The internet’s favorite mom is sharing a very important health reminder. Model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen wants fans to schedule their routine health appointments, even if the pandemic makes the thought of visiting a doctor’s office a little more anxiety-inducing than normal.
Teigen posted a shot of herself stripped down to nothing but a paper gown and flashing a peace sign from what we can assume is her gynecologist’s exam table. “Don’t forget to keep up with your paps and have your boobs touched even though the world is ending!!” she wrote.
Skipping out on visits is unfortunately all too common right now, whether it’s due to fear of being exposed to the virus, loss of insurance due to being laid off, or simply not having the money due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Whatever the reasons, doctors are worried all those missed visits could have scary consequences later on.
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Current guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) call for women to get a pap smear—a test that checks for cervical cancer—every three years if they’re between the ages of 21 and 29, and every five years for women between 30 and 65 (that latter group is also encouraged to get an HPV test every five years). Early detection of cervical cancer can improve the odds of beating it, so if you skipped your exam at some point during the last few months, there’s no time like the present to check in with your doctor about rescheduling.
As for “have your boobs touched,” as Teigen hilariously puts it, ACOG recommends breast exams every one to three years for women ages 25 to 39, with annual exams for those over 40. Mammography screenings for breast cancer should be offered for women over 40.
And while moms like Teigen need to focus on their own health, they also need to keep their kids’ check-ups in mind, too. Studies have found that vaccine rates for children have fallen since the pandemic began, and doctors are urging parents to check in with their pediatricians. While no one wants to catch COVID-19, falling victim to an easily preventable or treatable illness due to miss appointments would be just as much (if not more) of a calamity.
Moms and dads everywhere, please consider following Chrissy Teigen’s lead and start getting those appointments booked.