Women’s Preventative and Sexual Health: A Glossary

Signature Health - Woman Sexual Health

Proactive management of your health risk factors through lifestyle choices and preventative women's health care strategies will improve future wellness and help ensure you ward off potential health problems before they can develop. It sounds ​​cliché but prevention is better than cure. It is easier to treat a potential problem in the early stages, rather than wait until the problem develops into something more serious requiring more aggressive treatment alternatives. For women, this includes scheduling regular health checkups, taking preventative care against ovarian cancer, HPV, and STI’s, and breast cancer, and attending routine mammograms and pap smears. Clinical preventive services are an essential part of protecting, promoting, and maintaining your health and well-being. 


Women’s Preventative Health Care

One of the most important preventative tools is awareness. Being educated about common women's health issues and what you can do to prevent them is the first step in prevention and in taking control of your health journey. Always speak to your doctor or OB/GYN about any health concerns you may have, symptoms you may be experiencing, and signs you should watch for.

Signature Medical Women’s Health Clinic offers a range of valuable advice and services related to women’s general and reproductive health. We ensure our patients are equipped with all of the support, information, and care they need to make informed choices regarding their health. Learn more about our Women’s Health Clinic and how you can take the next step towards preventative health by calling 403-454-7550.

A Glossary To Women’s Preventative And Sexual Health Care

Mammograms And Breast Health

The occurrence of breast cancer has risen over the years, but early detection is possible thanks to the mammogram technology available. All women should be familiar with their breasts so that they can identify any changes and discuss them with their doctor. Mammogram screenings will be able to detect any abnormalities in the breast tissue and will inform your doctor of any tissue changes that have occurred over the years. Mammograms have significantly helped reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women between the ages of 40 and 74, even those who do not show any signs or symptoms of the disease. All women are encouraged to start having screening mammograms starting at age 50 through age 74.

Pap Smear/Pap Test

A pap smear samples cells that are taken from the women’s cervix and tests to see if there are abnormal cells present that could cause cervical cancer. Routine pap smears are a critical component of preventative women's health and are recommended for women between the ages of 25 and 69. Pap tests are recommended to be performed once every three years to prevent cervical cancer.

Contraceptive Care

It is critical to ensure women have access to the information and services they need to make decisions about family planning. Our Women’s Health Clinic strongly believes in the importance of educating and informing patients on the available options for contraception. It is important that all women are informed about contraception options and speak to their doctors about which option is best suited for them. Common forms of contraception include:

  • Birth control pills
  • IUDs
  • Evra Patch
  • Depo-Provera injection
  • NuvaRing®

Sexual Health

Sexually transmitted infections and HPV continue to be a public health concern for Canadians. They can be spread through sexual contact, through blood, and from mother to child through pregnancy. Testing and treatment for STIs is available through Alberta Health Care and can help detect any of these infections even if you are asymptomatic. Many STIs go undetected because they do not show any signs or symptoms until it is too late. By scheduling regular STI tests if you are at risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection, you will be able to stay on top of your health. And in the case that you do have an STI, the treatments will be readily available.

Other Women’s Health Preventative Measures

Not all of your preventative health measures are physical. Also, talk to your doctor about your mental and emotional health. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, postpartum period, and premenopause can affect your mood. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so by letting your doctor know about these changes will allow them to discuss treatment options so you can feel like yourself again. Also, make sure you eat a healthy diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight. This reduces your risk of many health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Calgary Women’s Health Clinic

Preventative care will help ensure that your health is in good order and will allow you to receive prompt treatment for medical problems should they arise. Many of the leading threats to women’s health can be prevented if you are educated and are on top of visiting your doctor for regular check-ups or if a health problem arises. These preventative screenings are vital for catching conditions like cervical cancer at an early, manageable, and treatable stage. Take responsibility for your health and quality of life by speaking with your doctor about preventative health options so you can ensure that your health is in check.

Signature Medical Women’s Health Clinic is a comprehensive clinic that offers a range of advice and services related to women’s general and reproductive health. We believe in the power of education and ensure all of our patients are equipped with all of the information, support, and care they require to make informed decisions about their health. To learn more about the importance of women’s preventative health and how our clinic can help you take these measures to ensure you remain healthy for the long term, contact us today by calling 403-454-7550 or by filling out our online contact form.


At what age should women start visiting their doctor for routine mammograms?

All women are encouraged to start having screening mammograms starting at age 50 until age 74. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it may be recommended to begin mammogram screenings earlier. Talk to your doctor about mammogram screening options for you.

What is the HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccines do not treat HPV infections you already have or treat diseases or cancers related to HPV. They help protect against future HPV infections. The vaccines are given out 2-3 times over the course of 6-12 months and protect against various strains of HPV. To learn more about the vaccine and if it is right for you, talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.

At what age should women start visiting their doctor for routine pap tests?

The pap test is recommended for women ages 25 to 69 to detect early signs of cervical cancer. It is recommended that average-risk women have a pap smear done every 3 years, or more frequently if they have received abnormal results.

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