As temperatures rise and flowers bloom, it’s clear that May is upon us. Amid these weather changes, May is also the time to celebrate Women’s Health Care Month. This month is dedicated to all things women’s health, a time for health experts to raise awareness of the challenges and diseases women may face. The goal is to encourage them to take care of themselves and put their health first.
Some health care issues women may face include reproductive conditions, breast cancer, and such age-related diseases as osteoporosis and menopause. The list goes on, but these are a few well-known everyday challenges women must consider every day.
Reproductive health includes everything from pregnancy to sexually transmitted infections. Pregnancy alters the body in extreme ways, so women need to know what changes they can expect and how they should react to these changes. Most women have healthy pregnancies, but it’s vital to have regular checkups so your doctor or midwife can find and treat any potential problems. It is also important to receive recommended vaccines during pregnacy to protect yourself and your baby.
If you are sexually active, there’s also the risk of developing a sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes women do not have any symptoms. Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility. It is recommended that all sexually active women 24 years or younger and all women 25 and over who are at increased risk for infection receive annual screening. If you believe you may have a sexually transmitted disease, talk to your health care professional. Meanwhile, cervical cancer is a real risk to women that can be discovered with a pap test, which is a medical screening performed to check for changes in the cells of the cervix. You will have to ask your doctor how often you should get a pap test since it’s different for everyone.
Early detection of breast cancer is also very important. If you are over 40 years of age, it is time to start discussing breast cancer screening with your doctor. There are many different recommendations, and it is important to discuss this with your doctor to find out what is right for you. Breast cancer is unfortunately common – in Leon County in 2019, the incidence rate was 123 cases per 100,000 residents – so, it’s essential to prioritize your health by planning and attending regular checkups with your doctor.
As women age, they may be prone to more diseases. Osteoporosis is a condition that can affect men but is more common in women over 65. It makes your bones thin, fragile, and easy to break. Doctors usually diagnose osteoporosis by using a DEXA scan, which checks for weak bones. To treat osteoporosis, you may take medicine that builds bone strength. Changing your daily routine to include more calcium and vitamin D foods, as well as exercising, also helps treat this disease. Bone loss also increases around menopause, which happens to most women around age 50 – whenever the menstrual cycle permanently stops. Menopause is a normal and natural aspect of aging and does not need treatment unless you experience painful or uncomfortable symptoms.
May is Women’s Health Care Month, but women must put their well-being first throughout the year. Women’s bodies are constantly developing and changing, so knowing when these changes may happen and how to deal with them is crucial. You can find a doctor in your area to help you navigate those health care changes by going to https://capitalhealth.com/directories/provider-directory.
Sourced By: Healthwise
Reviewed By: Capital Health Plan Physicians Group