SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought health to the forefront of millions of Americans’ minds, especially for women who rank it as their top health concern, according to a new national survey from MDVIP.
The same survey shows many women are not getting the information they need to address the greatest health risks they may face, with 9 in 10 women failing the “Women’s Health IQ” Quiz.
Chief Medical Officer at MDVIP, Dr. Andrea Klemes, says the company released the quiz for National Women’s Health Month because it’s a good indicator of how informed women are about their own wellbeing.
“It’s interesting because they’re so worried about cancer, yet they got all the cancer questions wrong,” Klemes said. “Eight out of 10 women did not know a pap smear only tests for one kind of cancer, not all female cancers.”
“Some of it is a lack of information,” she added. “So knowing the difference between men and women with how they present with diseases or how medications work.”
The survey also revealed nearly a third of all women felt that their concerns were not taken seriously in their primary care office and were dissatisfied with their overall experience.
Klemes says it all boils down to finding the right provider to ensure you’re getting quality care and education.
“So when you’re talking with your physician, if you’re sensing that they’re dismissing you or you’re not feeling heard, it’s OK to say, ‘wait a minute, I know my body, and there really is something wrong,’” Klemes said. “If they don’t dive deeper then, then you need to find another doctor.”
Eight in 10 women reported different barriers that prevented them from taking better care of their health, including prioritizing their family’s health before their own.
Over half of women under 55 say they have put off seeing a doctor until their symptoms become urgent.
“They need to go to their primary care doctor and talk about all the risk factors and they need to get their cholesterol and inflammatory markers checked,” Klemes said. “You need to ask about these things and ask about risk factors and what screening tests you need to get done.”