Doctors agree, and say that kind of vigilance needs to start even younger. The latest opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is tha tall women should go to the doctor every year, for what's known as a well-visit. There has been a lot of confusion over when women need to see their doctor now that cervical cancer screenings are no longer recommended every year for healthy women.
Dr. Jill Maura Rabin, with the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, says the annual visit to an OB-GYN is really crucial and can help women stay healthy for a very long time.
What happens in the exam depends on the patient's age and risk factors.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists guidelines say:
- Women should get a pap test every one to three years.
- At age 30, HPV tests should accompany pap smears.
- Women should have pelvic exams every year starting at age 21.
- Clinical breast exams are also necessary every one to three years.
- Starting at age 40, those exams should be done every year along with a mammogram.
She says if a woman waits three years it could be too late, whereas the doctor could have caught something on a yearly visit.
Doctor Rabin calls those early visits a golden opportunity to bond with your doctor and check for any early signs of trouble.