The basic trend for a visit is to conduct a breast and pelvic exam, as well as the pap smear. However, as we move into the future of medicine where test results are becoming more comprehensive and trials have been deemed inconclusive, it is the smart move to insist that your doctor is as thorough as possible during your visit. The fact is, most women have preventative coverages in their insurance plans, but aren’t maximizing the full preventative care benefit. The US Dept of Health and Human Services has outlined and categorized what falls under the preventative care benefit, which is a comprehensive list that includes more than a breast and pelvic exam and a pap smear. Here are a few things you should mention if it is not discussed during your visit:

  • Give full disclosure about your health and family health history. The more your doctor knows about you the better she can assess and develop her opinion regarding your physical status quo.
  • Don’t be embarrassed about your sexual history. Your disclosed history determines how healthy you are. You may want to keep your options open concerning becoming pregnant in the future. Your doctor will help you determine the best course of action to help you achieve your life goals.
  • Talk about your eating habits. Your diet is not just related to your weight management. There may be some things going on internally or externally that are connected to your diet. Rashes, red eyes, discharges, sore throats, fatigue, dark nails, kidney and liver health are just a few things that are affected by your diet. Be open as much as possible.
  • Provide a list of drugs you have taken or have been exposed to. Even tobacco and second-hand smoke. Everyone reacts differently to a variety of drugs. Some drugs may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but they may cause a delayed reaction that can be detrimental to your overall health.
  • Don’t overlook your mental health. Make sure you disclose any family members who have dealt with mental issues, as well as your own bouts of depression or high anxiety. Your mental health may be a contributing factor for un explained headaches, muscle-aches and other internal symptomatic issues.

The message is: take charge and maximize your preventative care benefit. Be as thorough as possible, so that your doctor can too. Your doctor can only serve you as much as you provide the opportunity. If your doctor does not take the opportunity, get a second opinion – and as many as needed to get the care you deserve.