(And you should, too!)
- Plan for less pinch. Take the sting out of your next mammogram and ensure a better image by scheduling it for the week after your period. Breast glands are less swollen and sore then.
- Get a good read or two. Ask to have your mammogram read by a radiologist who specializes in that. Studies show practice makes closer to perfect. If something urns up, take a copy of the films to a second radiologist at a different mammography center.
- Prep for your Pap. Avoid sex, douches, and tampons for 2 days prior. They can erode the cervix, making it tough to obtain a representative cell sample. Also, don’t use body wash with a lot of perfume, because that can irritate the vagina by disrupting your pH balance, and disrupt your results.
- React right post-Pap. If it’s abnormal, ask to be tested for HPV. It’s usually the culprit in virtually all cervical abnormalities and cancers. If HPV isn’t detected, it’s unlikely it’s anything serious, and there’s no need for further testing. If it’s positive, get a colposcopy, a procedure involving looking at the cervix with a magnifying scope and taking a sample to biopsy.
- Avoid he unkindest cut.Some ob-gyns may be unaware of new alternatives to hysterectomy for heavy bleeding. Ask about hormone therapy, outpatient procedures that use heat to destroy the uterine lining, or using birth control pills to suppress menstruation.
- Talk about yourself. Newly single, travel a lot, hopelessly disorganized? Knowing those things will help ob-gyns advise you on birth control.
I found this article in Prevention Magazine, April 2016.