Women’s Health Week is a weeklong awareness event held across Australia that encourages all women and girls to learn more about their medical needs and making health their number one priority. This annual event is organised under the aegis of Jean Hailes, a leading women’s health organisation dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of all women in our country.
This year at our Brisbane clinic, we encourage every woman to set a reminder of the most essential step you can take for better health: get your recommended screenings and preventive health care check-ups to be in the best of your health.
This week, dedicate your time to review all the health screenings and appointments that you would have missed over the past few months and follow up with your GPs for help.
Health screening benefits: Take a closer look at your health
Women tend to neglect their medical needs and put the needs of their family before themselves. Especially with the on-going COVID-19 crisis and additional stress and anxiety, visiting your local GPs has become vital for good health.
Talking to your doctors on a regular basis is an important part of disease prevention. A regular visit to your local GPs and undergoing regular screenings can identify early signs and symptoms for diseases. For example, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers can be identified with the help of screenings in their early stages, making their treatment as effective as possible.
Diabetes check for women
All women aged 45 and above should undergo a diabetes screening that involves a blood test. Any woman with a family history of diabetes is encouraged to check their blood glucose level regularly.
You could be at risk if:
- You are 45 of age and above
- Have an unhealthy body weight with a BMI 30 and above.
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Cervical Cancer check for women
This test that includes a Pap Smear test is important to identify early signs of abnormalities that could lead to cervical cancer if not treated. It is recommended to have undergone a cervical cancer screening every five years until you’re 74.
Keep a reminder of your five-yearly tests as cervical cancer is preventable with early detection. However, if you notice any abnormal signs including bleeding, pain while having sex, etc, then make an appointment with your GP immediately.
Breast Cancer check for women
A breast cancer screening is done by mammograms that are typically repeated after every one or two years that have been effective in identifying early signs of cancer before being diagnosed with one.
Any woman between the age of 50 and 74 with no family history of breast cancer should undergo a screening every two years, while anyone at some risk of getting diagnosed with breast cancer should consult with their doctors to discuss how often they should be tested.
Perimenopause or “around menopause” may come with or without signs or changes in your body. If you experience irregular periods, mood swings or cholesterol, then it can be a sign of early menopause. A great way to understand your signs is to learn more about it. This information guide about diagnosing menopause is a good start.
Although natural, certain lifestyle choices, cancer, smoking or family history can trigger early menopause. Most GPs are skilled in diagnosing menopause with many safe and effective treatments available.
Take your steps starting this week
We encourage you to follow these 5 steps to build a foundation of good health
- Visit your local GPs for regular preventive screenings, get your vaccinations and undergo a general yearly health check-up.
- Drink plenty of water and have a good sleep
- Indulge in physical activities and get active
- Pay attention to your mental health and reach out for help for any mental health problems.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle, quit or reduce alcohol consumption, smoking and steps to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases.
Having a regular GP is vital for your overall well being as continuity with primary care is associated with better health outcomes. If you’re stressed or concerned with any aspect of your health, seek help from GPs. GPs can be your first point of call for managing any physical health problems or mental issues.
This Women’s Health Week, we encourage all women in our community to focus on your medical needs and take time to check on your health regularly.