Well Woman Visits

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says most women no longer need annual Pap tests, but they still need annual well-woman exams by their ob/gyn.

ACOG{}says the annual well-woman exam is important because it's an opportunity for doctors to counsel patients about following a healthy lifestyle and reducing health risks. The visit includes a physical exam that assesses overall health, including blood pressure and weight.

A pelvic exam is a common part of the ob-gyn visit. Women should start undergoing annual pelvic exams at age 21.

Another important part of the well-woman visit is the clinical breast exam. ACOG and other health/medical groups say it should be done every one to three years for women aged 20 to 39. {}Women aged 40 and older should have annual clinical breast exams and annual mammograms.