These exciting screenings are waiting for you
Have you been avoiding the doctor's office?
I nabbed this image from actor Keisuke Hoashi’s website and I beg his forgiveness and retroactive permission.
Yesterday I finally went in for my annual physical, or as my doctor puts it, “has it been two years since you came in?” It’s been a year and a half, actually, but either way I blame the pandemic for waiting. Now that healthcare workers have been getting their vaccinations, the ultra-cautious like me are finally scheduling their long-deferred checkups.
I’m happy to report that my doctor got the menopause-CVD memo. I’ve written about this numerous times in the newsletter, but our risk for heart disease rises significantly when we reach menopause (or are close to it -- I’m so close, y’all). The American Heart Association has issued guidance for doctors to be extra vigilant about it, and I’m so relieved that the message has reached my primary care physician and she’s taking it seriously.
She already tests things like my cholesterol, but this year she added a EKG. So far so good, though I’m waiting to get my lab work back. Here’s what else we’re doing this year.
Baby’s first colonoscopy. It used to be for people 50+, but now it’s 45+. Can. Hardly. Wait.
Shingles vaccine. This is also usually for people 50+ but my doctor keeps seeing people come down with it in their 40s (I had it at 45). It can get worse the older you are.
Mammogram. I used the pandemic as an excuse not to get mine in the fall, but my doctor tells me I can’t play that card again.
Eye exam. But instead of the eyeglass shop’s optometrist, my doctor recommends seeing an ophthalmologist. Did you know this is the only non-invasive way your veins can be examined?
I’m also (over)due for a pelvic exam/pap smear, and don’t even get me started on the dentist. I hate this pileup of screeners and exams, and also I’m determined to get through them anyway. What’s on your list? Have you been avoiding your checkups, or have you kept up?
You may enjoy this well-informed rant. Gwyneth Paltrow has been talking about how she had COVID early on and is now promoting something called “intuitive fasting,” which is supposed to help with long COVID. Friends, it will not, and gynecologist, writer, and anti-quackery polemicist Dr. Gunter is not having it.
Buy this for your lizard-lady skin. There’s a new crop of skincare products made just for the menopausers. Yes, cosmetics companies, there’s gold in them there Gen X hills. See also: Womaness at Target. Most dermatologists say all we really need is a good moisturizer, sunscreen, and maybe some Vitamin C serum and a Retin-A type product.
Move so you don’t break. Just about any movement, including moderate levels of activity, can reduce your risk of fracture.
New non-hormonal hot flash treatment. A new, non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes in phase 3 trials significantly reduced severity and frequency of hot flashes. It’s called Fezolinetant, which is Neurokinin-3, an endogenous peptide ligand, and yeah I still don’t know what that is exactly. Something protein adjacent? Anyway, it’s promising news for people who, for whatever reason, can’t do hormone therapy.
There is no G-spot? We’ve been sold a lie! For all those who’ve wasted valuable time and trying to find yours and feeling anxious/inadequate because you couldn’t, this is good news. Cosmo is here to debunk the very myth it popularized decades ago. Two takeaways: the female body is way more interesting than one little spot. And: do what feels good to you and forget what you’re told is supposed to feel good.