Provided below for informational purposes is general information about Gynecologists or Physicians and Nurse Practitioners. EG Healthcare is a Nurse Practitioner practice and all services are provided by Nurse Practitioners.
A women’s health exam also known as the well-woman exam is a routine medical exam for women with an emphasis on their reproductive health. It helps promote women well-being by proactively seeking out health problems before they start or escalate. It is an important part of Family Health Services.
This exam is recommended on an annual basis if you have female reproductive organs, no matter your gender identity.
At EG Healthcare, our Women’s Health Exam focuses on the detection, prevention, and management of conditions specific to women. Not only are regular health tests performed but specific women concerns are addressed by our Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP).
Why Is a Women’s Health Exam Important?
As a woman, you have unique needs that require a dedicated and knowledgeable health care specialist to manage. The women’s health exam helps your physician to identify and detect potential health problems such as reproductive abnormalities, STD and cancer so they can be treated or managed. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the women’s health exam annually to sexually active women or women above 18 years.
What Should I Expect During a Women’s Health Exam?
What happens during your exam depends on your age, past, and current sexual and medical history. Because some of the procedures involved can be uncomfortable for some women, knowing about them in advance can help you stay calm during the exam.
After our women health nurse practitioner reviews your medical history, the following tests may be administered as part of your women’s health exam.
- Breast Exam: Our WHNP will examine your breasts to check for any lumps or abnormal growth which may indicate the presence of a tumor.
- External Abdomen and Genital Exam: Your external abdomen is checked for swelling or pain. Our WHNP also checks your external genitalia for lesions or lumps.
- Pelvic Exam: The pelvic exam is done to check women reproductive organs inside the body. As such some of the procedures may cause discomfort. Pelvic Exam include: Speculum, Pap Smear, and Bimanual Vaginal exams.
- Speculum exam: The speculum is used to hold open the vagina to see the reproductive organs. Your WHNP or gynecologist then check for signs of infection such as redness and inflammation, lump, and discharge in your vagina and cervix.
- Pap smear: This is for cervical cancer screening. Our WHNP will take a swab of cells from your cervix which is then sent to the lab for analysis.
- Bi-Manual Vagina Exam: This helps your WHNP or gynecologist to feel organs that cannot be seen. The size, shape, and orientation of your uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes are felt by hand. The exam also involves checking for abnormalities and tenderness in those organs.
Apart from the tests above, other procedures and diagnostic tests, such as HPV and STD tests, may be recommended depending on your age and sexual activity.
By 21 years old, you will typically have a pelvic exam and breast exam. As you get older, or if other health conditions arise, other tests and screenings may be needed. For example, mammograms are typically recommended around age 40.
In addition, during your women’s health exam, our WHNP may discuss the following with you:
- Your period and its typical cycle
- Any unusual pain, itching or discharge from your vagina or vulva
- Current medical conditions and medications
- Sexual activity
- STD testing and prevention
- Birth control
- Pregnancy history
- Immunization history and HPV vaccination
- Other questions regarding alcohol, smoking, drug use, and other lifestyle choices.
How Should I Prepare for Women’s Health Exam?
It is normal to be nervous before your exam. EG healthcare aims to make your experience as comfortable and calm as possible. While we have processes in place to support you during the exam, there are some things you can do to make your exam a smooth one.
- Appointments: Make your appointment when you don’t have your period and arrive on time. Some tests such as the pap smear is invalidated by menstruation. If you want our WHNP to see a bleeding issue or you happen to get your period close to or on the day of your appointment, please call us. We will let you know if it’s okay to come in or reschedule your appointment.
- Sexual Activity: It is recommended that you refrain from sexual activity 24 hours to the exam.
- Questions: Write down a list of questions about your health. Our WHNP is ready to answer your questions and concerns in a compassionate way. Even questions that you don’t want to discuss with your family or friends are welcome.
- Extra Support: Ask if a parent or friend can be present during your exam.
We believe that all women should feel safe and supported during their exam. This is why build open and honest relationships with all of our patients at EG Healthcare and also deliver healthcare that is tailored to patients’ specific needs. If you decide to meet our WHNP and schedule your Women’s Health Exam, contact us to make an appointment or use the link below.
EG Healthcare is located in Staten Island and we accept most health insurances. If you do not have insurance, our Women’s Health Exams are affordable.