When life gets hectic, scheduling a doctor's appointment may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you're feeling strong and healthy. But the idea that your doctor is only there for you after you've become sick is a common misconception.
Preventative care can help your doctor identify problems early on and take action to prevent them from becoming larger or chronic issues. That's why we believe wellness visits should be a part of every woman's annual to-do list!
Here’s what you need to know:
Preparing for the Visit
Being ready for your appointment is just as important as showing up to it. Consider your family health history, do you have any relatives with certain diseases (like heart disease or cancer)? Take note and share this information with your doctor.
Also, bring along a list of medications and any other questions you may have. After all, this appointment is all about you, and should be as accurate as possible — your treatment will be better as a result!
Keeping up With Prescriptions
Many women have ongoing prescriptions, such as birth-control pills and high-blood-pressure medication. These medications must be evaluated each year for their efficacy, as some medication doses may not be as effective.
Protecting Your Reproductive Health
Women have complex reproductive systems that require regular examinations. Annual appointments may include preventative screenings for HPV, pap tests, and mammograms. Your doctor will likely also ask questions about your sexual health.
It's important to answer all health questions honestly, as something you may think is normal may, in fact, be signs of a bigger problem.
Staying Up to Date on Immunizations & Screenings
Now is the time to check on your immunizations and screenings — is everything up to date? Certain screenings (and their frequencies) change as you age, like colonoscopies and mammograms. You may also need to screen for diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis. This annual well woman visit helps to keep everything on track!
Bringing up New Concerns
You know your body better than anyone else. During a given year, you might notice changes that seem abnormal. Take note of these changes, and bring them to the attention of your doctor.
An annual exam can also solidify your relationship with your doctor. A strong bond encourages conversations that may not happen otherwise. Your health deserves a voice!
At Kirby Medical Center, we offer primary care for everyone in the family. We are available to answer any questions or concerns about women’s health and preventative screenings, contact us to schedule an appointment today: 217-762-2115.