In a well woman exam, the nurse practitioner will do an overall health check. This check-up is typically scheduled for once a year, or more often for patients who have bigger female health issues that need to be monitored. This appointment includes a pelvic exam and may include any necessary tests.
A pap smear checks for abnormal cells in the cervix. This test is often done during a well-woman exam. Pap smears can predict the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells, so this test will allow for early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cervical cancer.
Hormone replacement therapy is a way of replacing hormones that deplete with the onset of menopause. There are several different types of hormone replacement therapy, including oral medication, skin patches, and bio-compatible pellets that are implanted under the skin. Hormone replacement therapy will give the body the estrogen, progestin, or both that it needs. Without hormone replacement therapy, women who are in menopause will typically have very unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, irritability, depression, low sex drive, and many other symptoms. When the body is in balance with the proper amount of hormones, menopause doesn't have to be miserable anymore.
Post-menopausal women are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis therapy is designed to prevent many of the problems that arise when a woman develops osteoporosis. If osteoporosis therapy is started early enough, bone loss can be prevented and fractures can often be avoided. Osteoporosis therapy usually involves a combination of treatments including dietary changes, overall lifestyle changes, and prescribed osteoporosis medications. This therapy can be started either during menopause or after menopause. The nurse practitioner will customize osteoporosis therapy for each patient.