Many of us only think about visiting the doctor when we’re ill. But having well visits — regular checkups — is crucial, too, especially for women and kids.
At Harbor Community Health Centers, our providers offer both well woman and well child visits tailored to the unique needs of women and kids. Here’s why you should make well visits a priority for you and your kids, so you can enjoy great health no matter how your needs change.
The importance of wellness exams
It would be great if we could always count on good health, but the fact is, our health can change a lot over time — and so can our health needs. Children and women are especially prone to changing health needs, which is why regular wellness visits are crucial.
Women’s wellness exams
For women, those changes are primarily driven by fluctuations in hormones. Your hormonal production — and its effects on your health — can change dramatically during your child-bearing years, as well as before and during menopause.
Each stage of life comes with different medical challenges and different health risks. Having annual wellness visits provides an ongoing record of your health to help your doctor spot subtle changes that could be the very earliest stages of a disease or health problem.
Wellness visits are also an ideal time to ask about health issues that could be of concern to you. Our team can provide you with custom medical guidance based on your unique risk factors, like:
- Your age
- Your lab test results
- Your family medical history
- Your personal medical history
- Your interest in family planning
- Your exposure risks to STDs
Some life stages, like menopause, come with a higher risk of serious problems like osteoporosis and some types of cancer. Our team will be able to recommend essential health screenings, as well as immunizations to prevent “adult” diseases like shingles. And if you’re in menopause, we can provide treatment and relief for unpleasant “side effects,” like vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence, or painful intercourse.
Kids’ wellness exams
For kids, wellness exams are important not only for physical health but for keeping track of growth and development, too.
Kids grow at an amazing pace, and throughout their growth, they develop physically, emotionally, and socially, too. During a wellness exam, the provider performs different evaluations to assess your child’s development and compare it to milestones of kids in their same age group.
In addition to “regular” health evaluations (and essential childhood immunizations), your child’s doctor will look for issues that could interfere with school performance, like problems with vision or hearing. They’ll guide kids who want to participate in sports or other demanding activities, along with healthy tips to help your kids stay healthy.
Plus, an annual wellness visit gives the doctor a chance to ask about any changes in your child’s habits, like changes in their behavior, school performance, or sleeping or eating habits. They’ll ask your child plenty of questions providing them with age-appropriate guidance to help them make informed, healthy choices, and making sure they’re coping well with stresses related to school, friends, or family life.
Certainly, having regular wellness visits is important for making sure women and kids stay healthy during the different stages of life and the different challenges they encounter. But beyond optimizing physical and emotional health, regular wellness visits also provide ongoing contact to establish a strong bond of trust.
Trust is essential for feeling confident in the care your doctor provides and also to help patients feel comfortable sharing health information about their health and their concerns without feeling embarrassed. That kind of trust doesn’t happen overnight. It depends on regular visits to build a solid rapport — an often-unrecognized benefit of regular wellness checkups.
Healthcare for all your family’s needs
As a leading wellness services provider in San Pedro, California, Harbor Community Health Centers help patients of all ages enjoy optimal health through preventive services and treatments for each patient’s unique needs.
To learn more about wellness visits or to schedule one for you or your child (or both of you!), call 310-547-0202 to book your appointment today.