National Women’s Health week starts every year on Mother’s Day and is a chance to encourage women and girls to make their health a priority.
Over the last year or so that has been a challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic but there are ways to make sure you are healthy and that includes keeping up with annual exams.
We talked with CU Medicine OB-GYN Dr. Whitney Giamberardino from CU Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology – Highlands Ranch.If you have put off doctors’ visits over the last year or so during the pandemic, you are putting your health at risk and now is the time to make your appointment and get caught up, “A lot of people are putting off care that could be benefitting a lot from routine screening mammograms and pap smears to catch pre cancers and cancers, before they develop and become more severe,” said Giamberardino.
In addition to your annual exam, there are other reasons you may need to call your gynecologist including:
- Heavy periods where you feel sick, lightheaded, or dizzy
- Irregular bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Hormone concerns
- Breast concerns
Care for every stage of a woman’s life
The physicians and staff at CU Medicine OB-GYN – Highlands Ranch are dedicated to providing women with comprehensive gynecological and obstetrical care during every stage of life,” OB-GYNs handle from puberty to end of life care,” said Giamberardino.
As far as when girls should transition from a pediatrician to an OB-GYN, Giamberardino says that it’s really up to families and that, “We are happy as gynecologists to start seeing preteens, 12-13 years old, before their first period. Sometimes there’s concerns that come up earlier than that in childhood and a gynecologist is someone that can triage those questions and concerns.”
Gynecologists also help women as they age and enter menopause. The first indicator of menopause is signaled by at least 12 months without a period and the transition into menopause takes place over several years.
The average age for the start of menopause is 51. Women are impacted in different ways but some general symptoms and concerns include:
- Early on - Trouble losing weight, metabolism changes, irregular bleeding
- A year with no periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Low energy
- Vaginal dryness
A unique service provided to women as they get older is also offered in Highlands Ranch at CU Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology – South Metro. The clinic offers Mona Lisa Touch, which is a gentle laser procedure that’s performed in office with no downtime. It’s designed to help women as they age and is used to help to increase blood flow and appearance.
“These are all things we want to talk about and help treat women through that process,” said Giamberardino, “My goal is to make you feel good again."