Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get an annual gynaecological exam?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you begin getting breast health exams at age 19 and annual pelvic exams with pap smears at age 21. However, you will still need breast and pelvic exams each year, but you may space pap smears every three years as long as all previous pap smears have been normal.
What should I expect during my annual exam?
Your annual exam will begin with an assessment of your weight and blood pressure, as well as a discussion of any symptoms or health changes you may have experienced since your last visit. Your doctor will palpate your breasts to check for lumps or unusual changes to breast tissue. The pelvic exam will also include a manual and visual examination of the cervix and vagina. If you are getting a pap test, your doctor will take brushings from your cervix to check for the presence of abnormal cells. You may also be advised to undergo mammography starting from the age of 40. A list of blood tests, including checking your vitamin levels, will also be recommended.
Will I need to follow any special instructions after my exam is complete?
Your doctor will advise you on any changes you may need to make following your exam. For example, you may be advised to modify your diet, exercise habits or the types of supplements you should be taking each day.