When you have your annual well-woman health exam, do not hesitate to ask your nurse practitioner any questions you have that are related to your gynecological and sexual health. Your healthcare professional is there to help keep you as healthy as possible, and your input and insights are key.
Let’s talk about some of the questions you may consider asking your nurse practitioner during your next women’s health exam, and where you can go in Kent, Washington, for outstanding personalized healthcare for the whole family.
How Do I Examine My Breasts at Home?
About one out of every eight American women will develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetimes. That is why it is so important to be proactive about breast health.
If you’re not sure how to go about performing your regular breast self-exam at home, ask your nurse practitioner. Combined with routine mammograms (beginning at whatever age your healthcare provider recommends, based on your family medical history), these quick and easy tactile exams in the shower can alert you to changes in your breast tissue.
You should ideally perform your breast self-exams every month. Doing them on the same day of the month – such as the first day, or the day matching your birthday – will help you to remember it. It is best to write down the reminder on your calendar until you automatically remember it, or simply always write it down.
What Are My Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?
While everyone is different, age does pose a breast cancer risk for every woman. Additionally, if you smoke, carry excess body weight, or often consume alcohol, your risk increases.
Your risk of breast cancer increases with certain genetic predispositions, the most common of which are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. If you have a family history of breast cancer, particularly at earlier ages, ask your nurse practitioner whether genetic testing is a good option for you.
What Can I Do to Prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy?
Your nurse practitioner can provide a wealth of information on how to be healthy during your childbearing years. The healthcare provider can advise you on what vitamins to take, how to improve your diet, what exercises are best, how to stop smoking (if applicable), and other kinds of prenatal counseling. Be open about your concerns and your goals, and expect honest, informed answers.
Is Birth Control Important as I Approach Menopause?
Our nurse practitioners help women understand and choose the birth control that is proper for their family-planning goals, health, and stage of life. As menopause approaches (the average age is 51 in the United States), fertility greatly declines, but pregnancy is still possible. So, ask your nurse practitioner what method will work well for you and still be safe for your health.
What Can I Do About Depression?
About 12% of women in the U.S. struggle with clinical depression at some point over the course of their lifetimes. In particular, postpartum depression (depression after giving birth) is more common than you may think. Depression often does not seem logical, but it needs to be addressed.
Be sure to be open and honest with your nurse practitioner about your feelings and your mental health. Get the proper screening, medication, and referral if necessary to mental health services.
Do I Need Screening for STDs?
If you are sexually active, the recommendation is yes. Women who are not monogamous should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) annually. Also, if at any point you notice an odd symptom, such as a vaginal discharge or sore, be sure to visit your healthcare professional.
Women’s Healthcare in Kent, WA
Our experienced medical team here at FamilyCare of Kent provides exceptional women’s healthcare. Because our team of nurse practitioners believes education is empowering, be sure to bring all of your questions to us. We’ll be happy to discuss your concerns during your routine wellness visit.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (253) 859-2273 or fill out our online contact form now. We look forward to seeing you!