Sabrina Bevelaqua WHNP talks to patients about yearly well-woman exams
Sabrina Bevelaqua WNHP is an experienced women’s health nurse practitioner, and she wants to educate women about why annual well-woman exams are important. Since the cervical cancer guidelines no longer require yearly Pap smears, many women wonder if they still need this yearly physical.
Why do yearly well-woman exams matter?
There are many reasons why annual physicals are important. Sabrina says, “It’s a chance for women to have a head-to-toe exam. For many women who do not have a primary care physician, this may be their only physical each year.”
During the visit, Sabrina talks to patients about the new cervical cancer screening guidelines, including Pap tests and HPV testing. She also discusses breast self-awareness versus breast self-exams.
She tells patients, “We don’t advise women to do monthly breast self-exams anymore. Instead, we teach breast self-awareness. It means being aware of how your breasts look and feel so that you can notice and report any changes to our staff, especially if the changes only occur in one breast. Women 40 and over should have annual mammograms, and we do mammograms and physicals at the same appointment in our office.”
What can you expect at an annual exam?
Here is a look at what happens during typical yearly well-woman exams at Athens ObGyn.
- Lab work to check things like cholesterol levels and A1C
- Clinical breast exam
- Pelvic exam to examine your vaginal area, cervix and internal organs
- Vaccinations, if needed
- Lung function assessment
- Physical exam of the thyroid gland and lymph nodes and thyroid testing as needed
- Discussion of relationship and sexual issues or dysfunction
- Review of birth control options
- Discussion of issues like menopause, menstrual problems or urinary incontinence
Part of yearly well-woman exams includes educating the patient. One issue that is important to Sabrina is nutrition, along with weight management and exercise. She says, “I feel like nutrition is a big issue. When patients come to me feeling tired and fatigued, we discuss their diet. I educate them on how important it is for us to be mindful of what we put in our bodies.”
Sabrina tells patients, “If you adopt healthy eating and regular exercise behaviors for 21 consecutive days, you will teach yourself a habit, and you will feel better, sleep better and have more energy.”
Sabrina Bevelaqua WHNP cares about her patients and their health. Contact us and we can help you schedule yearly well-woman exams.