An annual well woman exam including a breast and pelvic exam is recommended for all women. Women should generally start these exams at age 21, but you may want to start sooner depending on your health history and whether you have been sexually active.
The annual pelvic exam includes a Pap test. This is a test in which a small sample is collected from the cervix, which is the part of the uterus that extends down into the vagina. The cells on the face of the cervix are constantly shedding and replacing themselves, but sometimes these cells grow irregularly or abnormally, which is an early warning sign of cervical cancer.
The treatment for cervical cancer is much more likely to be successful if it is detected early. It is important that you stick to a regular schedule of well woman exams to ensure that any abnormalities are detected early.
Regular well woman exams are important for maintaining your health. Don’t put it off –- schedule your annual exam today.