Practical Tips for Preparing for Your Annual Exam

Most people visit their primary physician for annual wellness exams. However, a yearly visit to the gynecologist is just as important. Many urogynecological conditions can be easily missed and require timely intervention. 

As an urogynecology specialist, Dr. Michael Coyle at Coyle Institute recommends annual exams for patients. Dr. Coyle ensures your annual exam is comfortable and thorough enough to check all the boxes and help you maintain good health. 

Take a look at a few practical tips for how to prepare for your annual exam below.  

Understanding Annual Exams

Annual urogynecological exams are comprehensive evaluations that are important to support your overall sexual, reproductive and urological health. 

Each annual exam can consist of different components depending on a patient’s medical history or specific needs and concerns. However, you can expect the visit to include basics, such as: 

  • A medical history update and discussion: Dr. Coyle will discuss any changes in your medical status, medications, symptoms and concerns with you at the beginning of the appointment. This is a good time to mention any urinary, reproductive or gynecological issues, such as changes in your monthly menstrual cycle or urinary urgency. 
  • A physical examination: The physical exam may include basic evaluations like checking your vitals, listening to your heart and lungs, manual abdominal palpation and general observations. All of these physical factors can influence urogynecological health.  
  • A pelvic examination: The pelvic exam for female patients involves conducting an internal check of the reproductive organs, including the cervix, vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Dr. Coyle will also evaluate the bladder and any abnormalities that could cause urinary issues. 
  • A clinical breast examination: The clinical breast exam involves simply evaluating and examining the breasts and underarm area for lumps, unusual bumps or textures or abnormalities. 
  • Lab tests and screenings: Depending on your personal concerns or symptoms, Dr. Coyle may recommend lab tests and screenings, such as a urinalysis, blood tests, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening or other tests. 

How to Prepare for Your Annual Exam 

Take a look at a few tips to remember on how to prepare for your annual exam. 

Schedule Your Appointment

Pick the best time for your annual gynecological exam. Ideally, your visit should take place when you are not menstruating. Look at your cycle and pinpoint a time frame that will be best for you. Also, choose a time for your annual exam when you will not feel hurried or stressed. We want you to be calm and relaxed and have time to discuss all of your concerns during the visit.

Gather Important Information

Before appointment day arrives, take a few minutes to gather important information you need during your visit. Dr. Coyle takes a holistic approach to gynecological treatment, which means he considers the full picture of your health and may ask certain questions about: 

  • Your current medications, including supplements and herbs 
  • Your family medical history and your personal health history 
  • Your previous gynecological exams

To ensure you are prepared, make a list of your medications, have a good idea of your family and personal medical history and consider bringing records of prior exams.  

Prepare Questions for Dr. Coyle

Your annual gynecological exam is one of the best times to discuss questions and concerns with Dr. Coyle. Before your visit, prepare a list of questions or issues you would like to discuss, such as those related to: 

  • Health concerns or symptoms you’ve experienced
  • Lifestyle changes or stressors
  • Preventive care and screenings

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Tips for a Successful Exam

To make sure your annual exam is as comfortable and successful as possible, remember to: 

  • Dress comfortably and in simple attire.
  • Be open and honest with Dr. Coyle and the care team about your medical status and any questions asked during the visit.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions concerning your health.
  • Feel free to take notes during your appointment.

After the Exam

Once your annual exam is complete, be sure to complete any recommended tests or referrals. Making an appointment for your next yearly exam before leaving the office is also a good plan to keep your annual visits on track. 

Also, make sure to follow up after tests and screenings to get your results and make arrangements for any further necessary care. During your visit, Dr. Coyle may make recommendations, such as treatments or implementing lifestyle changes. Be sure to follow the doctor’s guidance and check back in with Coyle Institute if you have questions or concerns. 

Prioritize Your Health with Annual Exams

Annual exams are a crucial part of maintaining good health now and in the future. Be sure to follow Dr. Coyle’s expert advice and seek a gynecological exam every year to keep your health and wellness in check. 

Have you ever had an exceptionally easy gynecological exam? What have you experienced, and how do you prepare for your yearly visit? Feel free to share your tips and experiences below. 

Is it time for your annual exam? Be sure to contact Dr. Coyle’s office at 850-637-8258 to schedule this important appointment.

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