Local OBGYN encourages yearly visits, women’s health checkups

Central Illinois Newsday

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Healthcare providers with Springfield Clinic stressed the importance of yearly checkups and visits for women.

Xochitl Garcia, MD said Wednesday, “Ideally, the first reproductive health visit should start [for patients aged] 13 or 15. It doesn’t mean the patient is to come in and have an intimate exam, or breast exam. That visit is mainly a discussion, education, counseling. Important topics to discuss are contraception, menstrual cycle, sexually transmitted infections, and most importantly prevention of infections.”

A yearly gynecology exam is important for women of all ages. At an annual appointment, a physical exam is performed assessing your heart, lungs, breasts, abdomen and pelvic anatomy. It is also a perfect time to touch base on special individual needs of women in different age groups and/or with a family history of specific illnesses.

During the women’s health exam, the physician or advanced practitioner (nurse practitioner, midwife, physicians assistant) will:

  • review your past medical history and surgeries, medications, concerns and medical problems you may be having.
  • assess your blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index
  • discuss the importance of pap smears, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, self breast exams, mammograms, colonoscopy screenings, immunizations, heart health, bone health
  • discuss practicing good health habits such as eating a well balanced diet, incorporating exercise into your daily life style and being pro-active about your health care in years to come

Dr. Garcia is currently accepting new patients.

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