National Women’s Health Week- Healthy looks good at every age!

National Women’s Health week, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH), is a week dedicated to encouraging and motivating women of all ages to make their health a priority.

Although a week-long event won’t drastically improve anyone’s health, this is an opportunity and reminder for women of all ages to really focus on taking care of themselves so that they may live a long and healthy life. Here are some tips we think will help you get jumpstarted:

Schedule a Well-Woman Exam

When we think about scheduling a well-woman exam, we typically think about that dreaded annual pap-smear and put off scheduling that appointment longer than we should. Although pap-smears and pelvic exams are part of a well-woman exam, well-woman visits are there for you to understand your own personal health risks and how to readily avoid them. The good news? After a normal pap smear, you can wait a couple of years before you have to schedule another.  Women between the ages of 21-29 can wait to get a pap smear every three years after a normal pap smear. Women between 30-65 years of age can wait to get a pap smear every five years after a normal pap smear and human papillomavirus (HPV) test, and for women who are over the age of 65, pap smears are no longer required for those who have had a hysterectomy for benign reasons. These time frames will vary based on your own personal health history but are a good guide to go off if everything has been normal. If you haven’t scheduled your well-woman exam in a while, now is the time to do so!

Change Your Mentality about Doctor’s Visits

The mentality that you should only go to a doctor when you are sick is a century old mentality that we all need to get over. On top of that, women often have an OB/GYN they go to but don’t take the time to visit their primary care physician on a regular basis (or they don’t have a primary physician at all). An annual physical with a primary care physician is important for good health in all stages of life. These visits focus on preventive care and allow you to speak to a doctor about any health concerns. But what if you don’t have any health concerns? You should still see a primary care physician at a minimum of once a year as a precautionary measure. As we age our body change so why not ask a professional you trust the questions you’ve been asking Google all these years? The answers you receive from a doctor, who has your medical history in front of them, will definitely be a lot clearer.

Take Care of YOU

As women, our role as parents, daughters, mothers, wives, and professionals doesn’t always leave a sufficient amount of free time.  Living this type of lifestyle however can leave you feeling drained, irritable, or worse, unhappy. Studies have shown that women are less happy today than they have been over the past 40 years despite the progress that has been made in recent decades. Lack of personal free time could be one of the major reasons.  

During National Women’s Health week, take time to really focus on ways you can free up time for yourself to improve your health. Whether it’s dedicating an hour every day to work out or thirty minutes to take a nap, or something bigger like finally quitting smoking, your body, mind, and those you love, will appreciate and hopefully motivate you to continue to take care of yourself.

It's not always easy to take steps for better health, so if making changes is too much at the moment, at least schedule an appointment with a primary care physician and vow to visit them every year. A quick visit with a doctor is a beneficial way to start taking charge of your health, today!

FoundCare is a one-stop shop for all of your healthcare needs and now offers Women’s Health Services (including well-woman exams).  To schedule an appointment, please call 561-432-5849.