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Don't let 2018 be terrible

Resolutions about diet and exercise are great. They really are.

Know what is also great? Reproductive health. Taking care of your body is way more than crushing it on the elliptical and chewing up kale for two hours a day, so get these five checkups to keep your body in tip top shape, even if you miss a few jogs.

Annual Exams

Also known as well-woman exams, gynecological exams or wellness exams, annual exams are a yearly checkup to make sure your reproductive health is in order. Annual exams often include a pap smear, a breast cancer screening, a pelvic exam and a chance to ask the doctor or nurse any questions you may have. The annual exam can also include other types of testing like STD testing, but only upon request. Because annual exams are considered preventative care, many insurance plans will cover 100 percent of the costs.

STD and HIV Testing

Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime. For STDs, the best time to get tested is before having sex with a new partner. But if you’ve been putting it off, the new year is a great time to get started. If you’ve never been tested for HIV before, get tested. If it’s been awhile since you had an STD test, get tested. Remember, the most common symptom of an STD is no symptoms at all.

Birth Control

There are more than a dozen methods of birth control, from the commonly used pill to the lesser known ring or patch. Even if you’re already using birth control, the new year is a good time to reconsider your options. Want something more long acting like an IUD? Or a method that can also reduce acne or cramping? Our experts can talk you through all the options to make sure you can choose what’s best for you.

HPV Vaccine

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD and is the cause of various cancers including cervical, rectal, vaginal and throat cancers. Although it’s an STD, HPV can be spread through skin-to-skin contact as well. Patients can protect themselves from many strains of HPV with the HPV vaccine.

The vaccine is only available to those 26 and under. The vaccine isn’t considered effective for anyone over 26 and is most effective with teens who aren’t yet sexually active. If you’re over 26, then your best protection against HPV is routine testing every three years from your health care provider.

Cancer Screenings

Early detection is key to treatment and saving lives. Anyone can get cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood for breast cancer, cervical cancer, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. If you've never been screened for these cancers before, or it’s been several years since your last screening, schedule an appointment with us today. Although some screenings can be done during the annual exam, you can get them done anytime.

So get these five checkups in 2018. (But also, you should probably eat kale.)

Tags: cancer screenings, birth control, STIs, reproductivehealth, STItesting, annualexams, HPVvaccine, HIVtesting, sexual health

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