Throughout time, government organizations from all across the globe have made various efforts to establish a day in support of women’s health. After a few decades of struggle, the government of the U.S., as well as a great number of associated governments from every corner of the Earth, supported by feminist organizations worldwide, achieved their goal and proclaimed May 9th as National Women’s Check-up Day.
The Importance of National Women’s Check-up Day
National Women’s Check-up Day is the most important day of National Women’s Health Week, which this year (2017) takes place from 8th to 14th May. The day’s importance is due to the activities intended for this day. Clinical preventive measures like visiting your local doctor and the incorporation into everyday life of simple self-diagnosis and prevention steps are what make this day so important. Because of this, every woman, no matter where in the world she is settled, should take advantage of the benefits this day provides for her health.
What Is the Purpose of National Women’s Check-up Day?
The reason such a day was established is the critical importance of enhancing women’s awareness of both their mental and physical health. It is crucial to women’s health that they understand to what degree prevention and early discovery of any type of disease can prevent it from developing further. The objective of National Women’s Check-up Day is to encourage women to put their health at the top of their priority lists. Not only does a regular check-up create a greater feeling of safety, it also teaches women how to take simple preventive steps on a daily basis in order to maintain a healthy behaviour. These steps include following a healthy diet, cutting down on or eliminating nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, and getting more involved in physical activity. Another important issue is that of stress; this is why methods of lowering stress in everyday life, such as getting enough sleep, are included.
National Women’s Check-up Day Activities
There are several prevention tests that are considered part of the National Women’s Check-up Day schedule. Each of these tests are important on its own. Every single one of them has a different purpose and focuses on a different portion of the body. That way, every aspect of women’s health gets covered.
Some of these tests should be performed monthly, others once every six months, once a year, or every other year. Additionally, there are tests that should be taken even less often and tests recommended only for women in their 20s and 30s.
- Breast Self-Exam (BSE) – Is a test that it is recommended women take once a month. The best time to perform this check-up is a few days after your period is over. It’s essentially nothing more than checking to see if there are any unusual objects, such as bumps or lumps, in your breast tissue.
- Skin Self-Exam (SSE) – Is yet another test that should be done on a monthly basis. This check-up includes searching your skin for uncommon marks or spots. It is advised that you use the ABCDE method for performing this self-exam effectively and easily. This method includes: asymmetry, border irregularity, uneven color, bigger than 6mm diameter, and evolving size and shape.
- Dental Check-up (DEN) – Is another must, though it is recommended only once in a six month period. A regular visit to your local dentist helps make sure your teeth are in the best shape.
- Full Physical Exam (PHY) – Should be taken at least once a year. It is a common procedure which includes: a clinical breast exam, both weight and height check, examination of blood pressure, and additional blood tests such as blood count, blood sugar, hormone levels, and similar routine tests.
- Pap Smear (PS) – Is one more annual test in which the cells in the cervix are examined for any abnormalities or changes. This test is taken in order to spot cervical cancer, which must be taken care of as soon as possible upon discovery.
- Pelvic Exam (PLV) – Is a routine check-up of the uterus and ovaries, just to make sure to eliminate any risks of infections, cysts, fibroids etc.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) – Another annual visit to the doctor, where a simple blood test or mouth swab can determine whether you are infected or not.
- Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) – Should be taken once a year as well. The most common tests are those for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B or C, and trichomoniasis.
- Eye Exams (VIS) – Another simple way to take care of your health. It is recommended that everyone should check their eyes once every two years; for those who have a vision problem or wear glasses or contacts, this test should be taken every year.
- Skin Cancer Screening (SK) – Is a quick visit to your dermatologist, and should be performed as often as once every two years.
- Human Papilloma Virus Infection (HPV) – Recommended for women in their 30s and older.
- Cholesterol, Triglycerides & Blood Count test (CH) – Should be taken at least once every five years.
- Thyroid Test (TH) – Recommended for women over 35.
- Colonoscopy (CLN) – Is recommended for women over 50. This test is taken to detect polyps that may pose a risk of colon cancer.
- Diabetes Screening (DB) – Another test recommended for women over the age of 50.
- Mammograms (MAM) – Should be taken in specific cases, usually for women above 40.
The Idea behind National Women’s Check-up Day
The message this day sends is very simple: every woman in the world should take care of her health; after all, our health is the most valuable thing we have.