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Senior Health

Gyn exams?

10/27/2009

Question:

At what age can a woman stop having gyn exams if she is widowed and no longer sexually active?

Answer:

Being a widow and no longer sexually active may seem to be a time when a woman no longer may need to have a gyn exam. However, best practice guidelines in women's health indicate that a female is never to old to have a wellness check up and screening by a gynecological professional. It is important to continue gyn appointments so that if a health change or challenge is discovered, it can be addressed and/or treated early in the process rather than later or at the time symptoms are present. 

While widowhood and sexual inactivity may stop the risk for sexually transmitted diseases, these social circumstances do not reduce other health problems that are not unrelated to either situation. It is recommended that women maintain appointments with gynecological health professional at whatever frequency you and your primary health provider decide (once a year, once every other year, etc).

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Response by:

Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN
Associate Professor Emerita
Associate Director of the
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati