Women's Health

Recomended screenings for women:

Screening Tests

Ages 18 - 39

General Health:
Full checkup, including weight and height

 

Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Thyroid test (TSH)

Start at age 35, then every 5 years

Heart Health:
Blood pressure test

 

 

At least every 2 years Discuss with your doctor or nurse

Cholesterol test

Start at age 20, discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Diabetes:
Blood glucose test

 

 

Discuss with your doctor or nurse

Reproductive Health:
Pap test & pelvic exam

 

Every 1-3 years if you have been sexually active or are older than 21

 

Chlamydia test

Yearly until age 25 if sexually active. Older than age 25, get this test if you have new or multiple partners. All pregnant women should have this test.

 

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests

Both partners should get tested for STDs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse.

Mental Health Screening

Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Skin Health:
Mole exam

 

Monthly mole self-exam; by a doctor every 3 years, starting at age 20.

 

Oral Health:
Dental exam

 

One to two times every year

Immunizations:
Influenza vaccine

 

Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Pneumococcal vaccine

One time only

Tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine

Every 10 years

Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)

Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Meningococcal vaccine

Discuss with your doctor or nurse if attending college

 

Weight Control:

Eating right, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of staying healthy. However, weight loss attempts can be dangerous and may lead to eating disorders. Stay away from weight loss techniques that:

  • Rely on pills or substances
  • Do not include a variety of foods
  • Are very low calorie
  • Require more than 60 min of exercise per day
  • Extreme diets have many consequences including light-headedness, exercise injury, anemia, brittle hair and nails, kidney damage, heart damage, and even death.

 

Heart Disease is the number 1 killer of women.

Increased risk factors include smoking, being overweight, high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol , and family history of heart disease.

Start taking care of your heart now by eating heart healthy foods, exercising, keeping a healthy weight, and not smoking.

Get your cholesterol checked beginning at age 20.

 

Sexual Health

Women are at risk for many sexual health problems including breast cancer, menstrual problems, vaginal infections, and infertility.

See a doctor for any of the following symptoms:

  • Burning or itching around the vagina or anus
  • Sores around the vagina
  • Unusual discharge
  • Pain in lower abdominal
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Unusually heavy or painful menstruation
  • Lumps in the breast

Reduce your risk by:

  • Getting an annual Pap smear
  • Doing self breast exams
  • Getting tested for STI’’s if at risk
  • Using a condom
  • Not using douches, strong soaps, or sprays in the vaginal area
  • Being aware of any changes

 

Urinary Track Infections

Prevention:

Wash the genital area daily with mild soap, rinse well and dry thoroughly.

Drink plenty of water – a minimum of eight, 8 ounce glasses per day, or more if you’re physically active.

Avoid excessive alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods, which can irritate the urinary tract in some people.

Urinate frequently and empty your bladder completely. This helps eliminate bacteria before infections can develop.

Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. This reduces the chance of bacteria being transported to the urethra from the anus. Using unscented bathroom tissue can help.

Don’t use douches, strong soaps, deodorants or sprays on the genital area.

Urinate before and after intercourse. This may help eliminate bacteria that might have been introduced to the urethra during intercourse.

Shower instead of taking a bath.

Drinking a small glass of cranberry juice every day may help prevent infection by making urine less hospitable to bacteria. But be aware that cranberry juice may cause bladder irritation in some people.

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Common symptoms of UTI in the bladder (cystitis):
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Feeling a sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Urinating only small amounts even though the bladder feels full
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or foul smelling urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen especially when urinating

Common symptoms of urethritis:

  • Same as bladder infection, but without lower abdominal pain

Common symptoms of kidney infection

  • Symptoms of bladder infection (sometimes)
  • Back pain, usually on one side, located at about the level of the lower ribs
  • Fever
  • Nausea (sometimes)
  • Abdominal pain (sometimes)

 

Treatment

Drink plenty of water to help flush out the urinary tract. This won’t cure the infection, but may help relieve symptoms.

Don’t have sex until you are checked by your health care provider.

Get plenty of rest to help your body fight the infection.

Limit foods that may cause urinary burning, such as coffee tea, alcohol, spicy food and carbonated drinks.

 

See a Health Care Provider if:

You have UTI symptoms

You experience frequent UTI even through you use prevention measures.

You were treated for UTI but the symptoms didn’t go away

 

Sexual Assault/Rape

Rape is any type of forced or pressured sexual intercoarse including oral, anal, and vaginal. Even if you are unconcious or too impaired to refuse, or too scared to argue, it is still considered rape if you do consent. It can be done by an aquaintence, a friend or someone you know casualy; a date, or a stranger. It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone.

Don't be a victim- ways to protect yourself:

  • Drink wisely, don't let yourself become too impaired to make clear desicions.
  • Always go out, espeacially to the bars or clubs, with friends and stay together.
  • Never leave a drink unattended and don't accept a drink from a stranger unless you open it yourself. This puts you at risk for date rape drugs which are ouderless and tasteless.
  • If you are going somewhere and won't be out until dark, park your car in a place that will be well lit.
  • Lock your doors, even while home.
  • Take elevators instead of staiwells alone.

 

For more information on protecting yourself vistit:

http://www.womentraveltips.com/tips5.shtml