Reproductive Health

Megan Dolsky

What are physical examinations?

A physical examination is used to check your overall health and make sure that you do not have any serious medical problems that you may be unaware of. You do not have to be sick to get any of these examinations. Some of the examinations may include mammograms, pap smears, testicular tests, and prostate exams.



The definition of an mammogram is a x-ray picture of the breast. Mammograms can be used to detect breast cancer in women who have shown no signs or symptoms of the disease. There are two different types of mammograms one type is screening and the other type is diagnostic which generally takes longer. Mammograms are needed every two years for women between the ages of 50-75. A patient may need to start these examinations earlier than the age of 50 due to family history or because of the personal reasons.

Pap smears

A pap smear is a medical test to figure out if there are problems with a woman/girls cervix. Pap smears generally are able to identify infections or any other problems, that may develop into cancer if it has not already. Pap smears do not start until around the age of 21, however it may be needed before if a doctor believes there to be something wrong. Once a woman gets their first pap smear, their follow up visits should happen at least every three years. This test is only required for women.


Testicular exams

Testicular cancer typically develops in one or both testicles in young men, but it can occur in older men as well. It is a highly treatable and usually curable type of cancer. Between the ages of 15-35 males are at the highest risk for testicular cancer and should be doing self-exams periodically to check for signs of lumps or bumps which are the first sings of testicular cancer.

Prostate exams

Prostate screening can help identify prostate cancer early on, when treatment is most effective. A normal prostate exam and a digital recital exam can help to make sure that it is unlikely that you have prostate cancer. But getting a prostate screening for prostate cancer may not be necessary for some men, especially men 70 and older. Around the age of 40 men should be getting yearly screenings for prostate cancer.