Annual Breast & Pelvic Exams
Do I need an annual exam?
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends:
- A woman’s first reproductive health visit should take place between ages 13 and 15 (this first visit is often simply a discussion between patient and doctor)
- Annual breast and pelvic exams should begin at age 19
- Pap tests should begin at age 21
The annual gynecological exam is a yearly preventative and diagnostic examination that serves to maintain your wellness and to monitor any ongoing physical or hormonal conditions.
The purpose of your routine annual gynecology exam is to allow a health care provider to check your female organs to ensure and maintain good gynecological health. Your annual exam also provides an opportunity for your doctor to give guidance about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and discuss options for minimizing health risks. The examination includes a routine breast and pelvic exam, and may include a screening for certain conditions.