Well-Woman Care: A RealOptions Beginner’s Guide
RealOptions Obria Medical Clinics has hit an important milestone in its journey to provide holistic reproductive healthcare to women in the Bay Area: an expansion of its well-woman services.
What does this change mean for you?
Well, in short, it means you can now take a foundational step to protect your health by booking a well-woman appointment at one of our low-cost/no-cost Bay Area clinics.
For a more in-depth explanation of what well-woman appointments look like, keep reading!
What is well-woman care?
A well-woman exam is a preventative gynecological check-up visit that focuses on the female reproductive system and your sexual health. It consists of a breast and pelvic exam, and often a pap test. During this exam you may also request a partial STD test for HPV (an STD which causes cervical cancer) and chlamydia or extended panel STD testing and receive treatment if needed. You can also use your well-woman visit as an opportunity to document your health habits and history, ask questions, and receive advice about maintaining a healthy lifestyle or to set goals for your health.
Are well-woman exams for you?
As a woman, you can benefit from annual well-woman exams starting in your mid teens. The specific procedures appropriate for you depend on your stage of life. For example, you should start getting pap smears every 3-5 years starting at age 21.
What do well-woman exams look like?
Depending on your stage of life and medical history you may expect your well-woman exam to consist of:
- A general and gynecological health history
- A breast exam, which checks for abnormal breast tissue
- A thyroid exam, which checks for thyroid disease
- A pap smear and pelvic exam which screens for cervical cancer
- Discussion of health topics relevant to your age and risk factors
- STD testing if requested or recommended
How to book a well-woman appointment at RealOptions
You can book your appointment via phone or online. You can call your nearest RealOptions clinic (scroll to the bottom of the linked page for contact info) or use our online scheduler.
Please be sure to schedule your appointment for a day on which you are not menstruating. Forty-eight hours before your appointment, avoid douching, sexual intercourse, and using any vaginal cream, jellies, foams, medications, suppositories, or tampons.
Annual Well Woman Exam (n.d.). In Harbin Clinic. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://harbinclinic.com/annual-well-woman-exam-1
Get Your Well-Woman Visit Every Year (2020, January 22). In MyHealthFinder. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/everyday-healthy-living/sexual-health/get-your-well-woman-visit-every-year
Well-woman visit (2018, October). In The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2018/10/well-woman-visit