Questions answered about women’s health from Memorial Hermann Dr.

 Questions answered about women’s health from Memorial Hermann Dr.

Dr. explained. Sidra Yunas, MD, FACOG, OB / GYN
Dr. Sidra Yunas is an OB/GYN with Memorial Hermann Medical Group who sees patients from adolescence to adulthood.

Women’s health is important for everyone. With National Women’s Health Week and Mother’s Day this month, we’re reminded of how critical it is for women to put their well-being first. Dr. Sidra Yunas, an OB/GYN certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), reveals the importance of women’s health and the unique issues women face today.

Q: What screenings should not be required of women?

Dr. Yunas: Women are at high risk for breast cancer and cervical cancer simply because of their gender, so it is important to continue regular screening.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that women begin receiving cervical cancer screening (or Pap smears) beginning at age 21, regardless of sexual activity, receive at least one every three years if normal. result. Cervical cancer screenings may also include HPV testing, as certain types of HPV increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Patients can space out cervical cancer screening every five years if Pap smears and HPV tests are negative. Patients may also stop screening for cervical cancer after age 65 if they have normal results.

Some women also need to be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) because they can cause serious health problems if left untreated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all sexually active women under the age of 25 should receive an annual test for certain STIs.

For breast cancer screenings, women will receive clinical breast exams performed by their OB/GYN or primary care physician at an annual appointment. However, starting at age 40, women should talk to their doctor about getting annual screening mammograms. If they have a family history of breast cancer, they are encouraged to start screening earlier.

Older women have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis because their bones do not receive as much estrogen as during their reproductive stage. If you are over 65 years of age or postmenopausal, then you should receive a bone density test for osteoporosis.

Q: Why should women prioritize mental health?

Dr. Yunas: The pandemic has definitely damaged us all. For many women, this may mean balancing children and a career at home or even giving birth during a pandemic without seeing their family. Mental health is at stake, and it is especially important for women to not only take care of their physical health, but also their emotional well -being.

This is especially true for new mothers who face sleepless nights and are at risk of developing post-partum depression from hormonal shifts and sudden lifestyle changes. Because mental health is a priority, doctors check on patients to make sure they are feeling well and give them personal resources when they need them.

Q: Is it safe for women to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Yunas: Women are free to make their own informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there is a lot of misinformation in the public about the safety of the vaccine for those who are pregnant, want to become pregnant or breastfeed. To learn more, visit

A recent study of 131 women of childbearing age, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for pregnant and lactating women. For breastfeeding women, the researchers found that antibodies could pass into the breast milk of mothers who recovered from COVID-19, and the study found that vaccinated mothers were able to pass on antibodies in their infants.

Remember, symptomatic pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of more serious illness and death compared to non-pregnant individuals, making the benefits of the vaccine significant. In general, the risks of contracting COVID-19 outweigh any potential risk from the COVID-19 vaccine, and medical experts urge everyone to be vaccinated if they can.

Q: What are the different ways women take care of themselves?

Dr. Yunas: Women, especially mothers, always put their health first because many times they put the care of others first. Not only should women continue their routine screenings, but they should also continue their annual physical and OB/GYN exams for regular checkups.

It is also important that women trust their bodies. If you notice any changes that don’t seem to exist, even during pregnancy, your menstrual cycle or whatever, consult your healthcare provider to address the issue. Finally, women need to make sure they exercise, eat healthy and make time for themselves.

Memorial Hermann offers comprehensive, integrated and personal care for all women. Learn more at

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