Well Woman Care
Annual assessments with a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) at Denver Center for Birth and Wellness provide an excellent opportunity to consult about preventive care, build a relationship, obtain laboratory screening and diagnostic tests, and obtain referrals for any other services that may be needed (Mammography, Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation, Specialists, etc). Assessments may include screening, evaluation, and counseling based on age and risk factors. The interval for individual services varies.
Visiting your provider when planning a family is a great way to start or build a relationship, prepare your body, and begin the work of creating a nourishing physical and emotional space for your future baby. In addition to a complete physical exam, during a preconception counseling visit you are invited to discuss fears, hopes, questions, or concerns and will consult with your midwife on everything from nutrition and lifestyle to optimal methods and timing for conception.
Routine Pap Smears
The current recommendations per the US Preventative Services Task Force, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and the American Cancer Society are based on age and risk factors and serve as a framework for care to screen for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer.
Many women are confused about the frequency of the pap smear. The current recommendations are as follows –
20 years and younger – no pap
21-29 years – pap every 3 years, cytology only
30 years and beyond – pap every 5 years with cytology and HPV
Despite the longer interval for pap smear screening it is a good idea to schedule an annual visit because you are more than a cervix! The pap smear is only one component of women’s health care. You have other physical and emotional and mental needs that may be addressed at the annual exam. It also keeps your provider up to date with your health status. The following is Denver Center for Birth and Wellness’s recommendation for topics that may be addressed during an annual visit based on age or lifestyle
Age 13-18 years
Screenings as needed, may relate to sexual activity
Evaluate normal puberty development and any concerns
Evaluation of any needed counseling
Age 19-39 years
Screenings as needed, begin pap testing at 21 years, chlamydia and gonorrhea testing, HIV testing
High risk behaviors
Lifestyle and stress
Family history and associated risks
Age 40-64 years
Screenings as needed, mammography, bone density, lipid blood testing
Family history /genetic concerns
High risk behaviors