Promoting health and wellness is one of the main secrets to a longer, happier, and more quality life. If someone is healthy, an individual can live life to the fullest. As such, they can truly enjoy life without worrying about their health conditions. It applies to both men and women.
Know, however, that men and women are different in terms of physicality. There are certain health aspects that women must focus on and prioritize compared to men. It’s good that most women regularly see a doctor than men.
Aside from pursuing a healthy lifestyle, such as eating properly, staying hydrated, working out, and getting enough sleep, women must also keep up with some routine health tests. These include getting medical checkups and health screenings.
That said, here are regular checkups and screenings every woman must get:
1. Pap Smear Test
Also called a pap test, a pap smear is essential for women. It is a medical examination a physician uses to test for cervical cancer. It helps a doctor see changes in your cervical cells that can potentially turn into cancer cells later in life. For the test, your health professional opens your vaginal canal, obtains cells from your cervix, and examines them for changes. The ultimate goal is to prevent cervical cancer or treat it as soon as possible. That said, get a pap smear every three years, beginning at 21 years and until 65 years old.
2. Blood Pressure Check
Every woman must get a blood pressure checkup. Know that the blood pressure for adults must be below 120/80. It means a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80. If you can maintain blood pressure below 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), have a check at least once every two years. Otherwise, consider having a blood pressure screening every year. The same is true for adults aged 40 years and above, African-Americans, and those with medical conditions such as obesity.
3. Cholesterol Check
Apart from blood pressure, you must have your cholesterol level regularly checked as well. It’s best to have a complete cholesterol test. The test involves checking your blood to see if your cholesterol and triglycerides are healthy. The goal is to evaluate the risk of developing heart disease and prevent this from happening. Be sure to have a cholesterol check once every five years once you’re 20 years old and above. But if you’re a woman over 50 years old, get this test as often as possible.
A mammogram is vital for women in screening for breast cancer. The process entails compressing the breasts between plates to capture the breast images. According to the US Preventive Services Task Force, you should have a mammogram every two years once you reach the age of 50 years. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gets used as a better alternative to mammography. That said, consider getting an open MRI scanner for your breast imaging.
5. Blood Glucose Test
It’s apparent how diabetes has become prevalent in modern times. In fact, 88 million American adults already have prediabetes. Some adults also suffer from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, while some women have gestational diabetes. As diabetes commonly affects almost everyone, it’s best to have a blood glucose test. The rule of thumb is for women to get this test every three years at 45 years old and above. However, if you are obese or have a family history of diabetes, get screened earlier. While at it, make sure to get this test as often as possible.
6. Colon Cancer Screening
A colon cancer screening is necessary for women aged 45 years and above to prevent colon cancer. The screening can be performed either through colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. While the former entails using a lighted long tube and a cam used to examine the entire colon, the latter uses a tube inserted in the anus to check the lower colon. It’s imperative to have a colonoscopy every ten years and a sigmoidoscopy every five years. That way, your doctor can take immediate action if you’re at risk for colon cancer.
At this point, you now know what medical checkups and health screenings you must get. As a woman, consider those health routines recommended above, from a pap smear test to a mammogram to colon cancer screening.
Seeing a doctor can prevent you from developing certain health conditions. If not, your physician can identify some health issues and address these immediately. That way, they will no longer escalate to severe medical conditions. Ultimately, you’ll foster your overall health and well-being for quality life!