If someone asked you about your priorities, you’d probably put staying on top of your health near the top. But, in practice, it’s not that simple.
If you’re like many women, your time is in high demand. You’re expected to be a caring family member, a diligent employee and a runner of errands. After so many slices are carved out of your day, there may be little left for your own self-care needs.
You know your health is a priority, but it can be hard to make time for the doctor if you’re not feeling sick. But that’s exactly the best time to go. Scheduling a well-woman exam when you’re feeling well allows you and your doctor to look into the future. That can help to ensure the health you enjoy today will serve you and your family tomorrow. And feeling fine isn’t the same as being fine; your doctor will be able to search for hidden problems before they cause symptoms.
We’ve asked D. Ashley Hill, MD, medical director of obstetrics and gynecology at AdventHealth Medical Group, for the two most important reasons women should schedule their well-woman visit:
1. Prevent Health Problems Before They Appear
During your exam, your health provider will be able to detect any potential diseases or disorders, like breast and gynecological cancers, before they cause symptoms.
Though the idea of searching for signs of cancer may make you anxious, it’s the best time to find it. More than nine in 10 women whose breast cancer was spotted early are alive five years later.
Breast cancer is just one of many conditions your doctor can screen you for. He or she will ask you questions about your health and check your weight, height and blood pressure in order to figure out where to focus your health goals.
2. Make a Plan to Achieve Short- and Long-Term Health Goals
Think of your gynecologist not only as someone who’s spotting potential physical problems, but as a partner in your whole-person health. That means you can talk to them about your health goals, like losing weight or feeling less anxious.
They will also help you build on what you’ve learned from that visit by living healthier. To do that, you’ll create a plan that’s centered around what fits into your life. That plan might mix a medical solution with a lifestyle change.
For example, say you have high blood pressure that’s putting you at risk of a heart attack or stroke. Instead of waiting for your blood vessels to be damaged, you and your doctor could create a proactive plan that includes medication and changes to what you eat and how much you exercise.
No matter what you decide, you can take heart in knowing that you’re not doing it alone.
AdventHealth is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a best hospital for women’s care, and the best in Florida for gynecology.
We want to make it easy to schedule your well-woman exam, which is why we offer online booking. Scheduling your well-woman exam is one important step you can take to gain control of your health. It helps you — and the people who depend on you — achieve health in body, mind and spirit.