OBGYNs: annual doctors visits 'essential'

OBGYNs: annual doctors visits 'essential'

Credit: Getty Images

HIALEAH, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Maria Villa, who does not have insurance because she can not afford it, is examined by her OB/GYN, Vivian Chona, at the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc. on September 23, 2009 in Hialeah, Florida. A new census report showed that 53.1 percent of adults ages 18-64 in Hialeah lack health insurance -- almost three times the national average. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 6:15 AM

(KMOV.com) -- Now that cervical cancer screenings are no longer recommended every year for healthy women, there’s confusion over when women should see their doctor.

The nation’s leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists is reminding physicians and their patients that an annual visit to the doctor is essential.

What happens in the exam depends on the patient’s age and risk factors.

The guidelines say:

Women should get a pap test every one to three years, Clinical breast exams are also necessary every one to three years, Women should start getting pelvic exams every year starting at age 21. At age 30, HPV tests should accompany pap smears.

At 40, those exams should be conducted every year along with a mammogram.

 “If you wait three years it could be too late whereas the doctor could have caught something on a yearly visit,” said patient Adena Edelberg.

The annual checkup is also a good time for women to raise concerns they have with their doctor.

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