May 8-14 is National Women’s Health Week, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) is reminding women to make their health a top priority by scheduling a checkup. If a woman cannot recall the date of her last wellness exam, sometimes called an annual exam or well-woman checkup, or has to flip through a calendar to remember, then it has probably been too long.

National Women’s Health Week is a perfect opportunity for women of all ages to schedule a wellness appointment for the first time, or the first time in a long time.

These expert providers at Planned Parenthood can identify health risks during an annual exam through preventive screenings that can detect breast and cervical cancers. Each year, more than 64,000 people visit the 17 PPSNE health centers in Connecticut for preventive services, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and wellness exams.

Preventive screenings are critical because early detection and treatment of these diseases save lives. Annual well-woman checkups also provide the opportunity to ensure women are using the birth control method that best fits her needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to birth control, and we proudly offer personalized birth control counseling.

If someone has never had a wellness visit, they might be nervous. The expert staff at Planned Parenthood will discuss the process to give a clear sense of what to expect. We also encourage women to ask us questions they might not feel comfortable asking anyone else – nothing is off limits.

Every woman deserves a compassionate, nonjudgmental place to turn for expert information and health care. We encourage women to schedule a checkup because their health is simply too important to put off.

Kafi Rouse is Vice President, Public Relations & Marketing Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

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