What is the right age for a woman to start going to the gynecologist? How often do you need a pap smear? Do you really need an annual mammogram? When should a woman start and stop getting a pap smear? These are questions that your Columbus gynecologist is asked daily.
In this season of resolutions, following is a basic guide to help you stay healthy in 2014.
According to your Columbus gynecologist, teenage women should see a gynecologist for the first time between the ages of 13 and 15. At this time, health, hygiene, body changes, self-esteem, weight and weight-related topics are discussed. This visit typically begins life-long conversations addressing contraception, sexuality, protection from sexually transmitted infections and more. Annual visits should begin at the time of a woman’s sexual introduction.
Between the ages of 19 and 39, you should visit your Columbus gynecologist annually. Breast exams should be performed every one to three years, starting at the age of 20. Cervical pap smears for cervical cancer screening should begin at age 21 and be performed every three years.
In women over 30 years old, testing for human papilloma virus, or HPV, at the time of cervical screening, increases the interval between testing to five years. The recommendations change in high-risk populations or if a woman has an abnormal screen. A pelvic exam is still performed by your Columbus gynecologist to examine the uterus, tubes and ovaries.
A woman’s body goes through huge changes between the ages of 40 and 64. Topics discussed during annual visits with your Columbus gynecologist include fluctuations with menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, and menopause (cessation of periods). Regular exercise, healthy diet and safety are also stressed during these visits.
In woman 65 years and older, issues of sexuality, safety, fitness and nutrition are discussed annually with your Columbus gynecologist. Mammograms and breast and pelvic exams are performed each year.
Bone density testing is introduced in the absence of risk factors every couple of years. Cervical cancer screening can be stopped in women with 10 years of normal screening results as well as negative HPV testing.
Commit to making this your year of health and wellness and take care of your mind, body and spirit in 2014! Call your Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana today to schedule an appointment.