How Often Should You Schedule a Gynecological Check-up?

If you’ve found an OBGYN you love at our practice, we’re so glad to hear it. But you might be wondering how often to visit. Women’s Health Specialists will answer that question today: How often should you schedule a gynecological check-up?

What Happens at a Check-Up?

At a gynecological exam or pelvic exam, your provider will assess and monitor the health of your reproductive system. We’ll perform various screenings, tests, and evaluations based on your condition, including:

  • Medical History: Your provider will review your current medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, pregnancies, menstrual history, contraceptive use, sexual activity, and family medical history. This is also a good time to highlight any of your present concerns.
  • Physical Exam: Your exam may include:
      • Examination of the breasts for lumps, changes in shape and size, or other abnormalities.
      • Examination of the external genitalia for signs of inflammation, infection, or abnormalities. 
      • A pelvic examination, which involves the insertion of a speculum into the vagina to visualize the cervix, vagina, and surrounding structures. We may also perform a Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer by analyzing the cells we collect during the test. 
  • Screenings or Tests: Depending on your age, medical history, and risk factors, we may recommend additional screenings or tests, such as:
      • Screening for STIs (sexually transmitted infections) through blood tests, urine tests, or swabs.
      • Testing for HPV (human papillomavirus), particularly in women over 30 years old, as HPV is a risk factor for cervical cancer.
      • Screening for breast cancer through clinical breast exams, mammograms, or a breast ultrasound.
      • Testing for pregnancy or assessing fertility. 
  • Discussion and Counseling: At this point, your provider will discuss the results of their examinations and screenings with you and offer guidance and treatment if necessary. We can also discuss lifestyle factors that affect your reproductive health, such as diet, exercise, and quitting smoking or other substance use.

How Often Should You Schedule a Gynecological Check-up?

How Often Do You Need One?

The frequency of your exams is entirely dependent on various factors, like age, health history, and risk factors. 

  • Age Group: 
    • Adolescents: Typically, a first gynecological visit is recommended between ages 13 and 15 or when a person becomes sexually active. This is an opportunity for monitoring, as well as for asking important questions. 
    • Women in their 20s: Annual check-ups are usually recommended for sexually active women to screen for STIs, discuss contraception options, and perform cervical cancer screenings if needed. The same goes for any issues that might be related to the breasts.
    • Women in their 30s and 40s: Annual check-ups are still common, but the frequency can be adjusted.
    • Women Over 40: Annual check-ups are critical, with additional screenings for menopause-related issues, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. 

  • Health History and Risk Factors
    • Women with a family history of certain conditions like breast cancer or ovarian cancer may need more frequent check-ups or additional screenings. 
    • Those with existing medical conditions such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders may require additional monitoring.


  • Pregnancy Planning or Pregnant Women: 
    • Women planning to conceive or are already pregnant should follow their OBGYN’s guidance, which can involve more frequent visits during pregnancy.


  • Post-Menopausal Women:
    • Post-menopausal women should still have regular check-ups to monitor bone health, vaginal health, and overall well-being.


Here are some additional questions you can use as a resource. Our office is also always available to answer anything you might be curious about before or after an appointment!

Q: Are gynecological appointments covered by insurance?

It depends on the coverage plan, as well as the appointment. A lot of plans cover preventative care services, including gynecological ones. You should always check with your insurance company ahead of your visit if you’re unsure. 

Q: Can I request a female provider?

Yes, we are happy to accommodate a provider you feel comfortable with based on gender. Be sure to request this before the appointment. 

Q: Are gynecological exams painful?

They should never be excessively painful. You may experience some discomfort, especially if you’ve never had one before. If you feel any significant pain, please mention it to your provider.

Q: What should I do to prepare for my appointment?

Think of any current conditions you have that you need to ask about and write them down if necessary, as well as your information about medications, allergies, and previous surgeries. 

How Often Should You Schedule a Gynecological Check-up?

The Best Possible Care

We are happy to help educate women on how to best care for themselves and their reproductive health—since it isn’t always common knowledge. We’re committed to making this knowledge accessible through our providers and our practice. To schedule your first or next appointment, you can contact our Germantown office.