Annual Exams Explained

Annual exam

Annual Examinations are an imperative part of maintaining your health. This is an opportunity for health screenings and preventative measures, learning about your body, and asking questions about your overall wellbeing.

Pelvic exams

Pelvic exams are typically performed at each annual exam. If you are not comfortable with having a pelvic exam, let your provider know. You always have the option to decline. Pelvic exams help the provider screen for vulvar, vagina, cervical, uterine, and ovarian diseases. Pelvic exams are still important after hysterectomy.

Breast Exams

Breast exams begin at 18 years of age. Breast exams are performed as a screening tool for breast cancer.

Pap Smear

Pap smears are a screening tool for cervical cancer. Pap smears start at 21 years of age. Pap smears will be obtained every 3-5 years depending on your age.


Mammograms begin at 40 years of age. These are performed yearly. Mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer. If you are high risk, mammograms may be recommended at an earlier age.

Depression screening

You will be screened for depression at each annual exam with a series of questions.

Alcohol/Drug/Tobacco counseling

You will be screened and counseled about Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco use at each annual exam. If you have questions about quitting these products or their health risks, please ask your provider.

Interpersonal and Domestic violence screening

You will be asked about Interpersonal and Domestic violence to offer help if needed.

Diet counseling

Each annual is an opportunity to discuss your overall health including diet and exercise.

STD screening

STD screening will be offered at all annual exams. STD screening is recommended annually starting at 15 years of age until age 25. Testing may include: gonorrhea and chlamydia through a vaginal swab and HIV, hepatitis, and syphilis through bloodwork.


DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) is a bone density screening tool for osteoporosis. Recommended to start at 65 years of age or unless you have further risk factors. Bone health is important for all women. Calcium, vitamin D3, and weight bearing exercise (walking and weight training) are essential measures to take to prevent osteoporosis.


Colonoscopies are a screening tool for colon cancer. They are recommended starting at age 45. Although we do no perform Cologuard or Colonoscopies in our office, we can provide you with contact information for these tests

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