5 Questions to Ask During A Yearly Women’s Health Check-Up
Your annual women’s health check up is the most important visit to the doctor you will make all year.
A holistic assessment of your body preempts many localized problems you might otherwise suffer. As your health is concerned, staying on the right track is much easier than getting on the right track. Make sure that the following five questions are part of your discussion with your trusted medical professional at your annual checkups – your proactive participation guarantees you the most useful information!
1. Should I get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
Whether you are sexually monogamous or not, your annual checkup is the perfect time to screen yourself for STIs. Many sexual infections have no symptoms at all, so a regular screening is essential to your health as a woman. Make sure that your screening includes herpes, as it is not included by default on many tests. 30% of women over the age of 30 have herpes in the United States.
2. Should I change my medical regimen?
If you are on any medication at all, use your annual checkup to evaluate its effectiveness. You are a dynamic entity. As your life changes, your medical regimen needs to change to match it. Review all of your medications with your primary care physician – specialists may not always consider how different medications for local conditions affect your body as a whole. Bring in your prescriptions if this is possible, and include on your list all dietary supplements you take.
3. Is my weight healthy?
The onus of many medical problems in women centers around weight. It can be quite difficult to maintain a healthy weight with the pressures of everyday life and the temptation of McDonald’s literally around every corner. Your risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease goes down as your weight becomes more healthy. Have your doctor measure your body mass index (BMI) as a common standard for your healthy body weight.
4. Is my blood pressure healthy?
An elevated blood pressure increases the risk of various fatal and chronic conditions in women including kidney failure, peripheral artery disease and heart failure. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your day to day blood pressure puts you at risk. Have your doctor recommend a nutritionist if you feel that you are not where you want to be.
5. What should I screen for based on my age?
The focus of your medical checkups must change with your age in order to ward off cancer risks and catch early onset symptoms. Every woman has a unique medical history that complicates this beyond the reach of a pap smear, although home tests certainly help. Think of your annual checkup this way: Brushing your teeth at home is essential to your dental health. However, as your teeth age, you must attend your dentist regularly as well, or the home care becomes less effective. The same goes for your unique women’s health.
Last Updated on February 6, 2016 by Womens Aid Center Chicago