An annual well-woman visit with your doctor is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. This is an appointment you schedule separately from a visit for a specific illness. A well-woman visit includes preventive services and screenings, and it’s a great time to ask questions.
At Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, we recognize the importance of these visits. They’re a regular opportunity to catch small issues before they become big issues, and they give you a chance to bring up anything you’re concerned about.
Based on our years of experience treating women, here are a few questions you should consider asking at your next well-woman exam. Not all of these may apply to you; pick the ones that are most relevant for your situation.
What screenings should I receive?
Your annual visit usually includes a Pap smear, which screens for cervical cancer. Your provider also performs a breast exam to look for signs of breast cancer.
If you think there’s a chance you may have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), you should let the doctor know and ask what screenings they recommend.
Is my period normal?
If you have severe menstrual pain and bleeding during your period, or if your bleeding lasts longer than you think it should, bring this up with your doctor.
“Normal” varies from woman to woman, but many of these kinds of symptoms can be treated if they’re too irregular. They may also indicate an underlying condition, so it’s important to ask.
Am I using the right birth control?
As your life circumstances change, the kind of birth control you use may need to change as well. If your situation is changing, ask your doctor what method they recommend. They can give you the available options and help you decide what might work best for you.
Is my sex drive normal?
If your sex drive seems diminished, you may feel like something’s wrong. The truth is that 43% of women report sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives, so you’re definitely not alone.
Your libido can be affected by many factors, such as hormone levels and sleep disturbances. Your doctor helps you identify the root cause and can provide treatment.
What else should I be asking?
If you’re not sure what other questions are important, just ask your doctor. They can walk you through anything else you need to know.
It’s usually helpful to write your questions down ahead of time and then check your list during the visit to make sure you’ve covered everything.
If you’re overdue for a well-woman exam, call the Arlington Family Practice office or book an appointment online with our convenient scheduler.