National Women’s Check-up Day: Highlighting the need to push health check-ups amongst women
Updated: Jul 9, 2020
Across international waters in the USA, people are celebrating National Women’s Check-up day. Landing on the second Monday of May, this national day focuses on the importance of regular routine visits for women.
In line with National Women’s Health Week, spotlighting routine check-ups in this way helps to normalise better health maintenance for women. Attending routine check-ups enables potential problems to be caught before they come unmanageable or life-threatening.
Unfortunately, women are not going to the doctor as often as men – even when they need to. Concerned less so by embarrassment to discuss or query their sexual/reproductive health, many women simply feel they cannot “be sick” as they have a household to care for.
Typically, women need to be well enough to take care of everyone else, and thus delay or forgo medical care despite needing it.
A 2014 report by The Kaiser Family Foundation found that of the 3,015 women they surveyed, aged 15-64, 22 per cent skipped recommended medical tests or treatment. This is in stark difference to the 12 percent of men who provided the same response.
National Women’s Check-up Day serves to push women to prioritise their own, and often unique, health needs. Speaking to a physician and attending routine screenings provides a vital opportunity to discuss risk factors, early signs and symptoms and other health concerns.
Despite this sort of information readily and widely available online for women to utilise, nothing compares to attending a physical check-up.
Regular check-ups and screenings also allow for health factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels and certain cancers to be spotted and/or examined.
In the UK, women are invited for cervical screening (a smear test) from age 25 until age 64.
A concern to many, cervical screening is not recommended for anyone under 25 years old. Various national petitions have been put in place to lower the recommended age for smear tests from 25 to 18 to prevent cervical cancer.
Certain petitions have reached over 200,000 signatures.