Speaking of Health Episode 50 Women's Health

Speaking of Health Episode 50 Women's Health



hello I'm Jason Holland and welcome to speaking of health a place to help you learn how to live a longer and healthier life today our focus is on women's health and our guest is Jenny Clemmensen jenny is a nurse practitioner with Mayo Clinic Health System who practices in obstetrics and gynecology Jenny thanks for joining us today thanks for having me Jason well when it comes to overall women's health let's start out with some of the biggest threats to women's health well women's health is encompasses lots but I would say the big ones are obesity heart disease diabetes lack of exercise probably lack of time in a woman's life with the busy lifestyles they have and getting in for their preventative exams so Jenny what about heart disease I've heard that that's the number one killer of women in this country well talk a little bit more about heart disease i it's an extremely important topic because it kills more women than breast cancer does it one woman every minute dies of heart disease and the interesting difference between men and women is menopause and estrogen has a protective effect on our hearts and so most women that have heart disease or heart attacks or die from heart disease are menopausal so their average age of menopause is 51 and so you're gonna find death rates are over that and it's because we talked about it briefly obesity diabetes high cholesterol smoking inactivity but the loss of our estrogen which was protective for us you know it's a great point too because I think the misconception out there is that you know breast cancer obviously it is out there and it does affect many many women but when you think heart disease normally you don't think that it would be the number one killer of women so it's it's yeah misconception it's important to talk right and I think women in particular are symptoms of a heart attack are way different than a man and so we can say oh I have an upset stomach or I'm nauseous because I did you know you can always make excuses and not get yourself into the emergency room when you when a man would say has this crushing chest pain and that he knows he needs to go in it's different for women so what are some common symptoms of possibly having a heart attack shortness women for women shortness of breath the the pain that you might experience could just be some upper back pain nausea and vomiting are can happen but you know those are things that you know you think well I ate something wrong or I've lifted something wrong and you might not recognize it as I'm having a heart attack so what are some of the preventive ways that women can help reduce some of the risks that are associated with some of those chronic conditions right well we can't do anything about the families that we were born into because there's the genetic factor but with there's modifiable risks you can have try to maintain a BMI of 25 or less which you can do by eating healthy lots of fruits and vegetables low-fat meats whole greens and getting at least 30 minutes of daily exercise that gets that heart rate up so it's cardiovascularly important also bone strengthening exercises so anything that you're using you're lifting things you don't have to go to a gym to do it but just overall good exercise adequate sleep I think that's major factor for a lot of women is their sleep or lack of eight hours every night is really important of uninterrupted sleep and just managing their stress but by doing the things that I talked about above the stress is managed pretty well some other obvious things I would assume would also be uh if you're a smoker to stop smoking yes and also alcohol as well yep thanks for mentioning that yes stop smoking if you do smoke don't start smoking I think the biggest culprit is the social smoker she starts in college and she as one or two with friends when she goes out pretty soon life events happen stress and pretty soon she's smoking a pack a days Ginny let's also talk about bone health and you know osteoporosis affects so many women out there what are what's your advice when it comes to bone health I start my bone health in talking to my young women because they're probably the ones that are drinking a lot of soda sodas got a lot of phosphorus in it and that's not good for our bones so trying to drink less soda is good important to drink lots of milk no I get a lot of patients at Safeway I just can't drink any milk I don't like it well there's lots of calcium sources almond milk soy milk well sardines not a lot of people eat those but it's very high in calcium yogurt is high in calcium vitamin supplements right and it's important to our bodies can only absorb 600 milligrams at a time so when I tell women you need 1200 milligrams every day don't but don't take it at the same time every day both of them because they come 600 milligrams because you're just going to waste half of it look at the back of your cartons of the milk yogurt whatever you're using for calcium in your diet see how many milligrams of calcium that contains and then substitute or supplement with a calcium pill well you know for many women jinnie breast health tops as the list of their health concerns so talk a little bit about that starting with what are the recommended screenings and also self exams yep so screening as far as that goes mammograms start screening at 40 and do them yearly after that but really important every at my GYN exams I teach women how to do their own breast exams it's important to do that a lot of women say well no I don't do my breast exam I don't know what if I wouldn't know a lump if it hit me in the face and I always say well just knowing your body is what's important and knowing if something's different doing a breast exam a week after the menstrual period is probably the best time to and so if a woman finds something that's a little out of the ordinary wasn't there before something feels different or looks different should she see her health care provider right away or should she wait and see or what do you recommend I recommend getting in right away because it may just be nothing and many many times it is nothing but it's it's really scary and it's you don't want to wait until oh wait a month to see if it goes away I would recommend coming in right away if I feel anything that I think well I'm not sure I'm gonna send her for a mammogram regardless of her age well let's switch gears a little bit and talk about human papillomavirus or HPV I've heard