👋 How Can We Help Make Health Care Better?
While COVID-19 proved challenging for all of us, including for women. According to a recent survey, around two-thirds of women reported an increase in stress and anxiety during the pandemic, with 23% saying the increase was significant (compared with 16% of men)1. What’s more, 13% of women said they missed doctors’ visits during the pandemic, while only 7% of men reported the same1.
With the arrival of National Women’s Health Week (May 9-15, 2022) is a reminder for women to make sure they’re taking time to care for themselves. That includes scheduling and completing important health screenings they may have postponed during COVID-19.
Undergoing regular health screenings can help identify problems before they become serious and potentially life-threatening. For women ages 18 and older, medical professionals recommend the following screenings to help maintain and protect their wellbeing.
Otherwise known as the silent killer, high blood pressure is a common, often symptom-less condition that can be life-threatening. Your doctor can check your blood pressure during regularly scheduled physical exams to make sure it’s appropriate for your age.
Bone Density Screening
Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis (weakening of the bones), more than 80% are women2. Typically starting at age 65, women are advised to undergo bone density scans every two years to detect the onset of osteoporosis.
Over 30% of American adults have high cholesterol, including women3. High cholesterol can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, and often has no symptoms — making it all the more important to get screened. Medical professionals recommend that women start these screenings at age 40, and complete them every four to five years — more often if you’re at risk.
Women are at risk of colon and colorectal cancer just as much as men. Colonoscopies are effective in detecting polyps and other abnormalities that may indicate the presence of cancer. Doctors recommend women start undergoing colonoscopies at age 50 (or earlier for those at risk), and conduct them every 10, five, or three years depending on individual risk levels and family histories.
Starting at age 40 or sooner for women at high risk, mammograms can help detect abnormalities in breast tissue that may be an indication of breast cancer. As the second most common cause of cancer among women, breast cancer has a better chance of being successfully treated when it’s detected early4, which is why mammograms are so important.
Recommended every three to five years for women between the ages of 21 and 64, pap smears test cell samples collected from the cervix for signs of abnormal or cancerous cells. Women ages 30 and over can combine this test with screening for HVP (Human Papillomavirus), which can lead to cervical cancer.
Doctors recommend checking your own skin once a month for any abnormalities such as new or growing birth marks, skin spots, and moles. If you detect something unusual or concerning, schedule an appointment with your provider to have it checked.
To all the women who have cared for their families, balanced work and childcare, and found a way to keep their homes running during the pandemic — we see you, appreciate you, and honor you — this National Women’s Health Week and year-round.
We’re also here to help you find the resources, information, and healthcare services you need to care for your own mental and physical wellbeing. Start by giving us a call (800) 467-4898. Your health is our priority.