When we think of living a healthy lifestyle, nutrition and exercise most commonly come to mind. These two habits are very important to include in our day-to-day routines, but it’s also important to remember the role that regular medical check-ups play in our overall well-being — especially for women.
For women of any age, an annual well-woman exam is one of the best, most effective ways to be proactive about your health. Prowers Medical Center offers comprehensive health services to women in Lamar and surrounding communities, including yearly physical exams.
“It is exceptionally important for all women to have an annual well-woman exam,” said Dr. Christian Korkis, OB/GYN physician at Prowers Medical Center. “Regular exams help screen for any changes between exams, which may be more advanced if exams are not performed regularly.”
Well-woman exams are suggested on an annual basis to provide patients with the opportunity to discuss their reproductive health with their trusted OB/GYN Provider, whether they’ve been experiencing obvious symptoms or not. This exam typically includes a screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations, based on the patients age and risk factors, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Your Well-Woman Exam
During a well-woman exam, you and your Provider will discuss your past and current state of health and bring attention to any significant health events that might have happened in the past year. Then, your Provider will perform a physical exam, which includes a heart and lung exam, followed by a breast examination as well as a pelvic exam.
Pap smears during these exams usually start around age 21 and are repeated every three years — unless you’ve had irregular results in the past, then they’re repeated more frequently.
ACOG guidelines recommend that girls should have their first gynecological appointment between the age of 13 and 15; however, annual exams don’t need to be in a normal routine until about age 21.
“Women should start getting well-woman exams at the age of 21 and continue yearly until the age of 65, if there have been three consecutive negative pap smears within the past 10 years,” Dr. Korkis said. “Signs that a woman should come in sooner would be if she feels any abnormal lumps in the breast, any irregularities in her menstrual cycle, pelvic pain, abnormal discharge, or vulvar itching — to name a few.”
Early detection is key when it comes to preventing cervical and breast cancers, and this exam often provides patients with screenings for both of these two types of cancers. According to ACOG, other benefits of scheduling a well-woman exam every year include:
- Discussions with your Provider about choosing the right birth control, menstrual period issues or concerns about sex.
- Screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, BMI and more.
- Screenings for depression.
- Screenings for any Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
- Preconception counseling.
- Assistance with menopause symptoms, urinary incontinence and more.
Need some tips for staying healthy in between visits? Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and most importantly, get eight to nine hours of sleep every night, Dr. Korkis said.
Women’s Health Services at Prowers Medical Center
Women in the community don’t need to drive hours away to receive a quality well-woman exam from an experienced Provider — they are offered right here in Lamar.
In addition to routine exams, a wide array of women’s health services are offered at Prowers Medical Center Clinic, such as breast care (including on-site cancer consultations), family planning, high-risk OB coordination, minimally invasive surgery, treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and urinary and bowel incontinence solutions, among many more. Our facility is also ideal for attentive labor and delivery care for new families or growing families in the area.
“Prowers Medical Center is the premier hospital in southeast Colorado,” Dr. Korkis concluded. “It has a medical staff of highly qualified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The nursing and ancillary staff are exceptionally competent in their fields and just as importantly, they are exceptionally caring and friendly to their patients.”
For more information about the women’s health services offered at Prowers Medical Center Clinic, go to prowersmedical.com. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call (719) 336-3179 today to schedule an appointment.