Women form a corner stone of the family.In taking up their responsibilities, they forget to take care of themselves.To visit a gynecologist annually is a common recommendation in the world of women’s health. However many have questions whether these visits are really necessary.
As the life span of woman is increasing , here are some reasons to keep up your annual appointments for a good health at different stages of life.
Adolescent and Young women(11-20 yrs )
- Girls usually start menstruating at the age of 11 to 14 yrs of age. So if your daughter is younger than 11 yrs and having vaginal bleeding or more than 15 yrs and not started menstruating.
- Irregular cycles with severe menstrual cramps or heavy bleeding that causes a teen to miss school or change their lifestyle is not normal.
Reproductive age Group( 20 -35 yrs )
- Irregular cycles: Young adults having irregular cycles-with sudden weight gain or abnormal facial hair or hair loss could be a feature of PCOD and needs to be addressed.
- Contraception : Before a woman embarks into a life of sexual activity, she needs to know about the different types of contraceptives available like OC Pills. Emergency contraception and barrier methods to remain safe and protected .
- Fertility: Pre Pregnancy counselling,
- Regular Ante natal Checkups during pregnancy
- Family planning methods such as IUCD and sterilization have to be offered to the women in their fertile period.
- Infertility: A women not able to conceive after more than one year of sexual activity needs to meet a gynecologist for further evaluation and treatment.
Perimenopausal women( 35 – 45 yrs)
- Menstrual irregularities: Heavy bleeding or severe pain during menstruation or any mass felt in the abdomen could be due to fibroid , endometriotic cysts or any other ovarian cysts and has to be evaluated.
- Screening: Cervical and Breast Cancers are the first and second most common cancers in women increasing their mortality. To screen them with PAP smears and MAMMOGRPHY should be an integral part of their annual checkups at-least till 65 yrs of age.
Post menopausal women(45yrs plus)
Hormonal changes: An average women spends one 1/3 rd of her life in her menopause. This is the time where she feels different changes happening to her due to hormonal withdrawal such as hot flushes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, depression, insomnia, ,urinary incontinence vaginal prolapse etc.
If these symptoms become more intense and effect your daily life talk to your gynecologist to rule out any underlying conditions and the need for HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPIES(HRT).
Cancers: bleeding or spotting in a postmenopausal women should be evaluated thoroughly to rule out cervical or endometrial cancers.
Any distention of abdomen to be evaluated to rule out ovarian cyst, fibroid or ovarian cancers.
- Regular annual health checkups
- Promote the women’s health across their life span.
- Empower the women to make informed choices about their health.
- And promote good and effective women’s Health Policies.