One of the most important things you can do to safeguard your health is to carry out regular breast examinations for unusual lumps, tenderness or discharge and a visit to the doctor to check anything you are not sure about. It only takes 15 minutes, once a month and hereâ€™s how you do it…
Visual Exam – Hands on hips
Strip to the waist and stand before a mirror. You will need to see both breasts at the same time. Stand with your hands on your hips and check the appearance of your breasts. Look at size, shape, and contour. Note
changes, if any, in the skin color or texture. Look at the nipples and areolas, to see how healthy they look.
Visual Exam – arms over your head
Still standing in front of the mirror, raise your arms over your head and see if your breasts move in the same way, and note any differences. Look at size, shape, and drape, checking for symmetry. Pay attention to your nipples and areolas, to see if you have any dimples, bumps, or retraction (indentation). Look up toward your armpits and note if there is any swelling where your lymph nodes are (lower armpit area).
Manual Exam – Stand and stroke
Raise your left arm over your head, and use your right-hand fingers to apply gentle pressure to the left breast. Stroke from the top to the bottom of the breast, moving across from the inside of the breast all the way into your armpit area. You can also use a circular motion, being sure to cover the entire breast area. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat. This is best done in the shower, as wet skin will have the least resistance to the friction of your fingers.
Manual Exam – Check your nipples
Still facing the mirror, lower both arms. With the index and middle fingers of your right hand, gently squeeze the left nipple and pull forward. Does the nipple spring back into place? Does it pull back into the breast? Note whether or not any fluid leaks out. Reverse your hands and check the right nipple in the same way.
Manual Exam – Recline and stroke
Place a pillow on the bed so that you can lie with both your head and shoulders on the pillow. Lie down and put your left hand behind your head. Use your right hand to stroke the breast and underarm, as you did in step 3. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat.
Having a PAP Smear carried out by your doctor every 3 years to check for abnormalities is your cervix which could lead to cancer. If any problems are found early they can be fixed really easily.
Osteoporosis means that your bones get weak, and you’re more likely to break a bone. Regular weight bearing exercise is the best prevention for this, as well as making sure you include plenty of calcium in your diet. Calcium is found in milk, leafy green vegetables such as morning glory (dror kroo’un) and green cabbage and the bones in oily fish such as mackerel and sardines (dray kor).
Violence can lead to injury, trauma, hospitalization, etc. and often never gets reported, due to victims’ fear of further discrimination, shame, intimidation by police or similar concerns. Lesbian domestic violence can also lead to significant bodily harm, and is very rarely reported, due to the victims’ fears of discrimination, intimidation by police, etc. If you have been the victim of violence or discrimination, you can find the contact details of suitable support services on the support and contacts page of this website. Don’t suffer in silence as there are people who can help!
Many lesbians live in a world where they are often told they are “bad” or are simply treated as a joke. Some lesbians are abandoned by their families. All of this can lower their self-esteem and lead to depression. When a person has low self-esteem, they tend to value their life (and their health) less seriously. If you are feeling low don’t stay alone, you can meet people via the chat room on this website and ask for their support and advice or access the support services on the support and contacts section of this website. Many other people have been through similar experiences and can offer help and advice; knowing that you are not alone may already help you to feel a little better. You can visit MStyle Clubs too. We know that the clubs were originally set up for men but we want to encourage lesbian and transgender members too so everyone can support each other. You can find out where your nearest MStyle Club is by visiting the support and contacts page of this website.