Well Woman Exam
The well-woman exam is a complete examination for women to check elements of their reproductive health and it should be done annually.
The idea is to screen asymptomatic women for potential problems like any malignancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The well-woman exam is an important part of women’s preventive care.
The exam comprises:
Allows the physical examination of the external genitalia, vagina, and internal pelvic organs (uterus, cervix, ovaries).
For this examination, the patient is placed on a special examination table, in a supine position, and with their legs placed in a position that allows the access of the medical professional to check the pelvic area. First, the doctor will look for abnormalities like warts, ulcers, lesions, and color changes in the external area, in the vulva, or in the skin forming the labia majora and minora.
The doctor will make use of an instrument called a speculum, which purpose is to allow separation and widening of the vaginal opening for a deeper observation of the cervical neck.
The doctor will check the vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, trying to identify any clinical signs of medical conditions like a structural abnormality, presence of a mass, or infection.
The doctor will collect samples for screening tests like a pap smear (cervical cancer screening) and/or HPV testing by sampling the cells of the cervix using a swab. These gently scrapings are placed on a slide for a later examination by a laboratory to determine its normality or not.
Depending on the risk factors, and age, doctors can recommend an HPV testing or also a sexually transmitted infection screening at the time of the well-woman exam, and they will be collected via a swab on the vagina or cervix.
The breast examination starts with a visual inspection of both breasts to check symmetry, color, dimensions according to age, race, lean body mass, looking for abnormalities, like bulges or shrinkage, or changes in the nipple.
Then, the breasts are palpated, with the patient sitting or lying. The patient must lift an arm and put one hand behind her head to allow the palpation of the entire gland in search of possible nodes. The procedure should be repeated for the other arm. The armpits and the nipples are also examined.
Further examination of the breasts includes:
Annual mammography, a special x-ray of the breast that can detect tumors before they can be palpated, recommended for women over 40 years old. And a complementary study called breast ultrasound recommended for women with very dense tissue.
The specialists of the well-woman examination are the ones to perform the interpretation of the mammography and the breast ultrasound results.
Let us know about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean
462 S. Mason Rd, Suite 100, Katy, TX 77450
Monday-Thursday: 8am to 5pm
Friday: 8am to 4pm
Saturday: 8am to12 m
(by appointment only)
Phone: (281) 693-5289
Fax: (281) 693-3111