Latrobe Community Health Service’s Corina Christie said a lot of the time people did not know what services were at their fingertips.
The community health nurse is removing any doubt by hosting a fun, free and entertaining evening which she hopes will dispel some myths in the community about what goes on behind the doctor’s door, and help women of all ages make some “good health choices”.
“If you can catch things early, it’s a really good outcome,” Ms Christie said.
The forum will be held at LCHS in Morwell on Wednesday, 3 May where Ms Christie will share information and advice on breast health, pap tests and control over the pelvic floor with the help of continence nurse Eva Hawkett and general practitioner Inas Hegazi.
Dr Hegazi said a lot of mums in this area thought they were a low priority.
“But they’re just as important as anyone in the family,” she said.
“After the husband dies is when many women finally get their health checks.
“The aim is to tell them the earlier the better (for check-ups), and treatment and support is available.” Ms Christie said the forum would hopefully make women understand the reality of these processes, and place a friendly face to these procedures which were often encased in speculation. Painful pap tests and long tiresome procedures are some myths women face, according to Dr Hegazi.
“A lot of people think (the speculum used during pap tests) is metal and it’s hot. Now they’re plastic and disposable,” she said.
“Women think the brushes are really big and we will show them on the night.”
Ms Christie said young women thought they were exempt from the needs for regular pap tests, however changes in cervical cells peaked at 24 years-old.
The community health nurse has also hand-made a model of the pelvic floor for a visual display to help continence nurse Eva Hawkett demonstrate some basic exercises women could be doing right from their teenage years.
Ms Hawkett said women did not look after their pelvic floor.
“Incontinence is not a normal part of ageing,” she said.
Dr Hegazi will be offering free pap tests during and after the forum for any women, and a representative from BreastScreen Victoria will be there with her laptop for women over 40 attending to book in a free breast check.
Ms Christie insisted the forum would be a “fun, happy, informative and entertaining night”, without any accusatory tones and personal questions, which often stopped women from seeking the help they needed.
To lighten the mood, there will also be a representative from Traralgon lingerie boutique The Feminine Touch to share some tips on finding the perfect cup size, and attendees will be able to sip on coffee from Cafe 2 U while the event is underway.
“The whole point is it is free, and women are welcome to being their friends, daughters, aunties, best friends and worst friends, anybody at any age,” Ms Christie said.
The front office will be open late and “lit up like Luna Park” for the forum which will run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Latrobe Community Health Service, 81-87 Buckley Street, Morwell.
For more information phone LCHS community health nurse Corina Christie on 5171 1411 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.