Physical For A Woman

What To Expect From Your Physical If You Are A Woman

Once a year, we go to the doctor to get a physical. This is the way that we maintain our medical health and wellness and make sure that everything is okay. Different than when we have an illness, there are some routine tests and procedures that will be done. But what are these tests and more importantly, what are they for? What should I expect when I schedule an appointment for a physical and how should I prepare for it? Here we will discuss the answer to these questions.


When you schedule your appointment, the doctor’s office will look for a space of time of about ½ hour -1 hour. It is for this reason that your appointment time and date may be so far out. Add to the fact any time or date restrictions that you may have it may be a couple of months or longer before you can get your appointment.

You should call at least 2 months prior to the date you need your physical and notify the scheduler that you want a full physical. This will allow them to schedule you an appropriate amount of time for it.

How Do I Prepare For The Physical

On the day of your appointment, there are some things that you can do to facilitate the tests and examination. These things will help decrease the appointment time and the possibility of you having to come back for any lab tests. These things include:
 Show up 15 minutes early. That way if the doctor is running ahead of schedule or someone doesn’t show, you can get right in. It also allows you to fill out any paperwork that is necessary before you see the doctor.
 If your appointment is earlier in the day, try to fast 8 hours prior to the appointment, especially if you are over 35. Often times the doctor will want to do a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. This blood test needs to be done after you have been fasting, so if you can, try not to eat or drink anything except for your medications so that you don’t have to come back for the blood test.
 You will most likely have a pap smear and breast exam, so you will want to wear clothing that will help facilitate this. Having a lot of buttons to unbutton or button up is just not fun and takes more time to dress and undress.
 Be prepared for blood tests. Wear a shirt that can easily with sleeves that will easily roll up or sleeves that are above your elbow joint. You don’t want to have to come back for blood tests if you don’t have to or undress to have it done.

Tests Needed To Be Preformed

During a routine physical there are a few tests that will be performed or scheduled for you. These are important to help determine the status of your wellness and medical health. These tests can include:
 Pap Smear. This test checks for cancers and pre-cancerous cells in the cervix and uterus. Done during the physical, you will need to undress from the waist down. The doctor will insert a vaginal speculum (an instrument meant to hold the vaginal walls open) and then take a tiny scraping of cells and place them on a slide. This is then sent to a lab for inspection.
 Breast Exam. This exam checks for abnormalities, lumps or unusually bumps in the breast tissue and areola. The doctor will press and squeeze the breast and areola to check for this. They will also check and press in the armpit as breast tissue and lymph nodes are located there.
 Cholesterol. High cholesterol is a silent killer. A simple blood test can tell you if you need medication and diet changes.
 BMP/CMP (Basic Metabolic Panel/Comprehensive Metabolic Panel). This blood test can check for elevated blood sugars, an indicator of diabetes, protein levels and other factors that can affect your medical health and wellness.
 Mammogram. If you are aged 40 or older, this test will be scheduled at a later time. Used to find abnormalities in the breast, it can often find abnormal tissue or lumps and bumps that the manual breast exam didn’t find. This will be done with an MRI or other imaging technology that is available.
 Other Tests: Depending on your age and medical health status and wellness, you may have additional blood tests to check your thyroid, any vitamin deficiencies, urine tests and hormone levels. If your physical is also for employment, there may be such tests as an EKG, a pulse after running and an eye exam.

Getting a yearly physical is imperative to check our medical health and wellness. Different than when you call because of a medical issue, a yearly physical can help locate any issues that may be brewing, but have few or no symptoms. Knowing when to schedule, what to expect, how to prepare and the tests that may be performed will help you to be prepared for it.

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