Why get a well woman exam once a year?
In recent months, there has been a push to extend the time between well woman exams. “You only need to be seen every 3-5 years”, is the recommendation that keeps getting repeated. As a nurse practitioner, that’s been practicing for 20 years, I would beg to differ. Sometimes things are felt or seen at the exam, and yet the test results are negative.
The well woman exam is not just obtaining a specimen for the “pap smear”, now frequently called the Thin Prep test. The cervical cancer screening test is only one part of the appointment. Additional components include: auscultation of the heart and the lungs, palpation of the thyroid gland, a measurement of height, weight and blood pressure, a clinical breast exam, and palpation of the uterus and ovaries.
Just sayin’…, but the well woman exam is best if it’s performed on a yearly basis. The physical exam and test results, facilitate early detection and treatment of a number of conditions. I recommend this for my mom, my two daughters, and all of my patients.