Duties with your body

August 5, 2021 | Gynecology, Safety, Women, Education | by Dr. Richey

The annual gynecological check-up consists of taking a detailed medical history, with personal and family history, exploration of the breasts, armpits and supraclavicular spaces, careful inspection of the vulva and vagina, cervical colposcopy (exploration of the cervix with an optical magnification system), taking of samples for cytology, vaginal examination to explore the uterus and ovaries and vaginal ultrasound.

What is it and why is it so important?

What is the annual gynecological exam?
In this a complete review of the female organs is performed: the vulva, vagina, cervix, endometrium, uterus, tubes, ovaries and breasts to verify that they are healthy.

The annual gynecological examination is very important in the prevention and diagnosis of diseases, inflammations and infections of the female lower genital tract. It also allows the patient to clarify her doubts about contraceptive methods, sexually transmitted infections, family planning, etc.

Specialists point out that by performing these reviews periodically, at least once a year, the mortality of cancers in women, such as cervical, ovary or breast cancer, decreases.

When should you go for a gynecological check-up?

Gynecological check-ups should be done at least 1 time a year after age 20 if they have not had sexual activity or since they start having sex. You should go for a check-up even when there are no symptoms of any pathology or abnormal signs.

The tests that are carried out

During the gynecological examination, various tests are performed by the gynecologist. First, establish the medical history, then begin with the gynecological examination.

This exam includes a transvaginal ultrasound, Pap smear, and a breast exam. If any anomaly is observed or there are doubts, complementary tests are carried out.

What is a cervical cytology or Pap test?
The Pap test or cervical cytology is a fundamental test to prevent cervical cancer. It is recommended to perform this test from the beginning of sexual intercourse and every year thereafter, although the gynecologist will be the one who indicates the appropriate frequency taking into account the characteristics of each patient.
This test involves gently scraping the surface of the cervix to collect cells from the vagina and cervix for analysis. The result allows to know if there is the presence of premalignant or malignant lesions as a consequence of the Human Papilloma Virus.

Breast examination in gynecological examination
Another test that is performed during the gynecological examination is the examination of the breasts to detect masses or other abnormalities.

Mammography is requested in those patients who have a family history of breast cancer. Normally the mammogram should be performed from the age of 40, except when the gynecologist indicates that it should be at a younger age.
In addition, it is important for women to do a breast self-exam at home, as they can learn about their body and quickly detect any suspicious lumps or changes.

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