Women’s Health 20

As a woman in your 20s, choosing to live healthfully today can help you maintain an active and fulfilling life as you age. Take control of your health and pledge to manage your health habits and risk factors.

 

Healthy Living

Healthy living starts at home. Eating a balanced diet can ensure you have the proper amounts of vitamins to help you feel your best and stay healthy. And in addition to eating right, you should also try to maintain a healthy weight. Being over- or under-weight puts added stress on your body and can become more challenging as you age. Also, only use alcohol in moderation and avoid drugs and smoking.

 

Your Health and Your OBGYN

An annual well-woman exam to your OBGYN is an important piece to staying healthy. Your doctor will check you for signs of illness and answer any questions. It’s common to check your blood pressure and heart rate. Your annual visit generally includes a breast and vaginal exam. If you are 21 or older, your OBGYN may recommend a Pap test to check for abnormal cervical cells that could put you at increased risk of cervical cancer.

Your OBGYN can explain any part of the wellness visit. Don’t hesitate to ask if you feel nervous or unsure.

 

Sexual Health and Reproduction

Tell your OBGYN if you’re sexually active and discuss the right form of birth control. A well-woman exam is also a good opportunity to discuss your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI). If you are considering having children in the next year, talk to your OBGYN. Your doctor can provide you with pre-natal advice. For women 26 and under, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine series can help protect you from the virus.

 

Health Screenings

Be prepared to share your family history, including cancers. Your doctor will use this information to determine your risk factors. Your OBGYN may recommend tests to check your cholesterol and screen for diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Depending on the results, you will likely not have to repeat these tests annually.

Mental health is important for your overall well-being. Discuss any stress, depression or other mental health challenges you’re experiencing with your doctor.

Talk to your OBGYN about any questions or concerns about your health or the well-woman exam.

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