Well Women Exams and Annual Physicals Questions and Answers
The medical office of Dr. Richard Beyerlein MD is happy to provide well women exams and annual physicals to our patients. For more information, call us or schedule an appointment online. We serve patients from Eugene OR, Springfield OR, Coburg OR, Creswell OR, Cottage Grove OR, Lowell OR and Junction City, OR.
Whether you are having a well woman exam completed for the first time or are coming back for your annual exam, we understand that these appointments can feel very personal and intimidating. As such, our medical professionals at Dr. Beyerlein for Women’s Health are committed to making sure each of our patients feels comfortable, safe, and respected at well woman exams. If you are looking for a trusted women’s health clinic with a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) in Eugene, Oregon, for a well woman exam, we welcome you to come to Dr. Beyerlein for Women’s Health!
What is usually included in an annual well woman exam?
With an annual well woman exam, a physician—typically a gynecologist or obstetrician—conducts various tests and evaluations to assess a woman’s health, vitality, and quality of life with a particular focus on the health issues that uniquely or disproportionately affect women. Some of these issues include cervical cancer, infertility, gestational diabetes and other pregnancy complications, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and others. As such, an annual well woman exam could include any of the following:
● Bi-manual exam (measure uterus size and check for abnormalities in the pelvic area)
● Breast exam (examine any changes in shape or skin texture, as well as for nipple discharge or lumps)
● Contraceptive counseling (Birth control, intrauterine devices, surgical options, etc.)
● External genital exam (visual examination of the vulva and labia to check for cysts, irritation, redness, swelling, or any indication of sexually transmitted disease or infection)
● Pap smear (examine the cervix for cancerous or precancerous cells)
● Human papillomavirus (HPV) test
● Medical history review
● Physical screening (height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, etc.)
● Physical exam (abdomen, joints, eyes, ears, etc.)
● Speculum exam (cervix and vaginal walls are examined for irritation, atypical discharge, and signs of sexually transmitted disease or infection)
● Urine sample (test for kidney health, urinary tract infections, etc.)
Depending on the age of the patient, a mammogram or bone density test may also be recommended.
Is a well woman exam the same as a physical?
Although well woman exams contain most of the same aspects as a routine physical examination, they also go further in-depth to address issues that are unique to the female sex. Moreover, whereas physical exams typically search for problems to address and treat, wellness exams like the well woman exam also aim to provide services such as health promotion, patient education, mental health, and disease or illness prevention.
Another difference between annual well woman exams and routine physical examinations is the type of physician who is most qualified to provide either service. As such, the medical professional that specializes in services like well woman exams are obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYN), while most general practitioners and primary care physicians (PCPs) can provide excellent routine physical examinations.
How long does the well woman exam take?
If it is your first time having a well woman exam or you are having the exam done by a new doctor, the initial exam will likely take longer than subsequent exams, as your provider will need to review your medical history. During the medical history review, your provider may ask you questions about any conditions or diseases you have or those that are hereditary, any medications you are taking, previous hospitalizations or surgeries, and if you have any allergies. Your provider may also ask if you are sexually active or not. This portion of the exam should not take more than 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on what your provider deems necessary for the physical portion of the exam, it could take an additional 15 to 30 minutes.