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Women’s Health through the Years

An annual well-woman exam sets the stage for wellness and health promotion at any age.

Women’s health needs are special and unique. From carefree adolescence to the wiser golden years, an annual well-woman exam protects your health as you age. According to the providers at the Women’s Health Center, a well-woman exam goes beyond the expected pap, pelvic and breast check. As experts in women’s health, gynecologists take into consideration the whole picture.

Your well-woman visit

During the exam, physicians discuss your health status, nutrition, exercise, menstrual cycle, sexual activity, medications and any new health concerns. The pap test, pelvic and breast exams are just one piece of the health equation. Women should come to their well-woman exams prepared to discuss their medical history and any chronic diseases within their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister).

Because each phase of a woman’s life presents different health concerns, the conversation during a well-woman exam is tailored to the patient’s age and lifestyle.

Below are topics of discussion based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or ACOG guidelines, however patients are encouraged to mention any medical concerns during their well-woman visit.

20’s and 30’s

• Screenings for any sexually transmitted diseases if you are sexually active

• A pre-conception appointment if you are planning to have a baby

• Contraception choices if you want to postpone pregnancy

  • Tobacco, alcohol and other drug use

40’s

• Changes during perimenopause

• Possible weight gain as metabolism slows

• Annual mammograms

  • Tobacco, alcohol and other drug use

50’s

• Menopausal changes and new medical concerns

• Sexually transmitted diseases if you are returning to the dating scene

• Colorectal screening

  • Tobacco, alcohol and other drug use

60’s and beyond

• The importance of staying physically active

  • Pelvic prolapse
  • Tobacco, alcohol and other drug use
  • Recommended screenings according to ACOG guidelines

Forming a partnership with your doctor

Obstetricians/Gynecologists are specialists in women’s health care, but primary care physicians can also conduct well-woman exams. Whichever physician you choose, your relationship must be built on trust and two-way communication.

Seeking OB/GYN Care?

The providers at the Women’s Health Center offer a wide range of services including obstetrical and gynecological care, high-risk pregnancy, and perimenopausal and menopause care.

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11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
301-790-8000
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
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