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What to Expect at your Well-Woman Exam

Start a conversation with Bright Pink about your annual well-woman exam by visiting BrightPink.org/Annual

Here’s a data point that’s staggering, but true: 9 out of 10 millennials self-report that they do not schedule doctor’s visits!* Regardless of if you’re a millennial, Gen Z, Gen X, Baby Boomer–it’s important to make time to see a healthcare provider every year, even when you are feeling healthy. Annual well-woman exams are critical to maintaining your breast and ovarian health!

But, not everyone feels comfortable going to the doctor, and often women feel anxious about their well-woman exam. We hear you! Call Your Doctor Day is Bright Pink’s annual, national holiday focused on encouraging women to schedule their annual well-woman exam and equipping them to make the most out of their experience through information and resources.

No matter your gender identity, you should be seeing a healthcare provider annually for this routine visit if you have a vulva, breasts, or a uterus.

This year, Call Your Doctor Day is focused on encouraging women to see their healthcare providers as trusted partners in preventive care: You + Your Healthcare Provider = Dream Team! We want to help women understand that although you are your own best health advocate, your healthcare provider plays a critical role in maintaining your breast and ovarian health and developing a personalized prevention plan. We want to equip you to use your well-woman exam to build a relationship with your healthcare provider, ask him or her questions, and have a conversation about your health!

A conversation with your healthcare provider starts with you! Here’s a breakdown of everything you should expect at your annual, so you can go into the exam with confidence:

A Standard Physical: This typically includes height, weight and blood pressure.

Family & Personal Health History Collection: You may fill out a form or chat with a provider about your health history. This information should be updated annually.

Clinical Breast Exam: Clinical breast exams are optional, but plan to have a conversation with your healthcare provider about if this makes sense for you and your health. A breast exam only lasts a few minutes and can help protect you from any surprises when it comes to breast cancer.

Mammogram: Plan to talk to your healthcare provider about starting mammograms at age 40. But, if you have a first-degree relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer, you should schedule your first mammogram when you are 10 years younger than the age at which your relative was diagnosed. So, if your mom was diagnosed at 45, talk to your doctor about starting mammograms at 35.

No Two Exams are Alike!: Everyone has a different family health history, personal health history, and lifestyle – so your exam will not look like someone else’s!

Other Helpful Tips:

  • To help guide a powerful provider-patient conversation, go to AssessYourRisk.org and complete our breast and ovarian risk assessment quiz before your well-woman exam. Print out your quiz results and use them as a conversation starter!
  • Under the Affordable Care Act, the annual well-woman exam is completely covered by insurance. So no excuses! This year, Bright Pink is taking a new and innovative approach to helping you schedule your exam. Start a conversation with us by visiting BrightPink.org/annual.

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*Source: The ZocDoc Healthcare Dropout Survey (May 2015). Retrieved from: https://www.zocdoc.com/about/news/new-study-why-americans-are-dropping-out-of-healthcare/

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