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It’s easy when you’re running a family and holding down a job to neglect your own health, and have no time to go for health screenings.
Health screenings help to identify problems at an early stage when they can be more easily treated, so it’s important that you make those appointments and get checked out regularly.
In this article, we’re going to highlight 7 of the most important health screenings that you need to undergo on a regular basis:
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1. Blood Pressure
Hypertension is a silent killer, with no identifiable specific symptoms until it’s too late and you suffer a sudden attack.
Hypertension can only be identified by blood pressure checks, and every woman should have one at least every two years from the age of 18. For a woman, the normal blood pressure should be under 120/80.
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Get your cholesterol checked every five years from age 20 to reduce your risk of heart disease.
It’s a simple screening involving only a single finger prick, and you can usually get it done for free at health fairs.
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3. Breast Exam
In a clinical breast exam, a doctor uses her fingers to check the breast tissue for lumps.
Although you can perform checks yourself, you should have a clinical check at least once every three years from age 20 and annually from age 40. Doctors are trained to find lumps you might miss at home, and they can even find lumps a mammogram might miss.
4. Pap Smear
A pap smear involves taking a swab sample from the cervix, which is then sent for laboratory testing to identify abnormalities.
Your doctor will place a speculum inside your vagina to hold it open while she takes the sample, which can be cold and a little uncomfortable, but pap smears can identify cell changes that might lead to cervical cancer early and save lives, so you should never skip this one.
It is recommended that you should have a pap smear every two years from age 21, or earlier if you are sexually active.
To learn more about pap smear, check out our article titled “What Is Pap Smear Test: Everything You Need To Know About Pap Smear… And Why You Should Go For One (If You Haven’t Done So)“
Starting at age 40, every woman should have a mammogram every one or two years, to detect early signs of breast cancer.
The procedure involves applying slight pressure to the breasts while taking x-rays of them.
6. Blood Glucose
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A blood glucose test checks for signs of diabetes or pre-diabetes, and women should start checking their blood-glucose level at age 45 or earlier if you have symptoms of diabetes or risk factors such as family history or obesity.
The test involves giving a blood sample and you should have it done every three years.
7. Bone Density
Women should be screened for signs of osteoporosis with a bone density test from the age of 65, or earlier if they have a slight frame or history of bone fractures.
The test involves lying on a table while a machine takes x-rays of certain bones in your body. Bones are given a T-score, which describes bone density, and a score of -1 or higher indicates that they are healthy.
Don’t put this one off either, as osteoporosis is another disease with no obvious signs until it’s too late and you fracture your bones.
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