Well-Woman FAQs

Well-Woman FAQs

What is a well-woman visit? A well-woman visit is a safe space to discuss health and lifestyle concerns with your women’s health specialist. The yearly exam focuses on your reproductive and female-specific health to detect medical conditions or abnormalities early. 

A well-woman exam may include any of these preventive care screenings

    • Breast exam: An examination to check for lumps, changes in size or shape and any other potential abnormalities.
    • Pelvic exam: An evaluation of the reproductive organs to identify signs of disease, infection or abnormalities.
    • Pap smear: Recommended every three years, this screening checks for human papillomavirus (HPV) and if any precancerous cells are present.

Regular well-woman exams help support your wellness at every life stage! Call our office today at (205) 664-9995 to schedule your well-woman visit at one of our locations in Alabaster, Alabama, or on Grandview Parkway in Birmingham, Alabama.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventive Care

The questions and answers below are provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be used in place of an appointment with a medical professional. Please seek care if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

“Is a well-woman exam free or covered by insurance?”

Many health insurance plans cover well-woman exams and standard preventive screenings including pelvic exams, breast exams and pap smears. Copays may apply for your doctor’s visit.

If your well-woman checkup includes lab tests, the coverage cost will vary by plan and reason for the tests. We encourage you to check with your insurance for specific coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses for lab work.

To check if Complete Women’s Care of Alabama accepts your insurance, please call our offices at (205) 664-9995 to talk with one of our staff.

“At what age should you have a well-woman exam?”

Complete Women’s Care of Alabama’s women’s health specialists advise starting well-woman exams at age 15, or the time you experience your first menstrual period. The women’s health exams will foster reproductive health awareness, detect issues early on and provide education on menstrual health and contraception. 

For women over 65 years, please consult with your doctor to see when you may be able to stop having pelvic exams.

“Is a well-woman exam the same as an annual physical? Can my primary care provider (PCP) do this exam?”

The well-woman exam is different from your annual physical and focuses on reproductive and sexual health. It can include a breast exam, pelvic exam or pap smear. Well-woman checkups also address concerns related to menstrual health and contraception. 

Some primary care physicians (PCP) may be able to perform some exams that are part of a well-woman exam, however, a women’s health specialist will ensure you have a thorough screening.

“What health conditions does a well-woman exam check for? Will the exam check for STDs/STIs?”

A well-woman exam is designed to screen for various health conditions, including: 

    • Breast cancer
    • Cervical cancer
    • Fibroids
    • Endometriosis
    • Ovarian cysts
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • And other pelvic floor conditions

“What is the difference between a pap smear and a well-woman exam?”

A pap smear is done by swabbing the vaginal canal, and the sample is sent to the lab to check for precancerous cells or any abnormalities. 

A well-woman exam may or may not include a pap smear, depending on your age, medical history and screening recommendations. Our specialists recommend coming for a well-woman checkup once a year, regardless if you have a pap smear scheduled.

“How do I prepare for a well-woman exam?”

You will be asked to wear a paper gown during your appointment, so we recommend wearing something comfortable and easy to change into. You should bring your ID and health insurance card, a list of any medications currently taken and any questions you wish to discuss with your women’s health specialist.

“Can you have a well-woman exam on your period?”

Yes, menstruation does not generally affect the exam’s outcomes. If you feel more comfortable rescheduling your exam to a day when you are not on your period, or not experiencing heavy bleeding, call the office at (205) 664-9995.

“What questions should I ask during my well-woman exam?”

Maintaining open communication with your women’s health specialist during your well-woman exam can help you get the most out of your visit. To better your understanding of your health, consider asking some of the following questions:

    • Based on my health history, am I at risk for any specific conditions?
    • How often should I be screened for breast cancer and cervical cancer?
    • What are the most effective contraceptive options for me?
    • Should I be tested for STDs/STIs? How often?
    • What changes can I make to my lifestyle to improve my reproductive health?
    • Are my menstrual cycle symptoms normal, or should I be concerned?
    • Can we discuss my current medications and their impact on my fertility or menstrual cycle?

Schedule a Well-Woman Exam Near You

Our team of women’s health specialists at Complete Women’s Care of Alabama is dedicated to providing comprehensive, individualized care. Call us at (205) 664-9995 to schedule your well-woman visit at one of our women’s health centers in Alabaster, Alabama, or on Grandview Parkway in Birmingham, Alabama.