Your Guide to Staying Healthy
Juggling a busy schedule can make it hard to take time out to care for yourself. But it is especially important for women to make room your lives for the special healthcare you need.
To stay healthy and strong, remember:
- Screenings for Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases should be done regularly. Some infections like Chlamydia can harm your reproductive health without ever causing any symptoms – but can be treated easily if they’re caught early. Ask your doctor for a screening at your next regular visit.
- HPV vaccines are given as a series of three shots over 6 months to protect against HPV infection and the health problems that HPV infection can cause. The HPV vaccination is most effective for girls and boys aged 11-12, but is also recommended for males 13-21 and females 13-26 who did not get the vaccine when they were younger.
- See your primary care provider (PCP) for a well visit (annual physical) once a year to make sure your overall health is the best it can be. At these visits, you can discuss any concerns you may have about your health, or what to expect at each new stage of your life. You can also discuss things like diet and exercise or domestic situations that may make you feel unsafe in your home.
- If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, see your obstetrician to talk about the care you need to help you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy, strong baby. It’s important that you go to all scheduled appointments to get the nutrition, exercise and care you need. Be sure to schedule and keep your post-partum visit (3-8 weeks after delivery).
- Get a Pap test (also known as the Pap Smear). It’s one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests a woman can get. Your healthcare provider will tell you when you should have your first Pap test and how often you should be tested based on your health needs and history.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about when you should have your first mammogram and how often you should have them. Mammograms help to find signs of breast cancer early. You should get mammograms regularly, because the test works best when it can be compared to previous results to check for any changes in breast tissue.
No matter what your age, it’s important to see your PCP or gynecologist for care that will keep you healthy, in addition to any time you have unexpected symptoms or have questions or concerns you want to discuss. You’re never too busy to put good health on your calendar.