From Special Reports

Oluwaseun Suzanne Cole, MD, Ob/Gyn at Piedmont Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology in Newnan, shares why it is so important for women to have an annual exam each year with their gynecologist.

“Your annual visit is a time to discuss any changes or concerns over the past year,” says Dr. Cole. “In addition to a full body exam, we review your family history, any goals for the upcoming year such as starting a family or signs of entering menopause, and other health issues women face.”

Reasons women need a yearly gynecologic exam:
• In addition to a yearly physical with your primary care physician, women should also see their gynecologist yearly and take advantage of the knowledge of a specialist.
• Gynecologists can address fertility issues, birth control, cancer prevention, sexually transmitted infections and other women’s health issues.
• During the exam, your gynecologist will do a clinical breast exam, a pelvic exam to check your uterus and ovaries, a pap smear, and potentially screen for sexually transmitted diseases.
• It is a great time to discuss contraception options, fertility if wanting to have a baby, and breast health.
• If you are 40 or older, you will also need to do an annual mammogram. For those who haven’t reached their 40th birthday, Dr. Cole stresses the importance of monthly self breast exams. “Women know their bodies best and see their breasts every day, whereas I only exam them once a year. If you suspect something is abnormal or notice a lump, get it checked out right away,” advises Dr. Cole.

“For adolescents, I recommend starting to see a gynecologist around age 11 or 12,” said Dr. Cole. “This establishes a baseline for future exams, builds trust with the physician and prepares them for what to expect when getting their period for the first time.”

For more women’s health tips, visit piedmont.org. Piedmont Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology Newnan is accepting new patients and is located at 775 Poplar Road, Suite 120, Newnan, Ga. 30265 in the Piedmont Medical Plaza next to Piedmont Newnan Hospital. To make an appointment, please visit piedmont.org or call 770-400-4510.