Oasis Women's Health
Heather Skanes, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist located in Birmingham, AL
You take your car into the shop on a regular basis to keep it in top shape. Doesn’t your body deserve the same level of care and attention? Through regular well-woman exams, you can keep your body as healthy and balanced as possible. Gynecologist Heather Skanes, MD, offers preventive care to her patients at Oasis Women's Health in Birmingham, Alabama. To learn more or to set up your well-woman exam, call the office or book your appointment online.
Well Women Exam Q&A
What is a well-woman exam?
A well-woman exam is a regular appointment with Dr. Skanes designed to check the status of your reproductive health. It’s a preventive appointment during which she screens for certain types of cancer and diseases while ensuring your reproductive system is functioning properly.
Dr. Skanes takes a holistic and patient-centered approach to care. Though the exam may focus on your reproductive health, she evaluates and assesses your overall health and well-being.
As a black OB/GYN, she understands the unique health needs for women of color and the disparities in gynecological care. At Oasis Women’s Health, protecting the health and well-being of women of color is the top priority.
What should I expect during my well-woman exam?
During the first part of your exam, Dr. Skanes asks you a series of questions designed to understand how you’ve been feeling. These questions help her determine if anything unusual is occurring and whether a closer investigation is warranted for anything in particular.
She might ask you about:
- Your periods, including their regularity, flow, and duration
- Your sexual history, including current sexual activity
- Any painful or uncomfortable symptoms you’ve recently experienced
- Your birth control
- Your family health history
Dr. Skanes designs the well-woman exam to facilitate a conversation about your health. This is your opportunity to ask any questions you might have. If you have irregular periods, pain during sex, or questions about testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), for example, your well-woman exam is the perfect time to bring up any concerns.
Dr. Skanes will use the time to take a Pap smear, perform a breast exam, and take any other preventive action that’s right for your body based on your age, your overall health, your family history, and your lifestyle.
Additionally, depending on your age, Dr. Skanes may recommend whether you should have a mammogram or any other test to scan for potential health issues.
How often should I get a well-woman exam?
Experts recommend that you receive a well-woman exam once a year. An annual well-woman exam ensures that preventive screenings identify any problems early in their development when they’re easiest to treat.
In addition, you may not need the full range of tests every time. For example, many women only need a Pap smear every three years.
If you want to be proactive about your health, don’t wait to book your well-woman exam. Call Oasis Women's Health or schedule your appointment online.