About the Exam

An annual exam is one of the best ways you can stay vibrant and healthy

There is no better feeling than knowing you are okay or addressing a health concern early.

A well woman exam is an opportunity for you to focus on your overall health and goals, and to build a good relationship with your doctor or nurse. In fact, scheduling a well woman exam each year is the best birthday present you can give yourself!

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What happens at a Well Woman Exam?


A well woman exam is for adult women of all ages and is vital to your overall health.

Screenings for STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, birth control methods, potential cervical cancer, possible ovarian cysts, high blood pressure, body weight, and potential hormone balances are all topics that are covered or considered by your health care provider.

It is very important to your personal health as a woman to have these exams yearly.

Well woman visits are a time to focus just on you and your needs. If you have health goals, like losing weight or quitting smoking, you and your doctor or nurse can make a plan to help you meet these goals. Well woman visits also help you stop small problems from turning into big ones.

Important questions during your exam

  • Do I need any important vaccinations?
  • How can I eat healthier?
  • How can I protect myself from HIV and STDs?
  • What form of birth control is right for me?
  • How do I know if my relationship is healthy and safe?
  • Where can I get help if I'm feeling anxious or depressed?
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues

Your conversations with your doctor during these visits are, by law, confidential. You can feel safe asking any questions – about birth control, relationship violence, or depression, to name a few.

If your mom had breast cancer, or a family member had diabetes, your well woman visit is the perfect time to ask about your own risk for these conditions, and find out how you can lower your risk.

How Often Do I Need a Pap Smear?


Pelvic exams can be a little unsettling, but the good news is that pap smears, which are swab tests done of the cervix, are not needed for most women every year.

Pap smears are usually needed only once every three years.

Talk with your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions. 

Well Woman Exam Fees

Exams are usually FREE!

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, preventative exams like your annual well woman visit are usually covered by your health insurance plan at no cost to you.

Plans must also cover some screenings and types of counseling.

It’s a good idea to call your doctor’s office or your health insurance plan to find out if your visit will be free or low-cost.

Don't have insurance?

Some local health care providers will work with you to keep the visit affordable (or sometimes free).