Annual well woman exams and preventive screenings focus on the unique healthcare needs of women. Dr. Verretta Deorosan is a board-certified internal medicine specialist in the El Segundo neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. She understands that women are often affected differently than men by heart disease and other serious medical conditions and designs women’s preventive care around those differences. Schedule your wellness exam today via the practice’s convenient online booking.
An annual well woman exam differs from a general physical in that it includes a thorough breast exam, pelvic exam, and Pap smear along with the other portions of a routine physical. An annual breast exam is an effective tool in screening for abnormal lumps or bumps that may indicate problems with your breast health. It’s also a great time to receive instruction on how to do breast self-exams if you still have doubts about your technique.
During a pelvic exam, the doctor will feel for abnormalities in the shape and size of your uterus and other pelvic organs. She also gets a visual of the vaginal and rectal regions, which helps her rule out skin changes and other issues. The Pap smear is a painless test that uses a small sampling of your cervical cells to identify abnormal, precancerous changes in your cervical region so they can be treated before they become problematic.
Pregnancy, menopause, and conditions that affect the uterus, ovaries and other reproductive organs are, of course, limited to the female gender. Some conditions that men may also develop occur much more often in women, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, and urinary tract infections.
Examples of how women react differently than men to certain health issues include:
Certain risky behaviors and lifestyle habits, such as alcohol abuse, also affect women differently than men. While men are more likely to become dependent on alcohol, health hazards associated with alcohol abuse are often more serious for women, including an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
Routine well woman exams help Dr. Deorosan spot potential problems early, either through the physical exam or screening labs. She also gives you time to discuss stressors in your life and share other issues important to your health and wellbeing. This may lead to a behavioral health referral or other considerations for treatment.