Yearly pelvic exams and Pap smears are important in monitoring your gynecologic health and screening for infection, inflammation or other abnormal cells that may indicate disease. Early detection is important in treating any disease and especially important for cervical cancer and other potentially life-threatening diseases.
Annual exams are recommended for women who are sexually active or over the age of 18. During the exam, the doctor will examine your breasts and pelvic organs for any abnormalities or changes. During a Pap smear, he or she will remove some tissue from the cervix to carefully examine as well. An annual exam is one of the most important steps you can take in preventing disorders of the pelvic organs.