A well-woman visit provides an excellent opportunity to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks. Given the shifting and complex landscape of care, in which many women may not receive all the recommended preventive services, obstetrician–gynecologists have an opportunity to contribute to the overall health and well-being of women throughout the lifespan by providing recommended preventive services and counseling. Taking a comprehensive history (specifically obtaining detailed information on symptoms and past medical and gynecologic history) will inform if certain components of the physical examination, including breast or pelvic examination, are indicated at that visit and will inform shared decision making for these examinations. Family history should be used as a risk assessment tool and should be completed and updated regularly to ensure the most comprehensive assessment of a woman’s personal risk factors. Another key component of a well-woman visit for a reproductive-aged woman is the development and discussion of her reproductive life plan to ensure that medical testing and treatments provided are aligned with her current and future plans. Obstetrician–gynecologists provide care for women across the lifespan, and periodic well-woman visits are appropriate and necessary for perimenopausal women and postmenopausal women as well. This Committee Opinion has been revised to reflect updated guidance on components of the physical examination and new sources for well-woman preventive services.
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Number 755 (Replaces Committee Opinion No. 534, August 2012)
For a comprehensive overview of these recommendations, the full-text version of this Committee Opinion is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AOG.0000000000002897.
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Committee on Gynecologic Practice
This Committee Opinion was developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Gynecologic Practice in collaboration with committee member Catherine Witkop, MD, MPH.
Full-text document published online on September 24, 2018.
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Well-woman visit. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 755. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2018;132:e181–86.