Routine Gynecological Exams

Gynecological Exams Jacksonville

Gynecological exams are important for women to maintain good reproductive and sexual health during at all stages of life. Female patients should visit their gynecologist or primary care provider once they become sexually active or by age 21. Most women will only need an annual visit for a Pap smear, an extremely important test used for the early detection of any abnormal cells in the cervix that could become cancerous. Gynecological exams are also performed when a patient complains of an irregular menstrual cycle, vaginal infection or any sexually transmitted infection. Whenever possible, it is recommended that gynecological exams be scheduled between periods as menstrual fluids can interfere with lab tests. In preparation, vaginal products and sexually intercourse should be avoided 24 hours prior to a scheduled examination.

Annual gynecological exams can be broken down into three parts and begins with private discussions about personal and family medical histories, sexual activity, menstrual cycle regularity, vaginal discharge, contraceptive options and the importance of practicing safe sex. The doctor will examine the patient's breasts for any lumps or irregularities in the breast tissue and will take note if the patient feels discomfort or pain. Based on the patient's age and health history, the gynecologist may recommend a mammogram screening for breast cancer. During the pelvic exam, the doctor will inspect the external and internal genitalia for signs of infections, irritation or sores. During this step a sample of cervical cells are collected for a Pap smear. As a patient, you should not feel embarrassed to discuss your sexual health with the examining physician, as any information shared will remain private.



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