Women’s health issues and concerns were once considered “taboo” topics, says Michelle Montville, M.D., but it’s time to stop suffering in silence. “For any woman who has been dismissed by a healthcare provider, or has been told treatment options do not exist for her respective medical condition, we at HerMD are here for you,” Dr. Montville said.
Dr. Montville, who practices at HerMD, focuses on gynecology care as well as sexual health and menopause. One of the many board-certified gynecologists providing care in Williamson County, including surgeries at Williamson Health, Dr. Montville recently offered a few tips to help women get the most from their gynecologist appointments.
Tip 1: Talk about your symptoms.
Women may be hesitant to discuss symptoms, but gynecologists can often suggest options or treatments that can help improve patients’ daily lives. One example, Dr. Montville says, is menopause. “Women going through perimenopause and menopause have been misled about the effective treatment options available to them to help alleviate bothersome symptoms,” Dr. Montville said.
Dr. Montville also finds that some patients are embarrassed to talk about pelvic floor problems, but encourages women to speak up.
Tip 2: Don’t wait to schedule routine screenings.
Routine exams and screenings are important tools to help women stay healthy, Dr. Montville says. These include annual Pap smears, which help to detect cervical cancer, as well as human papillomavirus (HPV). Other screenings Dr. Montville recommends include:
Mammograms or routine screenings for breast cancer beginning at age forty for women at average risk of developing breast cancer
Hereditary and genetic tests to assess risk and early detection of cancer
Routine checkups where cardiovascular risk factors are assessed and discussed. Dr. Montville stressed, “Routine checkups are very important for disease prevention, especially during menopause, because research has shown the risk of cardiovascular disease in women increases during that time.”
Tip 3: Discuss the benefits of hormone therapy during menopause.
“Hormones are chemical messengers in our body,” Dr. Montville said. “They play a vital role in various bodily processes and functions. When levels of certain hormones in your body are too high or too low, this can have an impact on how your body feels and functions,” Dr. Montville said.
For women, one of the most important hormones is estrogen, and low levels during early menopause can cause a range of symptoms. “Hormone therapy is considered the gold standard treatment option in menopause care, and is usually combined with non-hormonal treatments and lifestyle modifications to help manage symptoms and optimize health during menopause,” she said. If you have concerns or questions about menopause or hormone therapy, Dr. Montville suggests seeking out a menopause specialist.
To learn more about Dr. Montville and her work at HerMD, visit HerMD.com. From routine screenings and pregnancy care to perimenopause and beyond, the talented physicians and providers of Williamson Health can help you live your healthiest life. Learn more at williamsonhealth.org.