Annual gynecological exam
Annual gynecological testing involves a series of tests, which are vital for a woman’s health and fertility. It is a series of clinical observations whose primary goal is to protect the female organism and detect diseases, which have not given any signs yet.
Contrary to popular belief, annual gynecologic testing is not just about a Pap test or a simple ultrasound. It involves vital and complete examinations. Thus, once a year, women in reproductive age should undergo the following tests:
It includes a woman’s personal and family pathologic and surgical history. Her obstetric and medical background, as well as her history of contraception, symptoms and menstrual periods are scrutinized.
A Pap test involves collecting cells from the cervix in order to investigate any chances of cervical cancer or Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its various symptoms (pre-cancerous changes, condyloma). For better results, a Pap test screening is recommended after a woman has had at least a year of sexual intercourse and it should not be performed during a woman’s menstrual period. Moreover, the woman should refrain from sexual activity for 24 hours.
A transvaginal ultrasound is a thorough examination of the uterus and the ovaries. This way we can detect diseases such as fibroids, endometriosis, cysts, even endometrial and ovarian cancer. This test enables us to see if a woman is in danger of premature ovarian failure, and check her fertility levels.
A clinical breast examination is a physical examination of the breast done by a gynecologist in order to feel any breast lumps. This test can be performed by the woman herself (breast self-exam), if she is taught how.
There are two main types of mammography: film-screen and digital mammography.
It is a process which uses x-rays to depict the anatomy of the breast and any potentially suspicious changes. Mammography is the most efficacious method to diagnose breast cancer.