Busy lives and full schedules are the two most frequent reasons women give for skipping health check-ups. Many patients leave off seeing their GP until a health concern becomes hard to live with.
With work, family, travel and everything in between, we understand that it can be hard to find the time. However, an annual women’s health check-up could help you avoid illnesses and spot threats of disease early. Here are five reasons to never skip a women’s health checkup.
1. It’s a Chance To Discuss Your Concerns
Knee pain, recurring painful lumps, and increasingly frequent headaches are all different types of concerns that women say they ignore. Our patients tell us that sometimes they just don’t think it’s serious enough to see a GP. Others say they are embarrassed to talk about their concerns with their doctor.
When you book a women’s health check, you are giving yourself a chance to address all types of concerns*. Your GP is only concerned with helping you, they will never judge or lecture – only help. Whatever your concerns and however many you have, trust that your GP will listen and advise.
*Though we would always stress the importance of talking to a GP as soon as possible and not waiting a year.
Similarly, knowing a family member has a medical history that could affect your health can be worrying. Your annual women’s health check-up is your chance to discuss your own and your family’s medical history. With full knowledge of your concerns and family history, your GP will help you on the right course.
2. It’s a Chance To Optimise Your Health
A women’s health check-up is an opportunity to identify what parts of your health could be improved. From your fitness and strength levels to your hormones and vitamin levels – it’s a chance to be even healthier.
Checkups can include screening for fitness, reflexes and even hormone or vitamin levels. Understanding which areas could be better will help you make the necessary lifestyle changes needed for optimum health.
When you are proactive and optimise your health, you are giving yourself the best level of care. Setting yourself up to live a full and active life.
3. Check-ups Can Prevent Illness
Women’s health checkups include everything from an overall health review to cervical screening. Checking in on your health regularly means spotting problems that could develop into illnesses before they do.
When you attend a cervical screening, your GP takes a swab of cells from your cervix. These cells are then checked for abnormalities, improving the detection of any risk of cancer.
When you visit your doctor for an overall health check-up, they will review all aspects of your health. This includes providing a full examination of your cardiovascular health, blood pressure and more. Being checked regularly means spotting any signs of illness either before it gets started or in the early stages. With many serious illnesses, catching them early can improve chances of recovery and even survival.
4. They Help You Age Well
Every stage of our lives includes adjustments to our health and body – whether we realise it or not. As we hit each decade milestone our body behaves differently. In our 20s, health is rarely a concern unless something goes wrong. In our 30s, we tend to lose lean tissue. Whilst in their 40s, women tend to notice the side effects of changing hormones.
Regular checkups with your GP means that you can be ready for these changes. Your doctor will advise on what, if any, changes can be made to help you be healthy at any age. This might include supplements, strength exercise or hormone treatment. What’s important, is that you talk to your GP about what’s right for you.
5. For Peace of Mind
Whether it’s because of a symptom you have been ignoring or family medical history – worrying about health is normal. Everyone worries about their health at some point. However, some do worry to the point of preoccupation.
When your health worries stop you from sleeping or working, you may be experiencing Health Anxiety. A form of anxiety, health anxiety is brought on by near-obsessive worries about real, and sometimes, imagined symptoms.
If you’re mildly or extremely worried, what’s important is that you get the help you need as soon as possible. Talking to your GP can give you peace of mind, as well as practical assistance.
For more information about women’s health check-ups and services available at Roxboro Medical, see our Women’s Health Limerick page
Dr. Lucey is a very keen sportsperson having played both Hurling and Gaelic Football with his native club Croom as well as representing Limerick from the age of 16 in 1996 up to his retirement in 2015. He represented Limerick at Senior level for 17 years with 67 championship appearances, over 30 in each code.
Following on from his interest in sport, Dr. Lucey completed a Masters in Sport & Exercise Medicine from University College Cork graduating in 2009. He is a certified provider of the EMS Swiss Dolorclast method for ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy).
Dr Lucey has worked as doctor for the Limerick Senior, U21 and Minor Football teams, as well as the Limerick Minor Hurling team. He has also worked as doctor for Limerick FC for a number of years.