Ladies, your sexual health is important. Just because you reach a “certain age,” this does not mean you can say goodbye to annual sexual wellness exams. Not safely, anyway. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends all women, regardless of age, get annual pelvic exams. Here’s why.
Continued Good Health
Good health is a whole-body experience. That includes all the parts relating to your reproductive and sexual anatomy – the uterus, vagina, labia, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and rectum. Getting an annual pelvic exam ensures you’re still in good gynecological health. Organs functioning properly. No rashes or sores or other abnormalities that need attention. During your exam, you and your doctor can discuss all the factors that contribute to your overall health and well-being, including your medical history and lifestyle.
Did you know that a woman’s risk of cervical cancer increases as you get older? It’s true – and that alone should prompt you to schedule an annual exam. Early detection is critical and that requires periodic screening. You may not need a PAP test every year once you’re past age 65, but based on your medical history your doctor can recommend what is best to protect you.
Some post-menopausal women are also at greater risk of pelvic organ prolapse due to weakened muscles. Again, regular exams detect problems so you can get appropriate treatment.
Preparing for the Next Stage of Life
As you approach menopause and make the journey to the other side, your body goes through many changes, with effects that are both physical and psychological. An annual exam helps you understand and prepare for these changes. It is the perfect time to have an open, honest discussion with your doctor about your personal concerns. In return, you can get up-to-date medical advice that can save you untold frustration and discomfort.
Diminished estrogen production, in particular, can create multiple challenges for women during and after menopause.
Typically these include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal or vulvar itching, burning, or pain, especially during intercourse
- Stress urinary incontinence
- Increased urinary tract or bladder infections
Taken together, we refer to these symptoms as “genitourinary syndrome of menopause, or GSM. They are not only physically discomfiting, they can take a toll on your self-image and confidence. Most posts-menopausal women suffer from at least some of these lingering negative symptoms, but modern medicine and technology enable us to treat those problems women used to simply endure.
Often, doctors prescribe estrogen replacement therapy to alleviate GSM symptoms, but many women either don’t want to take estrogen or cannot do so for medical reasons. However, you can still get long-lasting relief, hormone-free, from MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser treatment. In just three 5-minute sessions, MonaLisa Touch can dramatically improve all of the post-menopausal symptoms noted above.
This is the kind of truly helpful (even life-changing) information you can get by scheduling annual pelvic exams.
Peace of Mind Is Priceless
If you’re at or nearing age 50 (commonly the start of menopause), you’re still a young woman! An annual exam will help ensure you can enjoy all of those years to the fullest. Putting off regular sexual health exams could lead to heartache if you have undiagnosed cancer or another serious problem. On the other hand, peace of mind feels so much better, especially when you know you can get sound advice and real relief from unwanted post-menopausal symptoms.