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At what age is a pelvic exam no longer necessary as part of an annual physical?
Thank you for your question. An annual women’s wellness exam may or may not include a pelvic with or without a Pap smear. This will depend on your medical and gynecological history and any symptoms.
Below are annual exam guidelines for women of all ages:
- After age 65, Pap smears may be discontinued for women who have had a negative/normal screening.
- Low-risk women older than age 30 with a negative HPV may go 3-5 years between cervical Pap smears.
- Women under age 24 should have yearly chlamydia screenings.
- A pelvic exam can reveal pelvic prolapse, hormonal status and muscle tone.
- A yearly pelvic exam does not have to be done in a woman with no gynecologic concerns per the U.S. Preventive Health Task Force, but a periodic exam can be helpful.
- It is important to have a health assessment with weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, assessment for immunizations, lifestyle assessment, living will and durable power of attorney and age-appropriate cancer screenings.
- Too many women only get a yearly breast and pelvic without other important wellness assessments and selected exams, which should include periodic eye and dental check ups.
All my best,
December 29, 2013 at 5:15pm
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