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Have You Been Tested? Advice From Our Gift of Giving Contest

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The message is coming through loud and clear from women entering our Give the Gift of Giving Contest – get tested! From mammograms to sexually transmitted diseases to pregnancy testing for Downs Syndrome, entrants vying for the $2,500 gift card said they felt it was the best health advice they’ve received.

Elizabeth shared her story about declining the blood-screening test for Downs Syndrome while she was pregnant:

While my advice … may sound controversial I will say that it has been an amazing life-changing experience. Many women opt to have the screening blood test in early pregnancy to determine the chances of them having a child with Down syndrome and many other kinds of birth defects. After much consideration in the early stages of pregnancy my husband and I chose not to have this test done. We went through an amazingly easy pregnancy with minimal complications during labor and delivery. Happy and content, I gazed at the little person in my arms, unknowing of what was to come. Two hours after my son entered this world I was told about the possibility of Down syndrome. I was devastated and felt that they were wrong. Days past and my world was slowly coming back together, my son did in fact have Down syndrome.

Mallory also advises screening but is a strong advocate of mammograms and illustrates her point through this ominous scenario.

Think of your 8 closest friends or family members. Now think of which one of those you could live without. Which of those could you withhold life-saving information from and not feel guilty about it if something bad were to happen?

Breast Cancer is the No. 1 killer of women within the 21st century and it affects 1 out of every 8 women. What makes it worse is that your chances of being diagnosed are increased once you turn 50 because 80 percent of all cases occur after this magical age.

Another contest entrant recommended getting tested for HIV and all STDs.

“It is especially important for young adults such as college students, like me, to be tested. It is a known fact that 1 in 4 young adults or teens have an STD and nearly 50 percent of all sexually active college students have some form of HPV and that is not something to be taken lightly. One of the most dangerous parts about this is that many do not even know they have a STD and therefore may be passing it on to others, spreading the epidemic even more.’

Finally Karisse suggests getting yearly exams and more importantly, second opinions.

“One time I had a doctor that wanted to perform a surgery on me that ended up being unnecessary. Thank goodness I got that second opinion! The first doctor had based his diagnosis on someone else's chart.”

To enter the Gift of Giving Contest, visit www.empowher.com/contest , share your best health advice and be entered to win $2,500 in Tiffany & Co. gift cards.