All women should see their gynecologist yearly for an annual exam. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is recommended that an annual breast and abdominal exam begin during the teenage years and routine pelvic exams begin at the age of 21.
Pelvic exams are done to identify problems with a woman’s reproductive tract. They include a PAP smear, which is a screening tool for pre-cancerous and cancerous cells of the cervix. It is critical that women participate in their own preventative healthcare maintenance and come for their yearly exams. Some diseases and cancers cannot be prevented, but early detection is key.