You may have seen headlines in the last few weeks questioning whether women really need annual pelvic exams. At the end of June, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a draft recommendation statement that concluded there was insufficient evidence to determine the benefits or harms of routine pelvic exams in asymptomatic non-pregnant women.
As a result, some young women were left wondering whether they should continue having pelvic exams at their annual checkup or if they should even bother having an annual appointment with a gynecologist.
It's important to remember that this was only a draft statement—not a final recommendation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is currently reviewing the June USPSTF statement about pelvic exams. But for the time-being, ACOG still recommends annual pelvic examinations for patients 21 years or older. Here are the six key reasons why it's still important to see a gynecologist every year—even if you're healthy and don't have any issues: