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Ask the BJC Expert

Ask the BJC Expert

Wellness for Women

Cory Miller, MD

Published on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cory Miller, MD is a BJC Medical Group Physician specializing in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health. He sees patients at Progress West Hospital.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller, call 636.344.1073.

Listen to the Interview:

Click to read a summary of the interview


When we discuss coming in for a wellness exam, we want to make sure we’re focusing on the
whole wellness of a woman’s health; it’s more than just a Pap smear. As guidelines about the
frequency of Pap smear screening have changed for low risk women, it’s important to understand all of the other aspects of wellness that we consider during an annual visit.

The Well Woman Exam

The wellness exam consists of much more than just the pelvic exam. Your doctor will want to
discuss your general health, with special emphasis on aspects unique to you as a woman. These
may include things like menstrual health, menopausal symptoms, birth control, STI prevention or
pre-pregnancy counseling. In addition, we’ll spend some time focusing on breast health, making
sure mammograms and clinical exams are up to date. We’ll also go over some general wellness
screenings, ensuring diabetes and cholesterol screenings, blood pressure screening and testing
for other common conditions are on track. Finally, we’ll want to discuss healthy lifestyle habits,
including tobacco counseling and discussing weight loss if needed.

We like to see women every year starting at around age 18, but many women won’t need a pelvic exam until their first Pap smear is due at age 21.

The Pap Smear

The Pap smear is just one part of the exam — it’s a screening test for cervical cancer. Women
should have routine screening beginning at 21. In low risk women, this can be done every three
years in their 20’s, and spread out to every five years after the age of 30 if they have HPV testing
done at the same time. Mostly, these changes avoid false-positive results. That is, we don’t want
to put women through unnecessary follow-up tests and procedures if they don’t need it. If
screening has been normal and up to date, most women can stop having Pap smears at age 65.

Even though you may not be due for cervical cancer screening, we hope you’ll come in each year
for an annual visit with your gynecologist, so we can check up on many other aspects of your
health, especially those unique to women’s health.

Cory Miller, MD is a BJC Medical Group Physician specializing in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and
Women’s Health. He sees patients at Progress West Hospital. To learn more, visit
BJCStCharlesCounty.org or schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller at 636.344.1073.

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