What is Women’s Health & Why is It Important?

Article verified for accuracy by Dr. Julie Garchow, MD
Physician/Residency Program Director
June 20, 2024



Women are known and celebrated for keeping our families and communities healthy. Yet often our own health might be pushed to the back burner. Women’s Health is often underprioritized as everyday life keeps happening. There might always be something that feels more important, whether it is going to the DMV or taking the kids to their own doctor’s appointment. Prioritizing yourself is key to staying healthy and being able to keep on top of all the other important things in life. Being at your best helps keep everyone and everything else at their best.

What many people don’t know is that Women’s Health goes beyond cervical exams. Women’s Health is whole-person care and here are some things you can expect to be a part of that:

Well-Woman Exams

A Well-Woman Exam is a general screening curated for women. This includes a physical exam, vaccinations, discussions about mental health, and much more. CLICK HERE to learn more about Well-Woman Exams and how to schedule. It is recommended that this exam be done every year for all adult women. This is also an excellent time to talk to your provider about birth control and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and Infection (STI) testing.


Mammograms are x-ray-based imaging of breasts that look for signs of breast cancer. People with breasts are recommended to start getting Mammograms at age 40 and then every 1-2 years after that. While we don’t provide this service at Chapa-De, talk to your provider about getting a referral for your Mammogram.  If you do not have insurance, you may be able to apply for a program called Every Woman Counts, which offers free mammograms and pap smears to low-income women. Contact us for more information.

Cervical Screenings

Cervical Screenings might be better known as Pap Smears, but Pap Smears are jus just one part of this screening. Cervical Screenings are an exam that inspects the health of the cervix and the entire vaginal area for diseases and cancers before they become a problem. It is recommended for women and people with vaginas to get a Cervical Screening starting at age 21. These are no longer yearly examinations and it can depend on your last testing results. Women under 30 typically need them every 3 years and over 30 every 5 years. If you do not have insurance, the Every Woman Counts program may cover this service for free. Contact us for more information on these programs. Like with Well-Woman Exams, this screening is also an excellent time to talk to your provider about birth control and Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and Infection (STI) testing.

Mental Health

There is a heavy mental load that comes with being a woman. Talk to your provider about stress, family problems, substance use, grief, and anything else that may be heavy on your mind. Learn more about our Behavioral Health department and available services to help support you HERE.

Age & Other Considerations

Depending on how old you are and past testing results, you might need different examinations and testing than other women. There are different ages that Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) begin to be screened for, such as HIV, Chlamydia, HPV, and more. Talk to your provider to discuss which STD screening is best for you at your appointment.

Additional standard screenings can be based on age, weight, and past test results. These include:

  • Type 2 Diabetes in women ages 35 to 70 years who may be considered overweight or obese
  • Hypertension (High-Blood Pressure) in women over 18 years of age
  • Colorectal Cancer in women ages 45 to 75
  • Interpartner Violence (IPV) in women of reproductive age
  • Screening for Osteoporosis in women over 65 and under 65 who are at a higher risk
  • And more

Taking the time for your recommended screenings helps catch health problems before they get worse. Be sure to talk to your provider about which screenings may be best for you.

Prioritize Your Health

There might always be something that seems more important, but nothing is more important than keeping yourself healthy. When you are at your best, you can continue being superwoman. Schedule a Well-Woman Exam with your provider today.

We encourage you to download the FREE healow mobile app. With just a few clicks, you can schedule appointments, access your health and immunization records, and even send messages directly to your provider. Use our practice code AHHIAD to connect with us. The healow app is available for FREE download on all Apple and Android devices.

Chapa-De Indian Health Auburn Grass Valley | Medical Clinic


Chapa-De provides medical care, dental care, optometry, behavioral health, pharmacy services and much more.

Serving all American Indian, Low Income and Limited Income Community Members