The start of college means it’s time for young women to take charge of their health.
Dr. Aparna Sridhar, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, offers several tips in a university news release.
Know your health status. Talk to your parents and your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date with health screenings, shots and prescriptions. Ask about the status of allergies and other health issues.
Know how to get health care on campus. Find out the location of the closest health center that accepts your insurance.
Keep track of menstrual cycles. Being aware of your cycle will allow you to provide specifics to doctors if there’s an issue. “When I ask my patients when their last period was, the first thing they do is open their cellphone. Many women are tracking their cycles through apps now,” Sridhar said. You might also want to track your mood, cramps and birth control use.
Don’t tolerate sexual abuse or violence. One in four undergraduate women is sexually assaulted on campus. Consult the campus website or your dorm’s resident assistant for help reporting an assault.
Follow good hygiene habits. Change sanitary protection as recommended.
Beware of urinary tract infections. “Drink plenty of water to flush out your system and talk to your doctor if you have pain and frequent urination with burning,” Sridhar said. “If neglected, these can lead to kidney infections.”
SOURCE: University of California, Los Angeles Health Sciences, news release