January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s also a great time to focus on your overall health. If you’ve made an intention to practice self-care and work on your health this year, below is a checklist and some resources to get your new year started off right. Our low-cost, integrated health services help women achieve their best, whole-body health at any age. We accept Medicaid and most insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you can pay on a sliding scale. If you need insurance, we can help you determine your eligibility for public insurance programs or private health insurance plans. To make an appointment for a well woman visit with one of our providers, call 970-879-1632 in Steamboat Springs or 970-824-8233 in Craig.
Physical Health Self-Care Checklist
- Complete a mammogram or Pap test annually, or as recommended by your provider.
- Choose a reliable birth control method.
- Schedule a routine physical each year.
- Conduct a bloodwork screening every two years.
- Consider the HPV vaccine for yourself or children who meet the age guidelines – boys and girls age 11-12. Through age 26 for women and through age 21 for men.
The Women’s Wellness Connection helps ensure women receive regular breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings (Pap tests) to catch any signs of disease early, when chances of survival are highest. If you don’t have health insurance, live in Colorado, have not had a mammogram or Pap test in the last 12 months and meet income requirements you may qualify for this free program. If your screenings detect abnormalities and possible cancer, WWC can help pay for diagnostic testing. If cancer is found, the program will connect you to the help you need to receive treatment. If you do not qualify for WWC, we will guide you to other resources that may be available to help you pay for the screenings you need.
Choose When is a community-funded project that helps women get long-acting reversible contraception (LARCS) — IUDs (intrauterine device) and hormonal implants — for low or no cost. IUDs and implants are long-acting, safe and reversible. If you’re worried about affording birth control, you can make an appointment and your provider can go over the program details with you and help you qualify for free birth control.
Schedule an annual physical including bloodwork with a provider. Annual physicals can identify areas of your health that you can focus on to feel better every day. Bloodwork measures your cholesterol count and can also provide early warning signs for diseases or deficiencies.
Certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer and other cancers in both men and women. HPV is a commonly sexually-transmitted infection. Immunization can help protect against HPV viruses that cause these cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends girls and boys receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12, before they are exposed to the virus. Teens and young adults who have not received the vaccine but are sexually active should still get immunized to protect against types of HPV they may not yet have been exposed to. HPV immunization is recommended for women through age 26 and young men through age 21.