An annual exam is an important yearly check-up to make sure that your body is in good health! You may have also heard annual exams called gynecological exams, pelvic exams or well woman exams. If you have a vulva, breasts or a uterus, this yearly exam is an important part of taking care of your health (no matter what your gender identity is). During an annual exam, a doctor or nurse will check your blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. Additionally, they may perform a physical exam, which includes checking your breasts and abdomen for any abnormalities. Depending on your age and risk factors, the doctor may also perform a pelvic exam, during which they will use a speculum to check the inside of your vagina and cervix. They may also take a Pap smear to check for abnormal cells on your cervix that could lead to cancer. If you are sexually active, your doctor or nurse will talk to you about birth control options or STI testing.
The answer is yes!
If you have a vulva, breasts or a uterus, a yearly exam is an important part of taking care of your health (no matter what your gender identity is).
Your provider will use a gender affirming approach to your exam, including asking your name and pronouns and what terminology you would like to refer to your body parts. You can even have a support person in the room with you!