Women Are the Chief Medical Officers of Their Families — But 62 Percent Say They Don’t Have Time to Make Sure They Stay Healthy

women-health-decisions-tests

The survey, conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, calls these women the “chief medical officers of their families.” 

The survey also found that while 94 percent of women make healthcare decisions for themselves, 62 percent said they lack the time to figure out what they should do to stay healthy. The study included 9,218 respondents, including 4,546 men and 4,672 women, from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Brazil.

So, how often should women go to the doctor? “While women are juggling work, family, hobbies, and personal causes, they can’t forget about their own health. That happens far too often,” says Kathy Langer, MD, an OB/GYN at Riverton Hospital.

The American College of Gynecology recommendations that women should receive these preventive exams:

Women ages 19-39 should have:

  • Periodic breast and pelvic exams
  • A pap smear every three to five years
  • An HPV series for those 26 years or younger who haven’t been previously immunized
  • Diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus vaccine or booster every 10 years 
  • Influenza vaccine annually
  • Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine for those not previously immunized 
  • Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine - one series for those without evidence of immunity
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea testing (if 24 years and younger and sexually active)
  • HIV testing

Women ages 40-64 should have:

  • An annual mammogram
  • A pap smear every five years
  • Diabetes testing every three years after age 45
  • A lipid (cholesterol) profile every five years.
  • A colonoscopy at age 50

Women ages 65 and older should have:

  • Bone mineral density screening every two years
  • Pap smear and HPV testing every five years
  • A colonoscopy every 10 years       
  • Diabetes testing every three years
  • Hepatitis C virus testing (a one-time test for persons born 1945-1965 who are unaware of their infection status)
  • Lipid profile assessment every five years
  • Mammography every year
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone testing every five years
  • Urinalysis

Free women’s health workshop is Thursday night at Riverton

A free women’s health workshop will be held at Riverton Hospital on Thursday, April 21, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Riverton/Herriman conference rooms. OB/GYN Kathy Langer, MD, will discuss health screening and vaccination recommendations, vitamins, bio-identical hormones, aspirin usage, and decreased libido — plus she’ll take time to answer questions. Women aged 18 and up are invited (and everyone who attends will get a free yoga mat). Wear comfortable clothes for a yoga class, led by a physical therapist, after the discussion.