You do it all. You find sneakers and fill prescriptions, pack lunches, and prep for job interviews. You juggle the world and make it look easy. And with SFCHC here to back you up, you can manage your health, too, throughout your lifetime.
Ideally, women should start taking care of their health as teenagers. Well-woman exams are recommended once a year starting at this age. For young women, they’re an opportunity to talk with our care providers about anything that’s bothering you, and to get treatment for things like vaginal and urinary tract infections. For teenagers who are sexually active, we offer HIV and other STD testing. It’s also strongly recommended that young women get vaccinated against HPV, the human papillomavirus. This infection is spread through sex and can lead to cervical cancer, which we’ll talk more about in a minute. Women ages 27 to 45 can often get the vaccine, too – ask your doctor.
Cervical cancer occurs when healthy cells in the cervix (where the uterus connects to the vagina) change and multiply into cancer cells. This can eventually cause extra or irregular bleeding and pain in the pelvic area or during sex. Cervical cancer rarely has symptoms in its early stages, so SFCHC provides screenings to detect dangerous cells so they can be monitored or treated. Also called a pap smear or pap test, this screening should be part of your annual exam starting at age 21.
If you’re not ready for (more) kids, SFCHC has family planning services to help you stay in control. You can come to us for birth control placement (and when you’re ready, removal). We’re also here to listen and answer questions about contraceptives, STDs, and sex in general. And yes, we provide pregnancy tests, too.
When you’re ready to welcome that tiny new person into your life, SFCHC can help you roll out the red carpet. Our staff provides caring and sensitive prenatal care tailored just to you. We’re here for nutritional advice, and offer training on childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant CPR. A healthy and happy pregnancy and baby is our goal, too.
To help you continue your health management, SFCHC also offers mammograms. Mammograms detect signs of cancer before you might see or feel any symptoms. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in women in the U.S., occurring in both women with several risk factors or none. The risk does increase as we age, so mammograms are recommended once a year starting at age 40. At your well-woman exam, our doctors can determine if risk factors suggest you should start mammograms earlier. We can also show you how to use self-exams to become familiar with your breasts and catch signs of cancer before and between mammograms.
You can be a well woman in between exams, too. Practice safe sex, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and avoid smoking and heavy drinking to lower your risk of female cancers.
All women, regardless of income, lifestyle, and family status, are at risk for breast and cervical cancer. So SFCHC accepts most insurance plans and offers services on a sliding fee scale based on household size and income. It’s another way we help you be as capable managing your health as you are doing everything else.
Call us today to make an appointment at (818) 963-5690.