• Mariela Salgado

How to Prepare for Your First Well Woman’s Exam?

When it comes to finding the right OB/GYN doctor, you sometimes feel like you have to shop around or ask friends for recommendations, especially if it's your first time having a Well Woman's Exam. You want to avoid awkward questions, silence, or vibes with this professional stranger that you must open up to about your history, present activities, and future plans. So, to make this vital appointment less awkward for you, I have asked our in-house doctors what you should do before seeing them.

Dr. Yvette Poindexter

Bring written questions to your visit instead of thinking of questions at the moment. You will not be able to cover all topics that concern you or interest you. If you have any concerns regarding your breast or pelvic area, let me know while I'm examining the area, so that I can focus on your concern(s). If you tell me after the breast exam and/or pap smear, it will not serve you as well. Personal hygiene makes your visit a lot smoother. Often, women think that you have to "landscape" or shave your legs when I do not care about it. Just come to your Well Woman's Exam; however, you feel comfortable.

Dr. Antonia Way

Please have a general understanding of what a Well Woman's Exam is. Most women assume that a Well Woman's Exam (WWE) is a pap smear when it is not. A pap smear (a small part of the exam) is when your OB/GYN collects cells from your cervix to test for abnormalities such as cervical cancer. A WWE is a comprehensive exam of health: sexuality, STDs, bloodwork, birth control, breast exams, and a pap smear. You do not always need a breast exam or pap smear (once every 3 to 5 years).

Don't be nervous about it. If you have questions or concerns about the procedures, ask away or write them down and bring them with you. It will make you feel better about what is going to happen and how it will happen. If you do need or want a pap smear, I understand how it can be an embarrassing moment for my patients, so do what you must do to have confidence. For example, personal hygiene makes the whole experience easier for you.

If you have any questions or need information, do not hesitate to call us at 281.824.1480 or email us at wecare@sfachc.org. We will answer as many questions as possible.