If you wait to see a doctor only when you notice a problem, it may be too late. A woman’s health depends on a lot of factors and it is very important to always go for a check-up.
Here are some of the health screenings you should not miss:
1. Dental check-up. Good dental health is important from the moment your first baby tooth sprouts, and all adult women need twice-yearly dental check-ups and cleanings. Regular dental check-ups, which involve examining the teeth and sometimes taking X-rays, can keep teeth healthy from cavities, tooth decays or any problems with the mouth or teeth.
2. Cholesterol Check. Every woman from age 20 and above should have his or her cholesterol measured at least once every five years. This screening is important for decreasing your risk of heart disease and can be done at your doctor’s office or at a medical laboratory, as the test only involves drawing a blood sample.
3. Blood pressure screening. This is a very important aspect of check-ups. Starting at age 18, every woman needs to have her blood pressure check. Every woman should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health.
4. Pap smears and pelvic exams. Beginning at age 21, or earlier if you are sexually active, women need to have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every two years to check for any abnormalities in the reproductive system. Women age 30 and older only need a Pap smear every three years if they have had three normal tests in a row. It goes this way, a speculum is placed inside the vagina to widen the vag!nal canal, and your doctor will use a small tool to take cells from the cervix to detect any cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer.
5. Mammograms and breast exams. Starting around age 20, women should have a clinical breast exam, at least, every three years until age 40, when this should be done annually, according to most experts. This is a manual exam, your doctor uses her fingers to examine or palpate the breasts for any lumps or abnormalities. A mammogram is a screening test for breast cancer and involves applying moderate compression to the breasts so that X-ray images can be captured. Mammograms are done every one or two years beginning at age 40.
6. HIV Screening. HIV kills or damages the body’s immune system cells and is most often spread through unprotected s3x with an infected person. It can also be spread by sharing infected drug needles or through contact with the blood of someone who is infected. All young ladies and pregnant women need to be tested for HIV to know their status.
7. Blood glucose tests. Women should get a blood glucose test every three years starting at age 45 to test for diabetes or pre-diabetes. Before age 45, you may need to have your blood glucose levels tested if you have symptoms of diabetes or several risk factors. Your blood sample can be taken and tested at your doctor’s office or a lab.
Remember, make time for healthy habits, eat right, manage stress, stay active and schedule routine health screenings in the coming year.