Preventative health care is vital to women’s health and asking the right questions leads to better care.
In part one, we examined how medical research has not only excluded women in the emergence of modern medicine but how, even today, the progress is slow. Join us in today’s post as we continue the conversation and arm you with critical questions to ask your doctor.
The Slow, But Changing Medical Research For Women
Since the 1980s, there has been some change in medical policies that include women and women of minorities which has led to the discoveries of how cardiovascular disease affects women differently in addition to the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.
While women are being included, the breadth in which they are is undetermined. The FDA made an inclusive move when it was found that women were regularly overdosing on Ambien and conducted a simulated study to see how it is metabolized in women. It was then announced that the FDA takes sex differences seriously in science and will begin to provide data to medical drugs and products to better include women.
How Women Can Advocate For Their Health
Medical research for women is slowly progressing, so advocating for their health is something that must be done as it leads to better care and healthier outcomes. Sometimes when we are faced with health issues, we have questions but we don’t know the right ones to ask. Below are vital questions to address with your doctor.
I have been feeling extremely anxious, irritable, and not like my normal self, do you think I have a metal concern?
Emotional wellness is just as crucial as physical wellness, so addressing this with your doctor is very important. If you have been experiencing any of the above (or other emotional concerns), talk with your doctor and advocate for your mental health.
I am on various medications including X, Y, and Z, do they interact with each in any way? Can you show me support of this if they do?
Medications by themselves have a whole laundry list side effects, so when you combine two or more there may be many contraindications. Talk with your doctor about the risks and try to make a plan in getting off a couple of the medications, if possible.
Do I have any STDs/STIs?
This is an important question for most age groups who are healthy enough to engage in sexual activity. It has been found people 45 and older have STD/STI rates that continue to climb every year, so it is not just a concern for the younger generations. If you are sexually active, get tested!
What kind of screening or tests do I need for my age group?
Whether you have a family history for a specific health concern or not, it is important to advocate for preventative screenings and diagnostics to stay healthy. Ask about when you should start getting Well Woman exams, mammograms, and a DEXA scan.
With the lack of medical research on women as examined in detail in part one of this series, knowing the right questions to ask to advocate for your health is imperative.
These questions are just the beginning! Stay tuned for even more questions to ask your doctor!