You feel good. You’re healthy, you’re fit. And you’re also busy. Do you really need to take time out of your crammed schedule for an annual women’s health exam? Here’s why a well-woman exam is well worth your time and effort.

When you have what seems like a million claims on your time and energy, you may start to cut out unnecessary work, appointments, and meetings. But just as you need to stay ahead of problems at work or at home to circumvent disasters, you need to stay ahead of your health, too.

Even if you currently feel healthy, an annual women’s wellness exam ensures you catch and nip any problems in the bud. Annual women’s wellness exams are part of preventive care that provides the advice and lifestyle changes you need to preserve and optimize your health, especially as you age.

At Zephyr Health in Arvada, Colorado, our certified North American Menopause Practitioner (NCMP) and founder Janna Gelderman-Moffett, DO, performs annual wellness exams for women of all ages. She especially recommends annual physical exams and tests for women over age 40, who are entering perimenopause and menopause.

Check in with new symptoms or concerns

One of the most important aspects of an annual women’s health exam is simply the act of connecting with our team so that you feel comfortable and safe whenever you have a question or concern. At your exam, Dr. Gelderman-Moffett takes a comprehensive medical history and asks you about changes or symptoms, such as:

  • Changes to your period
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Changes in your mood
  • Unwanted weight gain or loss
  • Changes in energy or focus

Your exam is also the time when you can explore your options for contraception, or if you want to become pregnant, learn how to increase your odds of healthy conception, gestation, and delivery.

Evaluate your thyroid and hormones

Your hormones — including thyroid hormones — regulate your metabolism and almost every system in your body. If you’re experiencing troubling symptoms, including brain fog or fatigue, we may order blood tests that evaluate your levels of thyroid, estrogen, and progesterone.

Hormones shift during each stage of a woman’s reproductive cycle. You’re most likely to experience hormonal imbalance during or after pregnancy, or as you enter perimenopause and menopause.

You may also have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In PCOS, your body produces too many androgens (i.e., male hormones), which may impair your fertility or cause symptoms such as weight gain and facial hair.

If your hormones are out of balance, Dr. Gelderman-Moffet may recommend hormonal birth control or thyroid medication as well as lifestyle changes. If you’re in perimenopause or menopause, she may prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to restore balance to your body and mind.

Protect your sexual health

As with most medical conditions and diseases, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) don’t usually manifest all at once. In fact, you can have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) for months or years before it develops into a full-blown STD, along with obvious symptoms.

Depending on your age and sexual activity, your well-woman exam may include a Pap smear, which looks for early changes that could indicate cervical cancer, as well as blood tests for STIs and STDs. If your Pap smear or STD tests are positive, we then recommend either further testing, treatment, or both.

Protect your bones

As you head toward menopause, your estrogen levels plummet. Your body needs estrogen to produce new bone cells that keep your bones strong and dense with minerals, including calcium. We may recommend a DXA scan to evaluate how dense your bones currently are.

If you’re at risk for osteopenia (i.e., the beginning of bone loss) or already have osteoporosis (i.e., significant bone loss), we customize treatment to help you keep your bones strong and to build up your stores of minerals. This may include lifestyle changes, supplements, medications or/and BHRT to restore your estrogen levels

Restore your vagina and bladder

Just as aging causes your skin to sag and wrinkle, it also affects the health of your organs and inner tissues, including your bladder and vagina. As your hormones shift downward, you may notice unpleasant symptoms related to the degradation of your genitourinary system, including:

  • Dry vagina
  • Painful sex
  • Smaller labia and clitoris
  • Less intense orgasms
  • Difficulty climaxing
  • Urge incontinence (i.e., increased urge to urinate)
  • Stress incontinence (i.e., leaking urine while sneezing, etc.)

BHRT alone may be enough to alleviate your symptoms of menopause and restore your sexual health. However, you could also benefit from Alma™ FemiLift treatments, which use laser energy to restore and rebuild tissues in your vaginal area.

FemiLift stimulates collagen renewal that strengthens your entire pelvic floor area, including your:

  • Vagina
  • Cervix
  • Uterus
  • Bladder
  • Supporting muscles

FemiLift also improves the overall health of your vagina, to reduce the incidence of yeast infections.

Cancer screenings

Cancer screenings save lives by detecting disease at its earliest, most treatable stage — before experiencing symptoms. Breast, colorectal, and uterine cancer are among the most common cancers affecting women. Dr. Gelderman-Moffettwill evaluates each patient’s need for early screenings. These tests may include mammograms or a colorectal screening. Additionally, she may recommend the HPV vaccine to help prevent cervical and head/neck cancers.

Take care of your present and future self by scheduling a preventive women’s health exam today. Call our team today at 720-389-6063 during office hours, or use our convenient online scheduler.

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