Routine annual tests are an important part of a woman’s health care. Just like you will have that car you love so much inspected annually so that you can keep driving it, so does your body need to be checked regularly to identify any healthy problems early enough. It is ironic how a woman will take care not to break her utensils or water the flowers in the house so as not to wither and often forget that her body needs such and more attention. Total health assurance gives you freedom to do things you love without any worry. So ladies as you make this year’s resolutions, put your health on top of your priority list. The list is endless for the tests you may need but here is key tests to get you started especially if you have the following warning signs;
- Unexplained weight loss
- Constant digestive problems
- Pain when having intercourse
- Irregular menses and abnormal vaginal bleeding, discharge or spotting
- Cramps or abdominal pains
- Breast pain, lumps or discharge
- Abdominal swelling, lumps or bloating
The power of pap smear test
By the age of 21 or at least three years after becoming sexually active, every woman needs an annual pap test which helps detect the presence of any abnormal cell changes that can cause cervical cancer. In this test, a small sample of cells from the surface of the cervix obtained and subjected to examination to check for any abnormalities or changes that could result to cancer of cervix.
How are my Sugar Levels?
Have your sugar levels regularly checked to avoid being diabetic. This is so especially if you posses risk factors such as family history of diabetes or you are overweight or pregnant.
Know where the health of your heart stands by having your blood tested for total cholesterol levels. If there exists any queries such as extra heart beats, breath shortness or pain in the chest, then as a woman you should have a stress echocardiogram which determines if blood flow to your heart has reduced significantly.
Do I need a mammography?
Any woman aged 40 and above should consider having a breast x-ray (mammogram) every one or two years and then yearly after 50 years. If there is a history of breast cancer in the family, then you should have the x-ray earlier. A mammogram will help detect breast cancer early thus increase the chances of cure. If breast cancer is caught at stage 1, 97% of the cases will be cured. Therefore if a mammogram comes out clean, then you know you are reassured of good health for a whole year. Women of ages 20’s and 30’s should have their breasts examined for any suspicious lumps every three years and ask your doctor for advice on breast self-exams.
Annual skin test
This is a head-toe skin exam that helps identify any unusual red or brown spots which can suggest skin cancers such as melanoma. Self exam yourself monthly on your scalp, fingernails, underarms and at the bottom of your feet and toes. If you feel anything suspicious, consult a doctor immediately.
Colon cancer affects women and men equally. Colonoscopy allows for the inspection of rectum and whole of colon to detect any signs of cancer, polyps and growths that can be cancerous. Colon cancer can be prevented and totally treated, so go for this check up early enough.
As a woman you need to screen for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia which can easily affect your fertility. Also get screened for herpes and HPV (human papilloma virus). Hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV can be easily detected through a simple blood test.
A woman needs to screen for their vision yearly especially if you wear glasses or contacts. Women are at a high risk of developing dry-eye syndrome and autoimmune diseases thus are more vulnerable to eyesight problems.
This checks your hearing at a variety of pitches and levels of intensity. Women of 50 years and above should have this done yearly.
This is done once a year by your dentist to probe for the health of your gums. The x-ray checks for any gum inflammation which can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid gland that affects quite a number of women. So if you often feel tired, cold achy or are unnecessarily gaining weight consider having a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) screening. This is normally done at age 50 and earlier if you experience symptoms stated above.
One may not be able to undergo all the above stated tests due to several reasons such as financial constrain or current health condition. Therefore it is advisable to consult your doctor for advice on what tests you really need depending on the risk factors you may possess.