Getting a gynecology examination is something that many women do not enjoy. However, it's something that is essential to lifelong health, both during your reproductive years and afterward as well. Getting a regular gynecology examination is an essential part of preventative care. There are a lot of potential issues that can be caught and treated by your gynecologist before they become major health problems. While these exams are very important to a woman's health, many skip them due to inaccurate information. Here are three things that you should know about gynecology exams.
When To Get Them
Something that many women do not know is how frequent they need exams and at what age they should start getting them. It's recommended to have your first gynecological visit between the ages of 13 and 15, however, a pelvic exam and a pap test are not recommended until age 21 unless you are having problems or pain. Annual exams are recommended, but you don't need a pelvic exam or a Pap test every year. After age 21, a Pap test is recommended every 3 years with an HPV test added every 5 years after the age of 30. Once you hit 65, pap test is no longer needed if your previous exams have been normal.
What To Avoid Before Getting An Exam
Another thing that you should know is that there are a few things that may interfere with your exam, especially if you are receiving a Pap test. A few things that you should avoid 24 hours before the exam include sexual activity, douching, and other vaginal products. Menstruation can also interfere with exams, so if possible, it's recommended to schedule them in between your periods.
Gynecologists can cover a wide array of issues during an exam and may offer advice on things ranging from birth control to hormone replacement therapy. Given this wide range, the costs of an exam can vary greatly depending on what your needs are and whether or not you have medical insurance. Without insurance, a pelvic exam costs on average between $100 and $250. A Pap test can be an additional $25 to $60. Screening for sexually transmitted diseases may also be needed during a gynecology exam and cost between $50 and $200 for laboratory fees depending on the tests needed.
Gynecological exams are an essential part of maintaining a healthy reproductive system. It's important to know when to start getting them and how often pap tests and pelvic exams are required. There are a few things, such as sexual activity and douching, that you may need to avoid before the test in order to get accurate results. Costs can also vary, however an exam usually costs between $100 and $250 without insurance.