Has anyone else noticed over the last few years people are far more interested in their health?
During my early adulthood, especially university days, drinking all night was a huge part of my social life. It’s like smoking cigarettes until public health campaigns led to a huge cultural shift to ban it.
Now as a 39-year-old mum-of-two I think more about my health, particularly during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I want to stay fit and healthy for my children. I want to understand how to make the best choices and be educated about my health.
Research commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics showed 60% of women are confused by conflicting information surrounding their health and two thirds believe in health myths. The report reveals two million women believe you only need to have a smear test if you’re sexually active, with a quarter thinking an abnormal smear test indicates a high risk of cancer. Neither are true.
The study also shows four million women avoid going to the doctors as they’re embarrassed by their lack of knowledge about female health.
This is why I was glad to be approached by Bupa Health Clinics to review their female health assessment. Hopefully I can help encourage other women to see a doctor if they have concerns – without feeling embarrassed.
Like many nearly forty-year-olds I’m not as blasé about my health as I used to be. I don’t smoke, I eat pretty well but I knew a health assessment at my local Bupa clinic in Solihull would give me peace of mind.
The clinic is lovely, warm and welcoming – from the receptionist, to the fresh flowers and cheery staff walking around. To reduce time waiting I completed a health questionnaire online before arrival. So, after a momentary sit in a relaxing waiting area a friendly health adviser arrived and whisked me away.
Female Health Check Part 1:
In a private office we spoke about my lifestyle, answering questions about how I feel day-to-day. Do I have any health concerns regarding periods, breast health or other female concerns? What is my average daily diet? How well do I sleep and how often do I exercise? As well as questions about my family history. I didn’t feel nervous talking about anything too personal.
Then followed a series of measurements and tests, including height and weight, blood pressure, waist measurement and a blood and urine test. I was then taken to a smart waiting area where I could help myself to tea, coffee, juices, fresh fruit and relax reading a magazine or watching TV.
Within ten minutes a female doctor arrived and took me into another room to discuss my results and continue with the more personal tests.
Female Health Check Part 2:
The doctor put me at ease straight away explaining exactly what was going to happen. She was incredibly professional and very thorough from the start. She went through my tests, showing the results on her computer in detail and explaining how the blood tests check for raised cholesterol and anaemia. It was a real eye opener to see how food and drink I consume effects my body (it was at this point I said my husband would be truly shocked to see how all the junk and fast food he eats affects his body!) The urine test checks for signs of diabetes and kidney issues.
The physical examination:
The examination started with a breast check – a physical and visual examination. Apparently a fifth of women (22%) admit they don’t know how to check for signs of breast cancer.
Afterwards I was given advice on exactly how to do this myself and identify any changes or symptoms that might occur. You can get this advice from your GP at any time too.
Usually a cervical smear would follow. This is the usual screen for cervical cancer and picks up really early abnormalities before anything more serious can develop. However, as I had already had a test in the last two months with my local GP it was unnecessary to repeat it.
To end the doctor gave me a detailed picture of my health and we spoke in length about positive lifestyle changes I could make for the future.
After my assessment I felt really inspired and uplifted. Luckily, I had no health concerns but sometimes just getting support and guidance from a compassionate health professional is the perfect boost to kick-start your next healthy living goal.
No one should feel too embarrassed to talk about female health, it’s a part of everyday life. If you have any concerns or personal problems visit your GP. Talk to your friends, talk to your family, there’s no need to feel uncomfortable.
On 19 October I will be joining Bupa Solihull Health Clinic’s Lead GP Dr Samantha Wild for a live Q&A on Bupa UK’s Facebook page at 12.45pm, about all things female health. Come over to watch and hopefully we’ll answer any questions you might have
Facts you might find useful:
- Bupa clinics are open to everyone, whether you have Bupa insurance or not
- Services on offer include health assessments, health services like GP appointments, dental appointments, dermatology, physiotherapy, osteopathy and podiatry.
- The Female Health last 1 hour and costs £394.
- You can opt for a 30-minute breast health check only which costs £236
- Bupa aims to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives for more info visit bupa.co.uk
*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bupa health centres, all thoughts and opinions are my own and 100% honest.*