Feel Free to Skip the Yearly Pap Smear, but Do Not Skip Your Annual Exam!
June 24, 2015
It was released by the OBGYN community of experts last year that yearly pap smears are no longer necessary in women with a healthy gynecological history. However, this information has been incorrectly misconstrued and has led many women to believe that they no longer need to keep their annual exams. This could not be farther from the truth! An annual exam includes a pelvic exam, breast exam, any necessary screening tests, discussion of changes that have occurred in the last year, blood work, and more – all of which makes an annual exam so much more than just a Pap smear. At Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. we are concerned for many women in our community. Because of this popular misconception, many women are not getting the care and evaluation they need.
Annual visits go far beyond just having a Pap smear test performed. This is often the only time women are asked by a medical professional about different areas of their lives – from emotional, physical, social, sexual, and other personal areas. Cervical cancer is also often detected through a physical exam because lesions and tumors can be felt during an internal physical exam performed by the gynecologist. Weight is checked, along with blood pressure and iron, and screening is also done for sexually transmitted infections. While the Pap smear test remains a vital screening tool that looks for precancerous cell changes on the cervix, and one that also finds existing cervical cancer early – it is simply just one single part of preventive gynecological health care.
Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. is dedicated to providing women with all of the necessary screenings, diagnostic tests, health counsel, and treatments that they need to have done on a regular basis. While women who are considered “low risk” are only recommended to have a Pap smear test done every three years, this should not stop them from visiting their gynecologist for an annual visit. The doctors and nurses at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. are all deeply concerned about the overall health of each and every one of our patients. If you are looking for a trusted OB-GYN practice, or if you have not had your annual exam within the last year, please call our practice today and schedule your appointment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Carlos Alarcon, Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.