Dr. Lauren Streicher stopped by Mondays With Marlo to share her three essentials to make sure women are in tip-top shape. First, you need a partner -- a doctor, that is -- who is interested in the issues important to you. Second, keeping a healthy weight affects a variety of issues, including uterine cancer, breast cancer and even incontinence. Finally, make sure you keep moving.
For more suggestions on staying healthy, check out Dr. Streicher's favorite women's health tips:
Take Precautions Against HPV
<strong>Always </strong>use protection during sex. Mid-life women can still get HPV, even from nice guys. HPV is the cause of not only cervical cancer, but also vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile, and some oral and bladder cancers.
See Your Doctor For Abnormal Bleeding
Uterine cancer, not ovarian cancer, is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States. Abnormal bleeding is an early sign, so see your doctor if you see red that you’re not supposed to.
Take Low-Dose Birth Control Pills
Healthy non-smokers can take low-dose birth control pills until age 55 as a great way to provide contraception, and to avoid the perimenopause hormonal roller coaster.
Balance Your Vaginal pH
Don't ignore vaginal odor the day after sex. The most likely culprit is bacterial vaginosis caused by a change in pH. Similarly, if you have an abnormal vaginal odor no matter how many showers a day you take, BV, not poor hygiene, is likely to be your issue. Try RepHresh gel to get your pH back on track.
Prevent Yeast And Bacterial Infections
If yeast and bacterial infections are a regular occurrence, try a daily vaginal probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus strains, L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14. Don’t be confused with probiotics designed for digestion or the immune system.
Use Silicone Lubricants During Sex
Silicone lubes such as Wet Platinum last longer and are more slippery than water-based lubes.
Buy The Right Moisturizer
Buy moisturizer that is for internal use if you're looking to eliminate painful sex. If a moisturizer says that it's for external use only, it’s a vulvar moisturizer, and won’t ease your pain.
Discover The Source Of Vaginal Dryness
If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, it may be your birth control. Consult your doctor about this issue, and he or she may switch you to another type.
Know Your Hysterectomy Facts
<ol> <li>A hysterectomy will not put you into menopause unless you remove your ovaries as well.</li> <li>Most hysterectomies can be performed laparoscopically as an outpatient procedure.</li> <li>Keeping your cervix is often an option.</li> </ol>
Visit Your Gynecologist
Just because you don’t need a Pap test doesn’t mean you don’t need a gynecologic exam.
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