If you want to prioritize your health and wellness, then you should make sure you stay on top of all the preventive care exams and screenings your doctors recommend. But what qualifies as preventive care? And why is it so important?
Defining Preventive Care
Preventive care is routine healthcare that includes screenings, check-ups, and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems. It is not only a term that covers care that you need to get to stay on top of your overall health and wellness, but your insurance provider will also designate certain services as preventive care and cover them.
Goals of Preventive Care
As the name implies, the main goal of preventive care is prevention. In particular, the goal is to provide routine care to prevent illness to avoid the burden of complications and associated risks that can occur if an illness develops or progresses. Preventive care is usually much less invasive and expensive than the care someone needs when a problem occurs or worsens. So it’s better for the patient, the providers, and the healthcare system in general.
Preventive Healthcare for Women
Many women’s health services are considered essential preventive care. Your OB/GYN or women’s healthcare provider probably provides the following services:
- Annual Well-Woman Visits: Your annual well-woman visit is also known as a preventative exam. It is one of the cornerstones of preventive care because it is considered basic routine health maintenance. It helps establish health patterns and is important in building a record of your health history. It includes many other preventive services like screenings and counseling.
- Contraception: Contraception (birth control) is considered part of family planning and is a key part of preventive healthcare for women. There are many types of birth control available and your doctor can help you decide which is best for you.
- Pregnancy Care: Regular prenatal checkups and tests (including gestational diabetes screening) are needed throughout pregnancy and covered as preventive care.
- Breastfeeding Counseling: Breastfeeding counseling is covered
- Breast Cancer Screening: Breast cancer screenings like mammograms are considered preventive care. Your doctor can tell you when you need to get a mammogram as well as how frequently.
- Cervical Cancer Screening: Preventive care covers cervical cancer screening with Pap tests. Most insurance plans cover a Pap test annually, but you should ask your doctor about how often you need to get a Pap test based on your age, health history, and risk level.
- Osteoporosis Screening: Women who are 50 or older should get screened for osteoporosis as recommended by their healthcare provider.
- HPV Testing: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the US. It can cause cell changes in the cervix, which can lead to cancer. HPV testing is a preventive healthcare service.
Contact Green Valley OB/GYN
Green Valley OB/GYN has been providing the highest quality of obstetric and gynecological care for over 70 years. We offer a comprehensive list of services, including many things that are considered preventative care. To set up an appointment to talk about your health, call us at (336) 378-1110 to schedule an appointment.