Why Seeing Your OB/GYN Now Is So Important

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This is a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.

I know we’re living in a time where self-care and wellness are a priority and that means good things for women and their health. Reducing stress, eating a nutritious diet, sleeping well, and taking time for yourself are all paramount for living a healthy life. I think it’s quite important, however, that in this moment of self-care that we continue to shine light on a serious health concern for women: cervical cancer.

The purpose of this post today is simple and serious, not to raise fear, but to raise awareness of this disease all women are susceptible to, a disease that takes the life of one woman every two hours. What’s even more alarming is that more than half of new cervical cancer cases occur in women who have never or rarely been tested. Whether it’s access, concerns about time or co-payments cost , or a lack of education, I’m encouraged today by the #ChangeThisSTAT campaign to share some interesting and helpful information about cervical cancer.

Like…did you know that every hour another woman is diagnosed with cervical cancer? One third of U.S. women diagnosed with cervical cancer die, and that about 8 in 10 U.S. women will contract the virus – HPV – that can cause cervical cancer. Scary stats, ladies.

There is a lot of hope when it comes to this disease however, but it falls squarely on your own shoulders to keep yourselves healthy.  It entails visiting your doctor yearly for your well-woman exam and asking about getting a Pap test and HPV test together.  You should also spread the word in your own community on the critical importance of visiting your OB/GYN for your yearly exam. Going to the doctor, even if you’re busy, or perfectly healthy, is one of the best forms of self-care out there. 

I personally like to see my doctor during my work day and always schedule at least 90 minutes for an appointment. It’s easy to get caught up on missed emails, but a missed doctor’s appointment could have long-term consequences on your health. As a business owner, I encourage all of my employees to do the same, and it’s a company policy that we prioritize our health, even if it means arriving a bit late or leaving a few minutes early. I’d suggest speaking to someone in your company’s HR department, or ask your boss about how they feel about making time for a woman’s wellness check. Then, schedule away!

Important Info About Preventing Cervical Cancer

  • If the cost of screening is a concern for you, there is a way to get tested. Cervical cancer screening is covered under the Affordable Care Act – meaning you won’t be responsible for the co-pay, deductible, or other out-of-pocket costs. If you don’t have health insurance, there are clinics across the United States that provide testing at low or no cost. Women, no matter their circumstances, can and should get tested.
  • For women ages 30-65, the best way to protect against cervical cancer is to see your doctor and ask about getting a Pap and HPV test together. Pap+HPV Together is the preferred strategy for this age group, as it detects almost all cervical cancers and identifies more cases of pre-cancer and cervical cancer than either a Pap test or an HPV test alone. For women 21-29, leading health organizations recommend Pap testing alone.
  • If your test results are abnormal, don’t panic. Schedule a follow-up with your doctor to discuss further. It may end up being nothing to worry about, but ignoring it is the worst thing you could do. When cervical cancer is found early, it’s highly treatable.

Make time for this, and together we can reduce the number of women dying of cervical cancer. It starts with going to the doctor and asking about getting a Pap test and HPV test together.

For more information visit ChangeThisSTAT.com.

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