Which regular checkups should women have?

Women need to have regular health checks. Doctors usually recommend the check-ups that are necessary for each patient to help them stay healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Many diseases such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers can be picked up in their early stages, when treatment is often more effective.

Women can easily perform self-checkups at home that can include: skin checks for moles or possible growths, breast check for lumps, dental care, adequate diet which contains fruits and vegetables, and weight tracking.

(1) Pap tests – you should have a pap test every two years. This screening test is an important test to pick up signs of irregularities that could lead to cervical cancer if not treated. The first pap test should be within two years of the first time you have sex and you should continue to have them every two years until you are 70.

(2) STI screening – if you are sexually active, you should get tested for chlamydia every year between the ages of 15 and 29.

(3) Pregnancy – you should have a general check-up before becoming pregnant to discuss any health risks during pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, regular antenatal checks help monitor your baby’s development, pick up abnormalities and assess your health.

(4) Blood pressure – have your blood pressure checked every two years if your blood pressure is normal and there is no family history of high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is on the high side, or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack, it’s best to have it checked more frequently.

(5) Blood tests – it is a good idea to check your cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides and blood sugar levels from time to time. High levels may indicate an increased risk of various health problems including heart disease or diabetes

(6) Obesity tests – being overweight is a significant risk factor for many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement every two years.

(7) Breast tests: Women of any age should visit the doctor immediately if they notice any breast changes. Women aged between 50 and 70 years who have no personal or family history of breast cancer should have a screening mammogram (breast x-ray) every two years.

(8) Bone density health checks for women: Osteoporosis is a disease that causes thinning of the bones. Menopause is a significant risk factor for women. A bone density test helps to determine the health of your bones....