The US Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening for cervical cancer starting from the onset of sexual activity or age 21 until age 65. The screening is done by taking a small sample of cells from the cervix (a Pap smear) and sending it to the lab for analysis. This screening is recommended every three years, more frequently if any abnormal results are found. A bi-manual exam (checking the uterus and ovaries) and a breast exam are also recommended annually. When you come in for a well woman visit you will be offered all of these services, as well as a thorough discussion of sexually transmitted disease prevention, contraception, and any fertility/menopause concerns. You will also get a physical exam that includes heart, lung, thyroid, abdomen, and any other areas of concern.
Support your body as your hormone levels are shifting. Balancing these hormones can decrease symptoms including fatigue, depression, dry skin, night sweats, hot flashes, and irritability. Treatments often include lifestyle and dietary changes, individualized nutrient plans and botanical supplements. Bio-identical hormone replacement may be suggested for the relief of symptoms that remain problematic.
Sit down for an in-depth discussion about the various method of birth control so you can choose the right method for you. Many women have side effects from oral contraceptives and other don’t want to be putting that many hormones into their body every month. Consider options such as condoms, cervical caps, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and family planning methods (FAM).
Hormonal changes in the last few weeks of your cycle can make your miserable. Common symptoms are mood swings, trouble concentrating, food cravings (salt and/or sugar), weight gain, bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, and problems sleeping. Many of these symptoms can be reduced and eliminated by increasing your body’s ability to break down and excrete excess hormone. There are also natural methods including lifestyle and dietary changes and botanical medicines that can help balance your hormones.