Specialists recommend women to have a regular annual check-up with their GP. Usually, women will have to inform their GP about their medical history, their family's medical history, lifestyle, including having or not habits such as smoking, drinking, exercising and dietary habits. Seeing your GP regularly will help women keep better track of their health and ensure that all recommended check-ups and tests are followed up with.
Identifying early signs of illness ensures a better approach to potential diseases and higher success changes of the treatments applied. If you have a history of medical diseases in your family, doctors recommend to get yourself checked up more frequently and at an early age.
Self-Check-Up Recommendations for Women
Besides the medical visits recommended to women, doctors and practitioners recommend a series of self-check-up practices that will ensure all potential medical concerns are addressed in an early stage. Part of women's self-check routine should be:
- Examine your breasts. Periodically, during your showers, make sure that you examine your own breasts. Try to feel if there are present any lumps and nodules that shouldn't be there. However, make sure that you are aware of the fact that your breast composition and feel changes throughout your menstrual cycle.
- Examine your skin. Monitor freckles, blemishes and moles for changes. Changes in size, composition, shape of color should send you straight to your dermatologist's office.
- Mental and emotional health. Try to pay attention to symptoms such as sadness, irritability, fatigue or anxiety, but also to changes in your sleeping habits. These might signal hormonal imbalances of a series of other conditions, including mental disorders. If you notice such signs in yourself, visit your GP for advice and investigations.
Besides self-checks, below is a list of medical check-ups all women above 18 should periodically have.
Blood Pressure Screening
The American Heart Association says that if your heart rate is below 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury), the perfect reading, in fact, you should have your heart checked once every two years, starting with the age of 20. Women aged 40 or older are advised to have their hearts checked more frequently. If you are part of certain groups (African American) or suffer from obesity, you should also check your heart's health more frequently, preferably yearly.
Cholesterol checks are generally used one's predisposition of developing heart disease or stroke. Have your cholesterol checked at least once every five years, after the age of 20. The ideal cholesterol levels measure less than 200 milligrams per deciliter. Let your doctors assess your medical needs depending on your readings. They will be able to develop a plan for the future in case you are predisposed to strokes and heart disease.
Women should have their hormone levels checked periodically. Estrogen and levels determine the health of a woman in various proportions. They determine bone and reproductive health. When doctors notice several symptoms in women, they might recommend checking the estrogen levels. There can be measured three forms of the hormone: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3). Some of the symptoms that might be caused by estrogen imbalances are as follows:
- Vaginal bleeding after menopause;
- Problems with menstrual cycles;
- Menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats and
Preparing for estrogen testing doesn't involve anything particular. You should let your doctor know if you are under any sort of medication, including birth control pills and hormone therapy. Those might influence the results of your test a lot.
Between ages 21 and 65, all women should have a Pap Smear once every three years. Many women fear the procedure but it truly causes only slight discomfort. The test will analyze your cervical cells for signs of cervical cancer. Having a Pap, together with periodical screenings for HPV will lower significantly your chances of developing cervical cancer and increase the chances of successfully treating it, in case modifications to your cervical cells appear.
Mammograms are standard screenings for breast cancer. Again, this is a non-invasive procedure, as the medical staff at Emu Health Queens NY clinic explain, but it is absolutely mandatory for a healthy life in older women. After the age of 45, all women should have a mammogram since breast cancer risk increases with age. After the age of 55, women should have a mammogram twice a year. Women with a family history of breast cancer are advised to have genetic tests performed to see if they have the gene responsible for breast cancer.
Bone Density Screening
Statistically, one in five women suffers from osteoporosis. This is a condition where women lose bone density, the phenomenon occurs in older women, but it can also be noticed in younger females. Generally, specialists advise women to get themselves checked for potential bone density loss after the age of 65. The DEXA scan is the test that accurately tells if women are prone to developing osteoporosis and related bone fractures. The scan is an X-ray of your bones. It can outline different issues that might develop into fractures. The equipment also successfully measures bone density. Depending on age and risk factors, the frequency of these tests will be adjusted. For example, if a woman is diagnosed with osteoporosis and is under treatment, biannually, she should have a DEXA test to establish the evolution of the condition and assess the success of the treatment.
Colon Cancer Screening
After the age of 50, both men and women are encouraged to be screened for colon cancer. The most common screening method is the colonoscopy. The lower colon, as well as the entire colon, is examined for deformities and signs of cancer. Unless when similar problems are identified, specialists recommend having a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, and a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Preventive healthcare is more affordable and approachable than treatments for complex conditions that might appear if problems are unidentified and poorly treated. Specialists recommend women to keep up with their medical visits and screenings to ensure better living standards and lower risks of developing life-threatening diseases.
If you want to learn more about what tests and checkup you should have, depending on the age, personal and family medical history, visit the webpage https://www.emuhealth.com/ or use the contact details below.