What is a Well-Woman Visit?
A well-woman visit is a special consultation scheduled once a year with a skilled healthcare provider such as a doctor or nurse at a private clinic or a hospital as a part of preventive care. It is designed specifically for women. A well-woman visit includes detailed questions and various diagnostic tests to assess the functioning of different parts of the female body.
A well-woman visit covers many medical tests to ensure whether a woman is fit or has any medical issues. It can help to identify the onset of disease if any unusual symptoms are recorded during the clinical evaluation. This allows a suitable action plan to be created before symptoms worsen.
How to Prepare for a Well-Woman Visit?
With some research, you can find a healthcare facility that offers a well-woman visit in your area. Once the provider has been selected, you can contact their office to book an appointment. Once you have confirmed your appointment, you may be given certain instructions pertaining to diet and fasting to ensure you can undergo most or all of the diagnostic tests required.
What Happens During a Well-Woman Visit?
During a well-woman visit, your doctor or nurse will ask you questions related to your:
- Medical conditions and age of onset
- Current medications
- Medical history
- Family’s medical history
- Relationship status
- Dietary habits
- Lifestyle and exercise habits
After these details have been obtained, your provider will order specific tests to assess your body’s functioning.
You will be given adequate advice to manage any symptoms you have.
You will also be provided immunizations as needed to boost your immunity.
What are the Various Tests During a Well-Woman Visit?
The various medical tests that are performed during the annual well-woman visit may include:
A physical exam will cover the measurement of your body mass index (BMI), in addition to your height and weight. Other exams include:
- Skin, nails, and hair inspection
- Joint inspection
- Breast exam
- Abdominal exam
- Pelvic exam
- Rectal exam
- Ear examination
- Ophthalmic examination
For these exams, your doctor will inspect these areas visually and also palpate as needed to detect any unusual masses or lumps.
The different imaging tests that may be ordered include the following:
- Vision test to test for glaucoma or other vision-related problems
- Hearing test to identify hearing loss
- Mammogram: An X-ray image of the breast to screen for cancer
- BRCA gene test: A genetic test for breast cancer
- Pap smear: A cell sample is collected from your cervix using a spatula and/or brush to screen for cervical cancer
- Colonoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer
- Blood glucose test to test for diabetes
- Cardiac function test (including electrocardiogram) to check heart rate, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure
- Lipid profile to check cholesterol levels
- Bone mineral density test: To evaluate your bone health and screen for osteoporosis to identify if you are at risk for bone fracture
- HIV and other STD screening: Testing to detect human immunodeficiency virus or other sexually transmitted diseases
- Urinalysis: To test for liver and kidney function as well as infection
All tests, especially those gynecological in nature, should be done with the consent of the patient.
There are age-specific tests for women aged 13 to 18 years, 19 to 39 years, 40 to 64 years, and 65 years and above. Your doctor or nurse will advise you regarding these tests upon consultation.