© 2020 Dr. D.C. Sarile
Staying healthy is about more than just taking your vitamins and having a yearly physical. For women, it is important to focus on yearly screenings to maintain all aspects of your health.
As we age our bone tissue can deteriorate from a condition known as Osteoporosis. It is important for women to be screened every year starting at age 50.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. To protect against this women should be screen every year from age 50 to age 70.
You can also do self-exams at home once a month starting at age 20.
To perform a self-breast-exam Start by doing a visual inspection of your breasts. Stand in front of a mirror without a shirt or bra. Place your hands on your hips pressing firmly down on your hips to engage the muscles. Look for any redness or scaling of the skin and nipples, any changes to the size, contour, or shape, and any dimpling or puckering in the breast tissue. Check under your breasts as well. Turn side to side, lifting your breasts up so you can see underneath and on the side of them.
Once you have done the visual inspection you can move on to a physical examination. The best position to perform a physical self-exam is lying down on your back, with the arm above your head. Using your other hand, feel around the breast on the side that has the raised arm. Start under your armpit and press down gently but firmly at first. This will help you feel the first layer of tissue under your breast. Make small circles with your three middle fingers using the pads of your fingers, not your fingertips. Move your finger circles up and down the breast tissue until you cover the whole breast and underarm area. Once you have moved over your whole breast, move in the same pattern again, making sure to press harder this time. This will reach further into your tissue and examine the under layers of tissue. Once you have finished, check your nipples for any irregularities. Using light but firm pressure, squeeze your nipple between your thumb and forefinger. Note any lumps or discharge (If lactating, examine milk for abnormal colouring, texture, and scent. Once you have finished examining one breast, switch to the other side and repeat the exam.
It is important to become familiar with what is normal for you so that you can more easily detect any changes in your breast tissue. If you have any concerns contact your healthcare provider to schedule a more in-depth examination.
Overall Health is just as important so you should schedule an annual physical with your healthcare provider every year.
Reproductive health covers a wide range of issues from Pap tests to birth control and beyond. It is important for women to understand what is needed to maintain their reproductive health.
Pap test is the most effective screening test for cervical cancer. It is recommended women age 50-70 be screened every 3 years and sexually active women should begin screening by age 29.
Contraceptives are for both the prevention of pregnancy and prevention of the contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STI's). It is important to understand the risks of being sexually active and what you can do to protect yourself. For more information please visit Sexuality and U.
Finding out you are pregnant can be an exciting and terrifying time. It is important to ensure yours and your new babies health at every stage of their development. It is crucial that you speak with your primary healthcare provider or your OBGYN and keep updated on what you need to do during the pregnancy. For more information please visit The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canad and The Mothers Program.
Menopause is a normal condition that all women experience, where they stop menstruating. This typically begins between the ages of 45 to 50. Different woman experience menopause differently so it is important to understand the process of menopause and what sorts of health concerns are associated with it. For more information please visit Menopause and U.