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Yearly Gynecological Exam

If you are 18 years or older, or have ever been sexually active, we recommend that you have a yearly gynecologic exam. The purpose of this exam is to determine that your reproductive organs are healthy, and to detect any medical conditions (such as infections or abnormal Pap smears) that could become serious if not treated.

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How do I schedule my yearly gynecological exam?

You can schedule an appointment online or call (434) 924-5362. If possible, try to schedule it at a time when you will not be having your period.

  • Please complete the initial patient questionnaire if it is your first time having a gynecological exam at SHW. This questionnaire can be accessed in the "Forms" section of the HealthyHoos patient portal after you make your appointment.
  • Ideally, try not to have sex or use any creams, douches, spermicides, or tampons for 24-48 hours prior to your exam.
  • If you are comfortable doing so, it is helpful to learn as much as you can about your own medical history as well as that of your parents, grandparents, and siblings, prior to your appointment.
  • Come to the clinic 15 minutes prior to your actual appointment time and allow approximately one hour for the appointment.
What should I expect during my yearly exam?


Discussion of Medical History: Your health care provider will ask many questions related to your lifestyle (including nutrition, physical activity, recreational habits, etc.), family medical history, and sexual history. This discussion is also a good time to ask questions and report any concerns you may have about your reproductive health.

Physical Check-Up: Your health care provider will check vitals like blood pressure and heart rate, and will offer you a routine physical exam, including a breast exam, if you are comfortable.  If indicated, a pelvic exam may be performed to check the external and internal reproductive organs (vulva, vagina, uterus, and ovaries). A speculum may be inserted into the vagina so the provider can see the vaginal walls and cervix.

Screenings and Lab Tests: Based on your age and sexual history, the provider may collect samples for screening tests during the pelvic exam. For cervical cancer screening, the provider may take a sample of cells from your cervix to be evaluated for any changes (this is called a Pap smear or test) and/or possibly for presence of HPV. Screening tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia, two sexually transmitted infections (STIs), also may be collected. To learn more about screenings for cervical cancer and STIs, go to; the American Social Health Association provides up to date information  and links to other helpful websites.

What other care topics can I discuss with my provider?
  • Screening for other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and HIV.
  • Options for birth control methods and which are best suited to your needs.
  • Any concerns or questions you have about your reproductive and sexual health.
What does it cost to have a yearly exam at SHW?

There is no fee for seeing a health care provider for examinations or counseling. However, there are charges for medications, lab tests and supplies for certain treatments. Please always bring your student identification card, insurance card, and prescription card (if separate) when visiting us.

What else can I do to have a successful yearly exam?

It is ok to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or even scared in anticipation of your first gynecologic exam! The more you know in advance, the better prepared you will be during your appointment. Two helpful/optional resources you can utilize:

  • Make an appointment to speak with a provider about any uncertainities or concerns you have before you schedule your gynecological exam appointment. We're happy to walk through the process and explain different parts in more detail.
  • If you are more comfortable speaking with a fellow student, our Peer Health Educators (PHEs) are specially trained to provide accurate, general information about gynecologic exams, birth control methods, and STIs. They do not provide individual medical advice.