As a woman, your gynecological and general health care needs change throughout your lifetime. OB/GYN Patricia Nevils, MD, at Vibrant Woman Health Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, understands the varying concerns of women as they age and can help you with well-woman care that involves health screenings and exams to ensure you’re in optimal gynecological health. Call Vibrant Woman Health Center or book an appointment using the online tool to receive personalized well-woman care.
Well-woman care is all about your total body health, with a special emphasis on gynecological health. Well-woman care may involve a complete physical, but Dr. Nevils pays particular attention to your pelvic organs, including your uterus, bladder, and vulva as well as your breasts. Yearly well-woman check-ins are an important way to take care of your overall health.
Well-woman care is preventive. It involves examination and screenings to ensure your reproductive organs are healthy and operating appropriately given your particular stage of life.
You can start well-woman care visits around age 13-15, but these early appointments may just include a conversation with Dr. Nevils and a general physical exam with no pelvic exam.
Women benefit from yearly well-woman exams with pelvic exams starting around age 21 — earlier if you’re sexually active or have gynecological issues causing you concern. Well-woman care continues through pregnancy, middle years, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. The screenings and evaluations at these appointments change with your age, but you never outgrow the need for gynecological health care.
Dr. Nevils reviews your general health and discusses any changes. She then has you lie on an exam table for your pelvic exam. During the exam, she looks at the outside of your vagina and uses a speculum to examine the inside of your vagina and cervix.
Dr. Nevils also checks your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries for any irregularities. She also performs a physical breast exam.
You may ask about being tested for sexually transmitted diseases during a well-woman exam. These tests are not a routine part of well-woman care, but can be performed at your request.
Dr. Nevils may refer you to a mammogram if you’re older than 40 or have risk factors for breast cancer.
Pap smears are screenings for irregular cells on your cervix that could be precancerous. The test is performed during a routine pelvic exam. Dr. Nevils uses a swab to collect a small number of cells from your cervix and sends them to a lab for analysis.
Dr. Nevils generally recommends you get your first Pap smear at age 21 and repeating them every three years until age 65. Some women should seek Pap smears more frequently, such as those with a family history of cervical cancer or HIV infection. Dr. Nevil creates a personalized screening schedule for you.
Call Vibrant Woman Health Center or book an appointment online for important well-woman care that keeps you healthy and vibrant, regardless your age.