During the COVID-19 pandemic, some women have put off routine well-woman health check-ups, cancer screenings, such as Pap smears, mammograms, and colonoscopies. There are different health screenings recommended at every phase of a woman’s life.
“Sometimes women get so focused on taking care of everyone else, they don’t make time to take care of their own health,” said Katrina Jensen, RN, from Intermountain Healthcare.
If you’ve put off some of those visits or screenings, it’s time to get in for those with either your Ob/Gyn or family practice provider or midwife who can provide additional information about common women’s health concerns including:
- Irregular or painful menstrual cycles
- Fertility and birth control
- Menopause questions
- Hormone imbalances
- Depression, anxiety or mood disorders
Recommended health screenings for women include:
- HPV vaccine to prevent the human papillomavirus virus that can cause cervical cancer and other cancers is recommended as early as age 11, up to about age 26.
- Pap smears to check for cervical cancer every 1-3 years after age 18
- Annual mammogram screenings for breast cancer after age 40 or earlier if have a history of cancer in the family
- Colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer beginning at age 50 or earlier if have a history of cancer in the family
- Bone density screenings for osteoporosis for women over age 65 or at risk for fractures
With the COVID vaccine now widely available, it’s recommended that mammogram screening be done either before getting the COVID vaccine or delayed until at least four weeks after receiving your final COVID vaccine dose.
For behavioral health concerns call the free Intermountain Emotional Support Hotline at 1-833-442-2211 available seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm.
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