The Importance of an Annual Women's Exam
By Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine
December 10, 2020

Since cancer screening recommendations changed a few years ago, women no longer need to have a Pap smear every year. Instead, you can test once every 3-5 years. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip your annual women’s exam. Dr. Miriam Torres is an OBGYN at Serenity Gynecology & Functional Medicine in Grapevine, TX. She specializes in women’s healthcare.

Why you Need an Annual Women’s Exam

Grapevine residents should still get their annual GYN examination because the benefits extend well beyond a Pap smear test. The benefits of a yearly visit also include:

  • Advice about and access to birth control
  • Screening for and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Screening for vaginal infections
  • Advice about and treatment for menstrual problems
  • Preconception counseling
  • Diagnosis of and treatment for pelvic pain
  • Fertility counseling
  • Advice on bone health
  • Advice on menopausal symptoms and treatments

Many conditions that have a negative impact on women’s health, such as cervical cancer, breast cancer, and the human papillomavirus (HPV), do not have any symptoms. Regular GYN screening can detect these problems early on when they can still be treated successfully.

When to Begin Your Annual Women’s Exams

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommendations, young women should make their first GYN appointment between the ages of 13 and 15. Initially, they will not need a pelvic examination, but the role of the health specialist is to provide education on:

  • The healthy development of sexual organs
  • Preventing STIs
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight
  • Avoiding tobacco use
  • Available birth control services
  • HPV vaccination

The ACOG recommends that Pap smear testing begins at age 21. Even older women should not discontinue their annual GYN exams without first discussing it with their women’s healthcare provider.

If you are looking for a women’s healthcare specialist in Grapevine, TX call Dr. Torres at (817) 280-9616.