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An Annual Exam: More than Just a Pap Smear


An Annual Exam: More than Just a Pap Smear


For many years, Pap smears to check for cervical cancer brought women into health care clinics every single year. Now that recommendations have changed (CDCACOG) and not every woman needs a Pap smear yearly, women naturally have some confusion about the annual exam.  Do I need to come in every year? The answer is Yes!


Annual Exam DocA women’s health exam is about a lot more than having a Pap test.  It is important to see your provider even if you are not due for a Pap.  Visits with your women’s health care provider are a time to check for breast conditions, menstrual or other bleeding problems, thyroid disorders, vaginal and pelvic infections, and pelvic masses.  In addition, it may also be a time to discuss things like family planning and birth control, fertility, menopause, sexual concerns, pelvic pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, urinary leakage, depression, and issues achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.  A yearly exam helps to detect problems early, as many gynecological problems do not cause immediate symptoms.



An annual exam can be performed by a doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, or a nurse midwife.


So, don’t skip that appointment. You are well worth the care that you will receive and that you give yourself in return.

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News and Events

4/22/2015 Meet the Midwives of WSNM

Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Location: Lovelace Women's Hospital - Auditorium A
Cost: N/A
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Health Tips from WSNM

Because your body’s blood volume increases to support your growing baby, it is important that you drink extra fluids during your entire pregnancy. Your goal should be to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water, juice or milk each day.


All my annual visits to WSNM have been excellent. The staff is very friendly and professional. Thank you! C.K.G
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