, or other factors, a healthcare provider may recommend more frequent visits. Patients should talk with their insurance company and healthcare providers to discuss the options when scheduling a well-woman exam.
Finding Gynecological Care with Xpress Wellness Urgent Care
Xpress Wellness Urgent Care is now proud to offer gynecological care at our Tulsa Hills location – making routine women’s health visits easy and convenient. Request an appointment or call today to schedule your next women’s health exam. Our comprehensive gynecological services include well-woman exams, pap smears, contraception, and menopausal care. Our skilled providers can address any concerns you may have, and help set you off on the path to whole wellness through the unique needs of women’s health.