Unless you’re feeling unwell, it may never occur to you to schedule a doctor’s appointment. After all, it might seem odd to visit the doctor when you’re feeling perfectly healthy.
But the truth is that regular wellness exams are a crucial part of protecting your physical health and your overall well-being. For women, this means scheduling an annual “Well-Woman Exam” to maintain optimal breast and ovarian health.
Today on June 12, we’re bringing awareness to the importance of the Well-Woman Exam by celebrating National Call Your Doctor Day. Established in 2016 by Bright Pink, a nonprofit whose mission is to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer, National Call Your Doctor Day focuses on women living proactively when it comes to their health.
Why Today Is Important
National Call Your Doctor Day encourages all women to be proactive agents in their own healthcare by scheduling their Well-Woman Exam with their doctor annually. Doing so provides significant health benefits, such as:
- Catching an illness early: Sadly, almost everyone knows a person who has lost his or her life to an illness simply because it was not detected early enough. An annual Well-Woman Exam greatly increases the chances of identifying — and treating — health abnormalities or diseases in their early stages.
- Feeling empowered: You feel most confident when you feel in control. What better way to ratchet up your self-confidence than taking control of your own health by scheduling your Well-Woman Exam?
- Staying connected to your doctor: Scheduling your annual Well-Woman Exam forms a regular conversation and strong bond between you and your physician. You are far more likely to want to return each year, as recommended, when you feel a genuine, trusted connection with your doctor.
How To Celebrate
There are several excellent ways that you can celebrate National Call Your Doctor Day:
- First, call your doctor to book your Well-Woman Exam. You’ll feel great knowing that you’ve prioritized your health by getting the important annual check-up you need and deserve.
- Encourage your family and friends to also book their annual Well-Woman Exams by using #CallYourDoctorDay on social media channels.
- Take some time out for self-care. This could include meditation, journaling, taking a walk, napping, or just sitting quietly. With life’s many demands and tending to others, it is easy for your own needs to get put on the back burner. Celebrate yourself today by reflecting on your numerous accomplishments as well as thinking about the exciting things you’re looking forward to in the future.
What to Expect From The Well-Woman Exam
We understand that some women may find the idea of a Well-Woman Exam to be daunting. Here is what you can expect from your visit, so that you’ll feel prepared and at ease on your appointment day:
- A Routine Physical: This typically includes the basics like taking your height, weight, and blood pressure measurements. It also can include providing a urine and blood sample to get a full picture of your overall health, such as your cholesterol, blood sugar, and essential vitamin and mineral levels.
- Changes In Family or Personal Health: If this is your first exam with your doctor, you will complete a form or chat about your health history, as well as your family’s. If you’ve seen your doctor before, you will only need to provide any changes or updates to this information.
- Clinical Breast Exam: Your doctor is trained to recognize many different types of abnormalities in breast tissue and early warning signs of breast cancer. Although your clinical breast exam is optional, it only lasts a few minutes and can greatly help protect you against breast cancer. (Note: Women should start annual mammograms as early as 40 — earlier if breast cancer runs in the family — and no later than 45).
- Pelvic Exam: A pelvic exam helps doctors locate signs of illness in a woman’s reproductive organs, including the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Like the clinical breast exam, the pelvic exam is over quickly and will give you peace of mind that you’ve covered all your bases.
At Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups, your health and happiness are our top priorities. Put yourself and your health first on National Call Your Doctor Day, and contact us to schedule your Well-Woman Exam with one of our outstanding physicians today!