Do I really need an Annual Exam?

Do I really need an Annual Exam?  Perhaps the better question is how can I best monitor my health, find potential problems before damage occurs, learn about surveillance recommendations, review vaccination status, receive gentle reminders about diet, exercise, stress reduction and other topics intended to maximize well-being, health and longevity?

As the pap recommendations have evolved, some women have chosen to extend the interval between their annual exams.  Many other body systems, particularly breasts, warrant yearly exams and mammograms (age dependent).  Ovarian cancer (and many other cancers) can have fairly vague symptomotology that may not be recognized as significant, but caught early can prevent loss of life.

All prescription medications, including birth control, require an office visit at least once a year.  If these prescriptions are for relatively stable health issues, they can easily be discussed and renewed at the time of your annual exam.

Problems, including abnormal bleeding, incontinence, prolapsed, pelvic pain, infertility, breast lump. STD screening and osteoporosis are not part of an annual exam and are best addressed at an office visit.

The providers at Women’s Health Care are happy to meet all health care needs whether problem or prevention focused.  Please call to schedule an appointment at 503-435-2020 or visit our website -


Paid Advertising Column By Kay E. Case, M.D.
Physician and Surgeon, Women's Health Care