Each woman’s health concerns are as unique as they are. Whether you are concerned about maintaining a healthy weight, reproductive issues, keeping skin looking youthful, mood fluctuations, reducing stress, or preventing bone loss, NorthShore Primary Care physicians are here to help.
As we age, regular medical checkups and health screenings continue to be very important. Healthy habits and preventative medical care help you build the foundation for good health over the decades to come. Your actual risk for certain problems changes with age. We have compiled a quick guide for women in their 20s and 30s for safeguarding their health.
Top Health Concerns for Women in their 20s
Twenty million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly half of them are in those ages 24 and younger. Some of these infections are asymptomatic, which means you many have one and not know it. If left untreated, certain sexually transmitted diseases can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and even infertility.
Bone health is another top concern for younger women. A woman’s peak bone mass is reached by the time is she is in her late 20s. Maintaining a peak level of bone health is crucial for protecting yourself against the rapid decline that takes place in the decades to come.
Wearing sunscreen each time you step foot outside is the best habit you can start. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in their 20s. Changes in new moles, or changes in the appearance of existing ones, should be checked as soon as possible.
To address these concerns and protect yourself, make certain you are getting 600 milligrams of calcium twice a day and 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day for superior bone health. Also, bone-boosting exercises and high-impact activities have been shown to stress your body in such a way to spur bone growth. Be smart about exposure to the sun. Always wear sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or more and wear a hat to protect your face as much as possible. And, always practice safe sex.
Top Health Concerns for Women in their 30s
Metabolism begins to slow in your 30s. To maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to have an exercise program that includes aerobic activities, and to eat a well-balanced healthy diet, low in saturated fats, full of fruits and vegetables and light on processed and junk foods. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends 30 to 60 minutes (preferably, 60 minutes) of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, most days of the week. In addition, participate in strength-training (lifting weights) two to three times per week.
Many women today wait until their 30s to have children. If you’re in good health and practice early prenatal care, you’re more likely to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. However, fertility decreases in your 30s, particularly after age 35, so it may take longer to get pregnant. The chances of miscarriage and pregnancy-related health problems increase, as do risks for birth defects in babies born to older women.
In your 30s, as your career and other personal responsibilities grow, you may feel more stress in your life. Practicing good health habits by not smoking and limiting alcohol to one drink or less per day are important habits to establish now. It is just as important to carve out time for personal stress-reducing activities like yoga, gardening, reading and spending time with friends.
Beyond making certain you stay up on all preventative health screening and immunizations, we also think it is important for woman of any age to know their family medical history. It will help your physician determine conditions you may be at greater risk for developing. It will also help them recommend preventative steps you will need to stay healthy. We recommend asking your grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles about their history of chronic illness such as heart disease, chronic illnesses, pregnancy complications, etc.
As you age, the development of chronic conditions and illness increase — as does the need for individualized care. A sustained relationship with a primary care doctor becomes more important.
The doctors at NorthShore Primary Care take the time to meet and get to know each patient. To make an appointment, call the Amherst office at 440-455-3090 or the Avon office at 440-653-8091. Learn more at www.northshorehealthcare.com.