National Women’s Health Week: How to celebrate

Women often can sideline their own health when tending to the needs of others. This National Women’s Health Week, take action for yourself or a loved one.

National Women’s Health Week is a yearly observance to serve as a reminder for women and girls to make their health a priority. Led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, the celebration begins each Mother’s Day. In 2021 it is May 9 to 15. Here are some ways that you can make sure you’re staying on top of your health or encourage a loved one to take a needed healthy step for National Women’s Health Week.

  • Schedule your yearly well-woman exam: Making sure you’re up to date on all of your health appointments sometimes can take a back seat when we’re busy. A well-woman exam with a gynecologist or OB/GYN can help you with cancer screenings including mammogram, pregnancy and childbirth issues, contraception, hormone changes, your period, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other concerns. A Pap smear is not required every year, but regular appointments with your gynecologist are still a good idea.
  • Considering starting a family? Norton Women’s Care providers offer preconception counseling to help you get your body ready for a baby. You also can work with your OB/GYN to help improve your chances of getting pregnant. Norton Healthcare also offers complimentary prenatal and breastfeeding classes to help you get ready for baby and have a healthy pregnancy. We offer different provider types, including midwives and OB/GYNs, to create the birth plan you want.
  • Make sure you have a primary care provider (PCP): A primary care provideris a health care provider with whom you can establish a personal relationship for routine sick or well care. A PCP can help you stay on top of your health, give you regular screenings and help manage chronic conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Staying on top of all of your health screenings with a primary care provider can help you stay ahead of any issues before they could become an emergency. If you can’t remember the last time you saw your primary care provider, it’s time to make an appointment. If you don’t have a PCP, take the time to find one.
  • Going through changes? Menopause is a time of major hormonal, physical and psychological changes. Make sure you have support and are paying attention to your experience so you can get the care you need. Talk with your gynecologist or OB/GYN when you think you might be seeing the first signs of perimenopause.
  • Concerned about bladder leakage? Take a health risk assessment: 1 in 4 women over age 18 experience episodes of urinary incontinence, according to the National Association for Continence.
  • Talk to your mom, your sisters, your friends: Women often take care of those around them and simply may ignore their own health or symptoms. Don’t be afraid to ask them, “When did you last see your doctor?” or “Have you gotten your mammogram?” Doing so shows you care and may be the jump-start your loved one needs.

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