De-mystifying the Annual Wellness Visit.

Updated: Oct 10

Typically once a year, around the same time, it may be time for your annual wellness visit. A wellness visit is an annual check-up with an obstetrician-gynecologist, midwife, or nurse practitioner to understand your reproductive health experience so far. This is also the time you will receive preventative services and counseling.



What happens during the annual wellness visit?

Your annual wellness visit depends on your age, sexual history, reproductive life goals, and medical history. Source: Planned Parenthood

  • Ages 21-24: You may choose to start getting Pap tests at this age if you want

  • Ages 25-65: HPV test (or a Pap and HPV test together) every 5 years

  • Ages 25-39: clinical breast exam every 1-3 years

  • Ages 40+: mammogram every 1-2 years.

Topics that may be discussed: Source: Health.gov

  • Medical history + family history

  • Mental health screening

  • Sexual activity and partner(s)

  • Eating habits and physical activity

  • Drugs, tobacco, and alcohol use

  • Medicines, vitamins, minerals, or herb use

Preparing for a Wellness Visit

  • Make a list of questions to ask your provider

  • If you’re feeling nervous, you can ask if you can have someone in the room with you

  • Schedule your test for a time when you don’t have your period, or it’s light

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I need to shave or wax before my appointment?

A: Absolutely not! If you want to, go ahead, but know that it’s not a requirement.


Q: Should I wear a matching undergarment set for my appointment?

A: If you would like too, you will be provided with a gown to change into if you are doing a preventative screening exam.


Q: What if I don’t have any questions during my visit?

A: I got you! Download this FREE PDF of questions to ask your provider during a wellness visit.
























Do you prepare a list of questions before your annual wellness visits?

  • Yes, all the time

  • Eh, sometimes

  • No, I never have questions



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