Self-Care Routines Every Woman Should Have
Whether it’s at home or at work, women tend to do a lot of things for others before themselves. This claim is backed up by a 2015 survey in Europe that found men have more free time in a week than women, who choose to take other responsibilities such as cleaning and taking care of children. The problem with this is it may only be a matter of time before it starts taking a toll on their health and wellbeing.
Given that women are more prone to certain diseases than men and have their own special health needs, it’s important for them to also engage in some self-care whenever they can. While people see self-care differently, what’s common is that they’re activities that preserve and improve health.
In this article, we’re suggesting health practices that can complete the usual self-care routines and plans a woman, such as yourself, for instance, has. Here are some to get you started:
Annual Physical Exam
Regardless of your age or your current health condition, it’s important not to overlook your annual physical exam as it can be essential in catching early signs of possible health problems. And when it comes to health, prevention is more often than not better than a cure.
For instance, research has found that by identifying and addressing risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol, you can lower risks of heart attack and stroke by up to 30%. Without taking a physical exam, these warning signs tend to go unnoticed and can become harder to treat in time.
Women, as previously mentioned, are also more prone to certain diseases than men. One such example is urinary tract infection, which can cause serious illness if left untreated. Same could be said for many types of autoimmune diseases.
The good news is annual physical exam packages often include tests that are capable of spotting early signs for these diseases, which is another reason why you should never miss one.
The Philippine Society of Medical Oncology said in 2015 that 1 in every 13 Filipinas is expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The Philippines has also been identified as one of the countries with the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia.
Given this, it’s essential for you to have your breasts checked through a mammogram, which is an X-ray used to check the breasts for cancer and other abnormalities. Mammograms can detect cancer before you can even feel it and when chances of treatment are still high.
A study has recorded a 25% drop in breast cancer deaths among women who regularly screen. How often you should be screened would depend on your first mammogram.
You can also self-check your breasts by feeling or observing for lumps at least once a month.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Among women in the Philippines, cervical cancer ranks among the most common with around 7,000 cases each year. However, according to the American Cancer Society, it can easily be prevented and cured if caught early by the two screening tests that are available.
One is the Pap test, often called the Pap smear, which looks for cell changes in the cervix that might become cervical cancer. The other is the HPV test, which looks for the human papillomavirus that can cause these cell changes.
The Philippine Department of Health advises women to get their first Pap smear 3 years after first vaginal intercourse. After that, it should be done every year for 3 years. If results come out negative for the 3 consecutive years, it can be done every two or three years.
Visit Your Gynecologist Regularly
It may seem nerve-wracking to visit your gynecologist regularly, but the benefits of doing so can help you get over your fears.
The most essential of which is that they help you understand and know your body better, especially your reproductive system. This includes your menstrual cycle, which they can discuss with you to determine whether there’s a problem or not. In line with this, they may be able to suggest ways to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. They may also be the best source of information for how to stay safe from sexually transmitted diseases.
It may seem difficult to make time to take these tests in between your work, relationships, and other obligations, but by doing so, you’re taking steps towards living a long and fruitful life.
To get you started, Maria Health in partnership with Hi-Precision Diagnostics has come up with Women’s Health packages that include all the tests needed to assess risk of heart disease, screen for diabetes, evaluate thyroid and liver function, among others for the starting price of P2,580.