Having a well-woman exam every year is one of the smartest things you can do to make sure you stay healthy, especially as you get older. In Pembroke Pines, Florida, My OB/GYN offers comprehensive well-woman exam services, customizing each exam to the specific needs of the individual patient. In addition to medical evaluations and screenings, Dr. Salsbury and her nurse practitioner, Selena, offer menopause management, birth control and family planning, and other services for complete care at every stage of life.
A well-woman exam is a comprehensive physical exam focused specifically on the unique medical and health needs of women of all ages. Unlike a “sick” visit where care and treatment are focused on diagnosing and treating a specific condition, a well-woman visit assesses a woman’s overall health, looking for subtle signs of disease and providing treatment guidance to help her improve her overall health so she can avoid serious problems in the future.
Well-woman exams are similar to physicals with a family doctor, but because a gynecologist has special training in women’s health issues, the medical screenings, evaluations, and guidance are focused on women’s needs, especially as a woman passes through different stages of life and faces different health challenges and risks. In fact, the well-woman exams at My OB/GYN feature age-appropriate counseling and services customized specifically for your needs and lifestyle to help you make healthy decisions and lead a healthier lifestyle as you get older.
A well-woman visit begins with a medical history that includes questions about your own health and the health of close family members, like your parents and grandparents, as well as a review of any medications or supplements you’re taking. The medical history plays an important role in helping Dr. Salsbury identify risk factors that could increase your chances of developing specific diseases or conditions. Next, the nurse weighs you and takes your blood pressure, asking about any symptoms or concerns you have. Dr. Salsbury performs a series of medical evaluations, listens to your heart and lungs, gently palpates your belly and neck to check for signs of swelling or tenderness, and performs a clinical breast exam. In some visits, you may have a pelvic exam and a Pap smear; you may be asked to provide a urine sample for testing. Depending on your age and other risk factors, Dr. Salsbury performs other tests or will make recommendations for health screenings, including STD testing, bone density screening, mammograms, or other tests and evaluations. The practice also offers a complete array of birth control options and family planning services to help you take control of you health and your future.
Women should have a clinical breast exam at their preventative exam to look for abnormal areas of tissue that may need further examination with a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI or even a biopsy. For women age 40 and older, the American Cancer Society recommends having an annual mammogram. Women who have a family history of breast cancer may want to have annual mammograms beginning at a younger age.
Bone density testing (also called DEXA or bone densitometry) uses a special X-ray technique to assess the amount of density of your bones in the hip and spine. The test provides a numerical result that reflects your risk for osteoporosis, a condition more common after menopause and which significantly increases your risks for fractures. Women at risk for osteoporosis may receive medication or other treatments to help reduce their risks and lead healthier, active lives. Bone density scanning is painless and the actual test takes just a few moments.
Although an abnormal Pap test may be an indicator of cervical cancer cells, most abnormal results are caused by other issues like HPV infections, yeast infections, or even hormonal fluctuations. If your result is abnormal, Dr. Salsbury may order another test to confirm the results of the first test or she may order an exam called colposcopy. A colposcopy uses a special magnifying scope to look for abnormal areas on the cervix. When an abnormal area is identified, Dr. Salsbury may take a small tissue sample (biopsy) for further evaluation.