The two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’. “Women’s Health Week” being celebrated on September 2nd-11th is the time to do something for your health and start making positive changes that can last a lifetime.
It’s very common for women to put the needs of others ahead of themselves, or to find the thought of visiting the doctor overwhelming and delay it.
As well as seeing your doctor for any immediate health concerns, it’s important to visit your doctor (GP/general practitioner) every year or two for a health check.
During these health checks, your doctor can assess your current health and recommend screening tests such as taking your blood pressure, monitoring your cholesterol levels, or doing a cervical screening test. This helps in the prevention and early detection of any health issues, when they are often more easily and effectively treated.
Make the time & put your health first
We have compiled some top tips to help make it easier to talk to your doctor:
1. Be prepared
Before your appointment, think about any questions you may have and what you’d like to get out of the appointment. If you feel nervous about bringing up a particular health concern, or if your health issue is complex, it can help to take some notes in with you.
2. Be honest and open
While it can sometimes be hard to talk about certain topics, being honest and open with your doctor is an important part of your medical consultation. Doctors are not telepathic, if you don’t confide in your doctor then they won’t be able to provide the suitable care you need. If you’re not comfortable discussing an issue with your current doctor, find a doctor you can talk to.
3. Ask questions
Before leaving your appointment, be sure that you have understood your doctor’s advice and any instructions. A good way to do this is to repeat back to the doctor what you have learned in the appointment and what the next steps are. Feel free to write down the key points aswell.
4. Bring a friend
Bringing a friend or support person into the appointment with you can really help with this, especially if the health issue or treatment is complicated. The friend can act on your behalf, asking questions or taking notes. You can also de-brief with them after the appointment to make sure you’ve understood everything.
5. Follow-up appointments
In many instances, it makes sense to book a follow-up appointment before you leave the doctor’s surgery. You can always cancel it if you wish.
Always remind yourself, your doctor is there to help you – without judgement.
It can be all too easy to put these things off, but you will feel much better for reaching out and taking care of yourself. So, take control of your health and get to know your GP better.
Book an appointment today, the Providence Medical team are here to help!