Begin Undergoing Gynecological Examinations When You Are 21 Years Old And Earlier If You Are Sexually Active

Posted on

All adult females should have an annual gynecology exam. That should be a priority for you even if you have no active symptoms. Some diseases like cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer may not show any signs of obvious symptoms. However, symptoms can be discovered while you undergo your annual exams. Early detection of symptoms increases your chance for survival in any of those cancer categories. So you should begin undergoing gynecological exams when you are approximately 21 years old and even earlier if you're sexually active.

Having Your First Gynecological Exam

Your gynecologist will perform a comprehensive medical history starting with a physical exam. The exam could include an internal examination of your ovaries and uterus. Expect that a screening mammogram might be ordered for you if you are older. You'll be taught how to perform breast exams. You also will undergo a Pap smear, and that's primarily because that test is used to detect signs of cervical cancer.

Why You Should Undergo Cervical Testing

Cells will be taken from your cervix for testing, and your gynecologist will be looking closely at the test results to learn whether there are changes in your cells. Such changes often suggest the development of cervical cancer. Early detection of cervical cancer cells increases your chances of being cured of this disease. You'll have to repeat this exam every three years if you're over age 21.

A Learning Experience For You

You'll have an opportunity to have your questions answered about birth control and sex. You'll be taught about how to manage symptoms of menopause, menstruation, pregnancy and nutrition in addition to osteoporosis and vaccines. Discuss any concerns you might have about other sexual issues.

About Sexually -Transmitted Disease

Remember to ask your gynecologist about sexually-transmitted disease (STD) if you're between the ages of 19 to 65. If you are sexually active with more than one partner and think that you may have picked up an STD, you should be seen and tested by your gynecologist as soon as possible so that you don't spread the disease to others.

Guidelines For STD Testing Are Ambiguous

There are guidelines that recommend you should have STD testing done every 3 to 5 years. That's a controversial suggestion. This recommendation does not take into consideration other risk factors that could cause you to develop cervical cancer disease.

It may be that you have multiple sexual partners or a weakened immune system as a result of your smoking habit. The use of a contraceptive for more than five years is also a risk factor. There is indeed a deep concern that waiting for three to five years for follow-up screening, given the devastating effects of cervical cancer, is a questionable recommendation. This issue needs to be addressed posthaste. 

Click here for more information on getting yearly gyn exams!