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University of South Florida

Be A Well Woman

Self-love is asking yourself what you need – everyday – and then making sure you receive it.”
– Unknown

What is a well woman?

The well woman is well informed and in control of her own health, beginning with an annual well woman exam.

The well woman exam is a valuable resource for a woman of any age to empower herself and make good choices in regards to her own health.

“The well woman exam is an opportunity to improve current wellness and prevent future illness,” said Dr. Jessica Brumley of USF Health Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Timing is of the Essence

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 participate in the labor force, with over 75 percent employed full-time.”

This translates into less time for women to take care of themselves. Women and especially moms are notorious for putting themselves last.

Prioritizing your wellness is preventative medicine, a way of getting out in front of something before it has the opportunity to become a real health risk.

Practicing self-love by taking care of your health needs, and getting educated about your body puts you on the path to a healthy future.

“We can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves first. It is crucial that women take time to care for their health. For mothers, this is especially important since this also sets the example for the entire family,” said Dr. Brumley.

A Successful Exam

Establishing a rapport with your doctor, nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner is essential to having an open and honest discussion about any existing health concerns. Sharing your lifestyle and family history is vital to determining what types of assessments or treatments may be necessary.

Our bodies change throughout our lifetime, issues concerning everything from pelvic health to body image are ripe for a conversation with your health care provider. Knowledge is power, your exam is a great time to educate yourself about your body.

Good pelvic health translates into a healthy sex life. The wellness exam is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns about your sexual health, and be tested for any sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

“We want women to feel empowered to care for themselves in the best way possible and encourage them to continue that process,” said Dr. Brumley.

The Well Woman Exam includes:

• Discussing lifestyle, age, medical history and sexual history to determine the course of the exam.
• Pap tests or pap smears are recommended starting at the age of 21. A Pap is a test to check for any signs of cervical cancer.
• If you are sexually active, no matter at what age it is important to have an STI (sexually transmitted infection) screening.
• Conversations about painful and heavy bleeding during your period
• Birth Control
• Menopause
• General wellness and referrals to meet other medical needs
• Mental health screening
• Breast Health screening

Visit us at USF Health Obstetrics and Gynecology or call for an appointment, 813 821-8019.


Written by Ercilia Colón


USF Health Making Life Better


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