a lot about that in the news recently what is HPV well like you said it's a virus and it's very common 85 to 90 percent of sexually active people have it have had it have been exposed got rid of it it's very common and there's vaccines against it now we can start giving those at age 12 and we can actually you know the studies were done test 26 I recommend it at any age actually because there's any time in your life you may be exposed to that virus it's common the virus or the vaccine goes against four of the most common to cause cervical cancer to are against genital warts and so an HPV it doesn't have to do deal with just genital warts its warts in general right right it's yeah many people are surprised a plantar wart on your foot is HPV the warts that children can get on their fingers is HPV but what's important to understand about those two particular kinds or that particular subtype it does not affect us genitally so if you have it on your hands it is not going to get transferred to our genital area the ones that were most concerned about are the you said there's four or so that that possibly cause there do cause cancer right that there's two that are causes cancer that the vaccine takes care of and two genital warts so but there there are other ones out there but the vaccines wore the companies looked at what are the most common viruses that cause are the types of the HPV that cause cancer and that's how they made their vaccine and I would assume that your yearly exams very important for for helping prevent this right right and we do pap smears we used to start them way earlier than we do now we start at age 21 and it seems to be really effective younger woman's immune systems are really strong so even if you are exposed to the virus you're probably going to get rid of it within 12 months and so we don't start till 21 if you have normal pap smears we really spread it out between two and three years let's talk about birth control now and in particular the birth control pill you know there's plenty of information and a lot of misinformation that's out there in regards to the pill but let's start with the basics first what exactly is the birth control pill and what does it do to women's bodies alright the birth control pill was developed in a buttonless sometime in the 1960s it's developed or it's much less hormone than it was then and basically what it does it stops ovulation so if you don't ovulate and you don't get pregnant and so that's basically how it works as a contraceptive there's non contraceptive benefits to the oral contraception as well and many women young women come to me and say my periods are terrible they're heavy they're crampy and then I have all this acne well the birth control can really help that as well so there's all the non contraceptive benefits which some of which decreases our risk of ovarian cancer can decrease our risk of uterine cancer as well we talked about possible misinformation out there as well so true or false does the pill cause weight gain basically false it cannot it may cause a slight amount of water weight gain but there's probably any of us women that will have that in our menstrual cycle so the woman that comes to me and says you know I can't I I won't take the pill because I gained 20 pounds when I went to college and I was on the pill well there's some lifestyle issues there College getting away from home not exercising maybe as much as they did maybe drinking a little too much beer etc etc it probably wasn't the pill that caused the weight gain well other than the pill what are some other birth control options out there that are for women for women especially there is the IUD it's an intrauterine device it works a couple different ways it basically does nothing to ovulation so a lot of women like that because their bodies are still doing what the quote-unquote think the body should be doing it prevents pregnancy in other ways by not allowing the sperm to get to the egg that's how that one works there is the vaginal ring and it's placed in the vagina it is estrogen and progesterone just like the pill is it's just put in the vagina and for three weeks and taken out and the week that you have it out you have a period and the benefits of that versus the pill is you don't have to worry about making sure that you take the pill every day daily exactly and I think that's where any of my patients or many women have said well I got pregnant when I was on the pill but I didn't take it correctly we have perfect use of any birth control method and then there's usual use so usual use is forgetting so what are some other birth control options yeah well there's the shot and that's given every three months there is the patch and that patch is put on a weekly basis and then there's one week without a patch and that's when you have a period there's pills that are packaged three months at a time over three months in a row and then you only have four periods a year I really can do that with just about any birth control pill on the market and obviously none of those birth control options that you're talking about prevent sexually transmitted diseases which is important but there is one birth control device that does do that that is the condom yep and that again is of course birth control method in and of itself but always having a condom on hand and not relying maybe on the man to have it just keep them with yourself in your purse or something and before the act of intercourse here put this on we're not doing this unless you put this on will protect you from many of this STDs so Jenny what if a woman missus taking the pill a couple of days straight has intercourse and may be worried that she may be pregnant because of that right your options yeah well the option is over-the-counter Plan B and it is a all it is is birth control pills that you take both at the same time and in many cases it will prevent pregnancy and and all it's doing is stopping ovulation and that you could take that as well if you had a condom failure and that's taken over the counter yep and you can go in and purchase it the actually it just changed age-wise and brought it down younger to it so you don't have to be seventeen to buy it anymore well unfortunately we are all out of time but I'd like to thank you Jenny Clemmensen nurse practitioner with Mayo Clinic Health System for joining us today on speaking of health thank you very much thank you for having me Jason have a great day everyone and be healthy

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