The Importance Of Women’s Health Check-Ups

By Rachel Lynch

Many women dread the idea of going to their doctor’s appointment. Whether it be pap smears and HPV shots or something as simple as weighing in at an annual check-up, most women aren’t enthusiastic about a visit to their physicians. Regular checkups from primary health physicians are crucial for staying healthy, but so many women are hesitant to keep up with their appointments. Here are three reasons why women of all ages should keep up with their regular checkups and an insight as to why many might be skipping out.

The Benefits of Regular Checkups

The Earlier the Better

Some diseases and illnesses are hard to diagnosis and even though there are might be certain symptoms present, they have the potential to arise in a number of different ways. In some cases, no symptoms will be present leaving the body under silent attack. Receiving checkups on a more regimented schedule can prove to be life-saving. Early detection could be the difference between a long and healthy life and the alternative.

Lower Healthcare Costs

A common misconception people often have about seeing the doctor is that more visits cost more money over time, however, this isn’t necessarily true. Regular check ups ensure that you stay healthy and assist in catching any ailment at an earlier stage, making it more easily treatable. In the long run, this means a lesser chance of more major problems and treatments.

Helps Stress-Related Illnesses

A recent report explains that women are more likely to deal with stress on a daily basis than men. Also, Millennials are the most stressed generation, so this means if you’re a millennial woman, you need to be aware of how stress is impacting your health. Going to your doctor to check stress levels could be the answer to a lot of the aches, pains, and other health issues you might be dealing with. 

Why are women not getting checked?

Fear of the Unknown

When it comes to dealing with their health, fear of the unknown is a huge factor that comes into play. Many women have reported feelings of fear while waiting for results from their tests and procedures. Illnesses like cancer can be something women are afraid of discovering they have when they receive regular routine checkups. For example, many women who go to the doctors with pelvic pain and irregular bleeding are fearful they have ovarian cancer and prolong their appointments. Ultimately making their situation worse. Another case of women waiting to be seen by a doctor are those who have spouses in the occupational field. Men who work in construction, factory, first responders and other blue collar jobs unfortunately come into contact with an array of toxins that are harmful to their bodies as well as the people around them. Women may be afraid to see a doctor regarding chest pains in fear that mesothelioma cancer has developed in the lining of their lungs, due to second-hand exposure.

Rather than to deal with certain medical issues when they present themselves, many women ignore them to avoid hearing the worst case scenario. However, this mentality has its flaws, if there is something medically wrong, things can progress and cause major issues down the line. It’s best to seek help when symptoms become present, no matter what the outcome may be. 

Painful or Invasive Procedures

Not all tests are invasive, but many for women can be. Pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies are a few procedures that every woman needs to have done in their life, but many women report skipping or prolonging these appointments because they are painful and/or invasive. However, these precautionary procedures are helpful in making sure your body is in tip-top shape. If there is anything that is suspicious, doctors can get to fixing the issues right away before it progresses. Although some of these procedures might seem daunting, taking care of your health is important not only for yourself but your family’s sake as well. 

Not Being Heard

Many women have reported that they feel like doctors downplay their symptoms when they seek help for their medical concerns. It’s never easy to walk into the doctors and explain the pain you’re experiencing. The doctors that don’t take you seriously make it very hard to want and come back. There is nothing worse than being told, “It’s probably nothing serious, just your emotions or stress” by your physician, when you know it’s a more serious situation. This type of diagnosis could affect a female patient negatively, and deter them from seeking help for other health-related issues in the future. A recent study concluded that, both doctors and nurses prescribe less pain medication to women than men after surgery, while women report feeling higher pain levels. Another study found that women on average wait 16 minutes longer than man to receive pain medication during an emergency room visit. No wonder women are skipping out on their appointments. Many feel ignored when speaking their honest feelings regarding their health.

If you are a woman who might be prolonging medical appointments or procedures, you’re not alone. However, more women should be aware of the consequences and be mindful to keep on top of their checkups, no matter how inconvenient they may be. Finding the right doctor who is willing to listen and go the extra mile for you is often key for many women to feel more comfortable to keep their regular appointments. So remember ladies, stay on top of your health.

Rachel Lynch is the Press and Media Coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance (MCA). The organization’s work is focused on awareness and advocacy for mesothelioma cancer and aims for a complete ban of asbestos in the United States. Her focus is on raising awareness of asbestos exposure and ensuring all at-risk communities are aware of the potential health impacts.

One Comment

  1. I was unaware that getting regular health screenings as a woman would result to lower healthcare costs. If it were me to be asked, getting help for stress-related illnesses would greatly improve my health. Hopefully, I’ll find a clinic that will screen for my health since the earlier the illnesses are diagnosed, the earlier it will be prevented from worsening.

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