Dreading your annual exam? Here’s why it’s important…
So many of us dread our annual gynecological exam, or at the least tend to be careless about keeping it. Instead of letting it make you feel fearful or nervous, look at it as empowering yourself instead!
Why is it important to schedule an annual exam?
- Yes, getting your Pap test is important, but so is having a professional breast exam. Both can be invaluable for finding early signs of cancer, if they exist. But don’t let that scare you! Early detection means early treatment.
- Is your yearly exam the only time you see a doctor with any regularity? (If so, you’re not the only one!) It’s a great time to assess many other aspects of your health—your gynecologist or OB-GYN should talk to you about your weight and blood pressure, ask questions regarding nutrition and exercise, discuss the importance of breast self-examination and keep you up to date regarding immunizations, birth control options or any other medical news pertaining to female health.
- Over a year’s time, your body and your lifestyle can go through a number of changes. If you’re in your fertile years, you’ll want to discuss birth control if you use it and whether or not you are planning to get pregnant in the next year. And as your body ages and changes, different forms of birth control that worked in the past may cause undesirable side effects—be sure to share anything out of the ordinary with your doctor.
- If you’re approaching menopause, your body is changing on a daily basis! Take advantage of this time to discuss these changes, talk about possible hormonal therapies and/or supplements you can use to treat your symptoms, and make sure your pelvic organs and tissues are in good shape.
Haven’t scheduled it yet? Call your doctor today.
Remember, you are in control here. This is something you are doing for yourself and your health. Make a list of any questions or concerns you want to discuss with your doctor. Bring along a list of any medications—including dosages—that you’re taking, and of course, make sure you know the date of your last menstrual period. You know they’re going to ask! And arming yourself with knowledge will help you feel more powerful.
If there have been any changes to your family medical history since your last visit, or if you’ve had any surgeries or developed any new medical conditions in the last 12 months, be sure to tell your doctor or nurse.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the professionals at Invision Health invite you to call us at (716) 631-3555 if you have anything you want to discuss about your health. We’d be happy to discuss the best options for you.