The American College of OB/GYN recommends that sexually active females and all females over the age of 18 have a well woman exam each year. Yearly pelvic exams are important in monitoring your gynecologic health and screening for infection, inflammation or other abnormal cells that may indicate disease.
During the exam, the doctor will examine your breasts and pelvic organs for any abnormalities or changes. The Pap smear consists of removing some tissue from the cervix for the pathologist to examine. An annual exam is one of the most important steps you can take in preventing disorders of the pelvic organs including cervical and ovarian cancer.