Women’s Health

November 14, 2022

Let’s Make Women’s Health a Priority Everyday.

Don’t put the pink away quite yet. While every October is commemorated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the truth is women’s health should be a priority every day of the year.

What is women’s health?

According to MedlinePlus, women’s health refers to a branch of medicine focusing on medical issues affecting the physical and emotional well-being of women. Of course, women face many unique concerns — such as pregnancy and menopause — though women’s health also includes education and treatment of mental health issues like anxiety and domestic violence. Because women’s health is such a broad subject, it can involve many medical specialties from OB/GYNs and surgeons to radiologists and psychologists.

What conditions are associated with women’s health?

Common conditions associated with women’s health can include the following:

Why should women routinely see a women’s health specialist?

“Early intervention is key to dealing with any acute or chronic condition. Many people seek medical care when ill, healthcare has been shifting for many years and is focusing on wellness care,” said Culbertson Director of Clinical Operations Kristi Hinegardner. “Being as healthy as possible begins with establishing care with a trusted provider. Primary care or gynecology identify and treat specific conditions related to women and the changes their bodies go through.”

What exams should women schedule — and when?

Most regular exams should begin around age 40. However, personal and family history can alter certain risk factors, and consequently, timing of each exam.
“For most women, pap smears and pelvic exams are done yearly with a physical with addition of a mammogram after 40,” Hinegardner said. “Colonoscopies are also considered a normal screening after 40 for most. Lab work is generally part of the yearly physical. Most labs examine general health and can detect warning signs of chronic illness such as some cancers, thyroid dysfunction, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney function and bleeding disorders. These lab exams and screening tests help in directing the provider evaluate any abnormalities further.”

Regular exams and tests women should schedule include the following:

Blood tests and urinalysis — Women ages 18-39 should undergo blood tests and urinalysis every three years, while women ages 40-49 should be tested every two years. Women ages 50 and older should be tested every year.

Take a holistic approach to your health. Dr. Ada Kagumba, MD is an OB/GYN specialist at the Culbertson Outpatient Specialty Clinics who emphasizes listening and education as part of the patient experience. To schedule an appointment, call 217-322-5271.