Preventive Healthcare Every Woman Would Benefit From

Preventive Healthcare Every Woman Would Benefit From

Post Date: Jan 03, 2024

Women have a number of unique health considerations, and preventative care plays a big role in staying healthy in the long term for patients of all genders. For women who are wondering about their health, it’s helpful to have a straightforward place to start. If that sounds like you, ask your primary care provider about these preventative healthcare items to promote your healthier future.

Annual Exam and Preventative Care Visit

A yearly exam, sometimes known as a well-patient visit, can help keep patients on track for healthcare milepoints and important health screenings. Usually, a visit includes documenting your health habits and history with your provider, getting a physical exam, and setting health goals (these might include weight loss or gain, quitting smoking, or changes in diet). The details of that will depend on you and your personal medical history and risk factors. A physical exam may include a height and weight check, blood pressure check, pelvic exam, and clinical breast exam, depending on the patient.

Screening for Anxiety and Mental Health

Anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns can have a big negative impact on women from all walks of life. If you have concerns about your mental health, talk to your provider or behavioral health therapist about it. Screenings for anxiety and other concerns often come standard in well-patient visits as well.

Counseling for STIs

For patients who are sexually active, regular screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can help keep them healthy. STI counseling from your provider would typically include a discussion of risk factors, potential symptoms and any testing you would like to do. Their recommendations will depend on your personal medical history, number of sexual partners, and recent STI diagnosis. This will usually come up in a well-patient visit, but it’s a good idea to make an appointment or bring the topic up with your provider if you have any particular concerns about STIs.

Relevant Cancer Screenings

Some types of cancer that may impact women include cervical cancer, breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, and endometrial cancer, among others. Thinking about cancer risks can be scary and overwhelming. However, your provider will take your personal risk factors, like age, lifestyle, and family medical history, into account when screening for different types of cancer. Detecting cancer early is key, and your provider can help you determine what cancer screenings make the most sense for you and at what age.

Screening for Relationship Health

Overall health includes oral health, mental health, physical health and relationship health. Screening for relationship health can happen naturally at your annual visit with your provider during your discussion about your history and habits. Your provider might ask questions about current physical violence or feelings of being threatened or afraid. Intimate partner violence (IPV) can affect people of all genders and ages. But it affects young women and women of color at higher rates and can come with long-lasting impacts on physical and mental health. If you are experiencing IPV, help is out there. Your provider can help you access resources if you need them. 

Preventative care can support your healthy lifestyle. Don’t let cost keep you from receiving the preventative care that you need all through your life. CHP clinics offer services on a sliding scale to help people across Southwest Montana access care regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay. Make an appointment at a clinic in Bozeman, Belgrade, or Livingstonto get preventative care from your CHP provider.