All women need to ensure they have the right health screenings throughout the year. Seeing professional healthcare experts means that any issues that aren’t immediately obvious (and even some that are) can be tackled much more quickly; this is something that can save lives. The earlier a condition is uncovered, the sooner treatment can start, and for diseases and problems that are life-threatening, this could make all the difference.
As we all know, the female body is different from the male one, which is why some health screenings are designed explicitly for women. What are they, and how can they help women stay as healthy as possible?
When you reach the age of 21, and until you reach the age of 65, you should have a Pap smear once every three years, or sooner if you feel there is a problem or if something has been detected at your gynecologist consultation or abortion clinics, for example.
During the Pap smear, a medical professional will use a speculum to help them take a swab from your cervix. The cells collected during this test will be examined for any abnormalities such as cancer or any changes to the cells that might indicate cancer is a possibility. As we’ve said, having this test is important to detect any issues before they become too big to treat, and even if the test is a little uncomfortable, it’s better than developing a life-threatening condition.
A mammogram is a type of health screening that specifically tests for breast cancer. The breast is put between two plates, and an x-ray is taken. This can be uncomfortable since the breast must be compressed for the picture to pick up everything it needs to, but, as ever, it is worth this brief discomfort to ensure that all is well or to pick up on issues early.
Mammograms are usually recommended for women over the age of 50, and current guidance is that they should take place every two years. However, if you have a family history, or history yourself, of breast cancer, then the screening can start earlier and take place annually instead. Studies are continually being carried out in this area; however, the guidance can change; seeing your doctor regularly will mean you don’t have to worry about missing out on any testing.
Your BMI is your body mass index. It is a good idea for women to have this calculated regularly to ensure that they are healthy. Your BMI is calculated using your weight and height measurements, and it will determine whether or not you are at a healthy weight or if you are underweight or overweight (or even clinically obese). Knowing your BMI means that you can take charge of your weight and do what is needed to put yourself into the healthy bracket.
Your BMI can also help to uncover other issues. You might be at risk of developing diabetes or heart disease, for example, or your bone density might be problematic.
There are no specific guidelines as to how often this health screening should be carried out, but if it is done each time you visit your doctor for a regular checkup, you can ensure you are continuing to stay healthy, and if your BMI rises or falls to unhealthy levels, your doctor will be able to advise you on what to do next.