You're 66 & Up

What's happening now?

You may have a health regiment you’re happy with, you may be seeking treatment for something new that’s come up, or you may just have a few questions about your health. No matter where you are on your journey, WHA is here to provide exceptional care.

  • Now we’re cruisin’

  • Guess what...
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Should you still see your gynecologist?
  • Vaginal bleeding may cause for concern.
  • Guess what...

    Few women over age 65 need to have continued screening tests for cervical cancer (hooray!). Depending on your history, your provider may recommend age-appropriate screening.

  • Hormone therapy.

    If you’re on HRT, talk to your provider about how that’s going for you. If you are still benefiting from it and have been taking hormones orally, your provider may want to discuss transitioning you to transdermal (through the skin). If you haven’t been on estrogen and are noticing more urogenital changes in your 60s and beyond, consider discussing vaginal estrogen with your provider.

  • Should you still see your gynecologist?

    If you’re on any type of HRT, you should continue to see your gynecologist annually. If you’re not on hormone therapy and you’re not experiencing gynecological issues, it’s perfectly fine to see your primary care provider for preventative health care—just pick one with competence in women’s health who will help you stay on top of all the general health screenings that are recommended in this age group. Bottom line: you don’t have to see us, but you should see someone—and not just when there’s a problem!

  • Vaginal bleeding may cause for concern.

    If you’re post-menopausal and experience vaginal bleeding, we want to talk to you right away. Call our office; we may have you talk to one of our advice nurses to help assess the situation.

A Simple Guide to Screening and Prevention

Breast cancer screening
Osteoporosis screening
Colon cancer screening
General health screenings
Vaccines

Breast cancer screening

Keep on keepin’ on with annual mammograms.

Osteoporosis screening

Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women of average risk beginning at age 65.

Colon cancer screening

Talk to your primary care provider about his or her recommendations for how often to be screened for colon cancer, which will depend on your risk factors, the type of screening tests you’ve had in the past and your past results.

General health screenings

This is old hat! See your primary care provider to screen for:

High blood pressure. Get your blood pressure tested every year. Optimal blood pressure in healthy women is less than 120/80.

Diabetes. Screening for diabetes is recommended if you are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or have had diabetes during pregnancy.

Thyroid disease. Periodic screening is recommended for women beginning at age 45.

Cholesterol/lipids. Screening tests for high cholesterol are recommended periodically for all women, but may be done more frequently if you are overweight, obese or have other risk factors.

Vaccines

Adding one more to the list! We can help with seasonal flu and Tdap if you’re in for a visit – otherwise see your primary care provider for:

Seasonal flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and older adults.

Tdap vaccine. Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine (if they did not receive it as an adolescent) to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.

Shingles vaccine. Healthy adults aged 50 years and older should get a zoster vaccine to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease.

Pneumonia vaccine. This is recommended for all adults age 65 and older and for younger adults who have certain chronic health conditions.

Is This Normal

Answers you want, questions you may not want to ask

Let's Talk About It

here are some topics your provider may bring up

  • 1 Bone health

    Bone health

    Osteoporosis is the most common form of bone disease. It occurs when the body loses more bone than it makes, causes bones to become weak and break more easily. Risk factors for osteoporosis include age, gender, ethnicity and family history. You can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by:

    • Getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
    • Staying active and doing weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or jogging
    • Maintaining a healthy body weight
    • Not smoking
    • Not drinking excessively

    The test for osteoporosis is called a DEXA scan, which uses dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to test your bone mineral density.

  • 2 Bladder control and function

    Bladder control and function

    The bladder is a muscular sac located in the pelvis just above and behind the pubic bone. It stores urine as it is a produced by the body until we go to the bathroom and release it on purpose in a controlled way through the urethra and out of the body. Loss of bladder control is called urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence can occur when the muscles of the bladder squeeze uncontrollably or when the muscles holding the bladder or opening to the urethra become weakened. Other types of bladder function problems can include bladder overflow and the retention of urine. There are a variety of ways we can help with urinary incontinence, so talk to your provider if this is an issue for you. Learn more about urinary incontinence.

  • 3 Sexual comfort and enjoyment
  • 4 Disease prevention

    Disease prevention

    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.

  • 5 Emotional wellbeing

    Emotional wellbeing

    Emotional health and wellbeing refers to our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life in a positive way and recognize and manage negative emotions, like stress, anger and sadness. Emotional health is very important to physical health because when you’re not able to process negative emotions or manage stress, it can impact sleep or lead to unhealthy coping strategies—such as substance abuse, emotional eating, etc. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, your relationships are suffering or you’d like help finding healthier coping strategies, talk to your provider about a referral to one of our behavioral health specialists.

  • 6 Physical activity

    Physical activity

    In the category of ‘what are you doing to take care of you…,” your provider may want to talk about what you’re doing to stay active physically. Exercise reduces your risk of stroke and heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. It’s also been shown to improve cognitive function and mood. Don’t feel bad if you’re struggling! We can give you ideas for how to get more active that fit within your life.

More Resources for You

GoodRx

A website to compare the cost of prescription medications.

Up to Date

A searchable database of current medical information for both patients and providers.

CDC.gov

The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – this is a great resource for vaccination and disease screening and prevention recommendations.

MiddlesexMD Blog

A good resource for articles on sex after 40. Also includes various products, but this is not a specific endorsement of those.

Office on Women’s Health

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!

Carissa St. Onge Caneiro, CNM, MSN Carissa M. St. Onge Carneiro, CNM, MSN
Nurse-Midwife
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Check Accepted
Insurance

If you’re pregnant and want to begin care at WHA–or need to schedule an appointment during your pregnancy, call us! Find a provider and location here.

Please have your insurance information handy before you begin scheduling.

This will allow our teams to check whether your plan may require a referral for the care you need or to prepare benefits information to share with you at your visit. If you do not enter insurance information when scheduling, you may be asked to pay a $200-$500 deposit before receiving service.