We all know women often prioritize other’s needs over their own, and while this is just one of the amazing things about us, it’s also a little concerning! Just like routine maintenance of your car prevents problems, promotes efficiency, and improves reliability, taking care of yourself and your own health needs ensures your body’s efficiency and reliability.
Amy Kinnett, NP of our OB/GYN of Indiana Carmel care center shares why taking the time to care for yourself and obtaining regular preventive annual gynecology exams (GYN) and screenings will promote life-long health and wellness at any age.
“Do I need a pap every year?” “Can I skip a year?” “Tell me about HPV!” The guidelines have changed regarding recommended screening intervals for routine pap smears, but this does not mean one size fits all! Your provider can help explain these recommendations, discuss HPV testing to help determine your personal risk, and develop a plan just for you! Nothing says “Happy Spring” like a gynecology appointment!
“Is my vaginal discharge normal?” “Do I have an infection?” “Why do I keep getting these infections?” “Do I need STD testing?” Symptoms of vaginal infections are common and can be confusing and frustrating. Your provider is here to help you manage, treat, and avoid these infections in the future. Routine STD screening is recommended for all women under the age of 25, but all sexually active women should consider these tests as part of their well woman exams. If you have symptoms, concerns, increased risks factors, or general uncertainty – make an appointment to discuss and get tested, no matter your age! We are here to answer any and all questions you have about STDS and overall vulvovaginal health as well as how to protect yourself and stay healthy. Condoms, vaccines and/or medications as well as lifestyle practices are key components of prevention and treatment.
Seeing your gynecologist for annual breast exams, learning about the importance of breast self-awareness, and discussing any changes or concerns you have is important and necessary for breast cancer awareness and early detection. Your gynecologist will also provide guidance on when you should start getting mammograms and how often to have them – you can even schedule your mammogram for the same day!
Your provider will also help you understand your personal risk for breast cancer based on your family history and individual risk factors. You can then partner with your provider to determine the best ways to reduce your risk.
Your gynecological provider can also discuss with you your current BMI calculation, healthy weight targets, and options to reach your goals. If interested, your provider can offer information on the programs available within our care centers, such as Ideal Protein, to help get you on the right path toward overall health and wellness.
Having trouble with frequent urges to urinate or difficulty maintaining control during a sneeze, cough, or a hearty laugh? While this can be a sensitive topic, these symptoms are very common. With nearly one in three U.S. women experiencing these symptoms at some point in their lives, there’s no need to be shy about discussing your concerns with your provider. There are many effective treatment options – getting an evaluation is the first step towards finding the right treatment plan for you!
“What is a normal menstrual pattern?” “What is considered a heavy period?” “What are my options to help with my flow?” “What can I do for these painful cramps?” A discussion regarding your menstrual cycle and your symptoms can help you and your provider have a detailed conversation regarding your questions, concerns, and options.
Both getting pregnant and NOT getting pregnant are common concerns for most sexually active women who aren’t postmenopausal or using a permanent method of birth control. Your gynecologist can help you explore a wide spectrum of available contraceptive options, preconceptual counseling, or infertility testing if needed.
We are all sexual beings – and we support your need to authentically express this aspect of yourself. Do you have questions about sex? About how to stay safe? Are you having pain with sex? Have a decreased interest in sex? It’s okay (and encouraged) to discuss all aspects of your sexual health with your gynecologist!
“I am feeling very overwhelmed.” “My anxiety is through the roof.” “Why do I feel so sad sometimes?” Though often overlooked and not discussed – emotional health plays an essential role in physical health and overall wellness. Your provider is here to discuss these issues in a safe and supportive manner and provide you resources that put you on the path to healing.
It’s important to find out if you may need any other screenings, risk-reducing strategies, or preventive measures based on your physical exam along with your personal health, family, and social history.
Because truly, it’s only with this knowledge that you can begin to take steps towards optimal health.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
January 18, 2023
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