First of all, if you’re reading this because your birthday is today or recently, Happy Birthday from all of us at The Wright Center for Women’s Health!
We know that every year around our birthdays, we tend to think more about our health. And as we age, those thoughts and concerns can become more pronounced. The older we get the more health issues we have. That’s just a natural part of the aging process that we all face.
To help you get a closer look at health issues you may face along the way, we’ve put together this helpful guide. Take some time to read through it and please make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any questions you may have.
Starting a family may seem like a long way off, but if you feel it’s in your future, looking after your fertility should begin now. Talk to your doctor about screening for STDs when you are sexually active. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and other pelvic infections can be a cause of infertility. Begin receiving Pap tests when you turn 21 to screen for HPV, which can lead to cervical cancer.
Your 20s are also an important time to talk to your mom or other members of your family about any female health concerns that may be hereditary and cause you problems down the road.
This is a time to ensure you’re focusing on your routine health screenings. It’s also a time in our lives when we begin to take on more stress. It’s essential during this time to find ways to manage your stress, including regular exercise coupled with healthy eating habits.
Be aware that your 40s is when your metabolism begins to slow down. The risk for heart disease and diabetes increase as we age and add pounds around the midsection and lower body Women can add pounds around the midsection.
Life changes during this period can create stress, depression and anxiety. Form a steady and reliable circle of friends and family for the emotional support you need through this time. Talk to your healthcare provider if these feelings become something more serious than what you feel you can manage on your own. In addition:
This is a time when most women will begin to feel the effects of menopause. In the years before menopause, women may experience skipped and unpredictable menstrual periods. This phase is often referred to as perimenopause. Some women go through this transition faster than others. It normally lasts between 1 and 10 years.
Menopause typically occurs between 45 and 55. Women should expect less frequent periods and other symptoms, including hot flashes, poor sleep, and mood changes. Some women experience vaginal dryness, weight gain, and thinning hair. Bone density may also start to decrease.
60s and Beyond
In your 60s and beyond it is essential to keep your mind sharp. Along with regular physical exercise, incorporate work games, puzzles and other mental challenges to keep you active. In these advanced years, it’s important to maintain regular screenings for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.