Hitting your stride.
- Expect more at your wellness exam.
- How are you taking care of you?
- Your family plan.
- Peeing yourself is never normal.
- Breast cancer screening.
Your body is doing a lot these days and the health things you need to keep up on – from Pap smears and breast health exams to pregnancy and postpartum care – can seem complex and be overwhelming. Let’s navigate the ups and downs of this time in your life together.
As we age, there are more and more things to be mindful of in terms of maintaining our health—which means we get to cover more in your wellness visit. If you’re having a specific problem (like irregular bleeding, painful sex, new depression or anxiety, etc.), let’s definitely talk about it. If it’s having a big impact on your life, together we can consider changing the focus of your visit to be about the issue you’re experiencing rather than preventative health. Otherwise, addressing your concern in detail may require a follow-up to your wellness visit. Speaking of follow-up, ever wonder what the difference is between a preventative health visit and an office visit? Learn more below.
Between raising children, caring for aging parents and nurturing your career and your relationships—your life is kinda busy these days. So we’ll get to the point…let’s talk about how you’re prioritizing YOU. Beyond eating healthy and being active, we really want to know what you enjoy, what makes you feel well—and are you getting enough of that in your life?
Your provider will probably ask whether you’re thinking about becoming pregnant—and if not, what you’re doing to prevent it. If you don’t see pregnancy in your future, is your current method of birth control the one you want to stick with through menopause? You have a lot of options and this is a great time to discuss them all—and, possibly, to consider switching to a long-acting form of contraception or a permanent solution if you have sex with sperm-producing partners.
If you do see pregnancy in your future, we want to talk about that, too. Your clinician will want to know more about your pregnancy and reproductive health history to help you come up with the best plan for becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. Depending on your history, they may recommend some initial steps to look at possible hurdles and what you can do to have the best chance of overcoming them. There are some additional risks that go along with having children after 35 and this is a great time to get all your questions answered.
People who have had children experience urinary incontinence more than people who haven’t—but we’re here to tell you that it can happen to anyone and we want to talk about it. There are a range of options to address it that have been shown to be quite effective.
As they near age 40, many people want to discuss when they should start having mammograms to screen for breast cancer and how often. Let’s do it! Your provider can help you sort through the varying recommendations and decide what’s best for you. Gather as much family history as you can before your visit; specifically, whether you have a mother, sister, or daughter (first-degree relative) or multiple family members on either your mother’s or father’s side of the family who have had breast cancer. This will influence your clinician’s recommendations on when you should start and how often you should have mammograms.
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The desire for sex can naturally fluctuate over the years and can be affected by many things, including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, illness, medications, relationships and life circumstances, among other things. If you have questions or concerns about your sex drive, talk to your provider.
Screening means looking for signs of disease or assessing risk factors for developing disease before you have any noticeable physical symptoms. Mammography is one way we screen for breast disease. Pap tests screen for cervical cancer or changes that could lead to cervical cancer. DEXA scanning screens for osteoporosis. Measuring blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and blood glucose helps us screen for risk factors that can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Learn more about recommended screening by age range.
Sometimes your risk of developing a disease–such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes–is linked to family history or genetics. But there are often steps you can take to reduce your risk. (The fancy term for this is “modifiable risk factors.”) Examples of modifiable risk factors include not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Talk to your clinician about your health and family history and what you can do to minimize your risk.
Learn more about midwifery care and women's health during pregnancy and beyond on this site from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
A website to compare the cost of prescription medications.
A website by the National Institutes for Health to help you make informed decisions about ways to supplement your traditional healthcare.
A searchable database of current medical information for both patients and providers.
The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – this is a great resource for vaccination and disease screening and prevention recommendations.
A good resource for articles on sex after 40. Also includes various products, but this is not a specific endorsement of those.
A great resource from the American Urogynecologic Society for women experiencing pelvic floor disorders, including bladder and bowel control issues and pelvic organ prolapse.
On online resource and forum for women having bleeding issues, fibroids, pelvic pain, etc.
Articles, fact sheets, resources and infographics on staying healthy throughout your life from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Excellent breastfeeding information!
Great information about all aspects of reproductive health.