Regular checkups are an important part of maintaining health and wellness. This month, the medical community focuses on why they are especially important for women.
Checking In on the Women In Your Life
May 9 is National Women’s Checkup Day, an opportunity to remind women of the tremendous importance of preventive care. When we uphold busy schedules, it can be easy to deprioritize self-care. But we know all too well that routine checkups can save lives. Annual physicals make it possible to identify and treat potential conditions before they become unmanageable. Yearly visits are essential, and this observance serves as a reminder to schedule that appointment as soon as possible.
Especially as we age, new questions can arise regarding our health and wellbeing. Women in their 50s, for example, are encouraged to discuss blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, lung cancer and a variety of other topics. Physicians typically have a limited amount of time with each patient, so it is important that you make the most of your visit and communicate clearly the reality of your health.
Granted, regular checkups are beneficial for all people, but there are reasons that this day chooses to focus on checkups for women. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the arena of medical research, as lots of traditionally referenced research relies on male participants. Because of this discrepancy, it’s important to actively counteract historical inequalities and encourage women to seek treatment as regularly as possible.
Further, much of the cultural understanding surrounding health also maintains assumptions of male-bodied individuals. For example, left-arm pain is one of the most widely known symptoms of a heart attack. However, this symptom presents most commonly among men. For women, warning signs might look more like flu symptoms, including nausea and dizziness. For this reason, heart disease is more likely to go misdiagnosed or completely ignored in women because we simply don’t know what to look for.
National Women’s Checkup Day is a chance to advocate for yourself and the women in your life. It’s also an invaluable opportunity to lead by example for the younger ladies following in your footsteps. Taking care of your health is not only beneficial to you, but it also protects the people you care about. Don’t wait for problems to arise. Schedule an appointment and start prioritizing your health today.
“National Women’s Checkup Day: Why This Day Matters,” Beth Battaglino, healthywomen.org, accessed April 7, 2022.
“Heart Attack Symptoms in Women,” heart.org, accessed April 7, 2022.