Jenny Ingle Pappas, DNP, FNP-C, is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has been providing care through Nurx for close to three years. She has deep experience in women’s health, having previously directed Title X women’s clinics and worked in ER, nursery and postpartum unit. In addition to taking care of Nurx patients Jenny has been in school earning her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and working as mom to two-year-old Xander. She lives in Punta Gorda, Florida. We asked Jenny to tell the Nurx community the health advice she wishes she’d heard earlier and that she wants all our patients to take to heart.
What do you wish every patient knew about taking care of themselves?
Taking care of yourself includes taking time for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Most importantly, take care of YOU and make time to fill your cup too. Life is so busy and it has gotten even busier since the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected women. Women are often working outside the home, managing the household, taking care of the children, and trying to get dinner on the table (preferably a healthy one). It’s easy to take care of everyone else’s needs before your own, but you can’t pour from an empty cup!
What health advice would you give your younger self if you could?
Try to eat healthier before it catches up with you! It’s much harder to get weight off after you have a baby and after you turn 30.
What is the most common health myth or misconception you hear?
That birth control protects against sexually transmitted diseases. Nope-you still need to practice safe sex! That PrEP is not meant for women. Women can benefit from taking PrEP too! That herpes is not common; it is VERY common. However, if you take medication daily your risk of transmitting to your partner reduces significantly. Also, keep in mind herpes can show up years after contracting it from someone. It does not mean it is from your current sexual partner. This is always something my patients have a difficult time understanding. HPV can also show up years later, many of my patients are surprised about that too. Please get the HPV vaccine (Gardasil). I have to mention that because it is SO important to help us reduce cervical cancer across the globe.
What’s something that patients/people are often embarrassed about, but shouldn’t be?
Often patients are embarrassed about everything regarding sexual health, but there is no reason to be embarrassed. We’ve heard and seen it all (I promise), so PLEASE, ask us your questions- we want to help!
What do you think patients worry too much about?
Smells, we all have different smells and it’s okay. It’s natural for areas to not smell like flowers, in fact- please don’t use products that make any private part smell like flowers. 99.9% of the time that is not something you should be using “down there.”
What do you think patients worry too little about?
Sexually transmitted infections. I don’t think women realize getting tested for STIs is essential for one’s reproductive health. If you have an STI and don’t get it treated it could put you at risk for infertility. Women are having more issues with infertility and STI testing is one easy way to help reduce that risk.
What are the types of things patients tell you through Nurx that they are too scared or shy to tell an in-person provider?
In general, patients feel much more comfortable talking about their sexual encounters and vaginal concerns over telehealth than in-person. I feel like I’ve been able to help more people with their concerns, because they are more comfortable to ask the uncomfortable questions.
What do you wish more people knew about telemedicine?
Honestly, I wish more people knew that you receive equal or better care via telemedicine compared to in-person. At Nurx you always have a consultation with a licensed medical provider, who can consult with over 75 other licensed medical professionals. I feel like I have learned so much from all the different providers at Nurx.
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.