As a woman, it’s fair to say that we have our fair share of health concerns. Breast cancer, difficult pregnancies, postpartum depression – there are some of the issues many of us will either struggle with or worry about struggling with in our lifetimes, and with these issues come mammograms, pap smears, blood tests and a whole host of other health exams that are pretty much unavoidable, well they are if you want to live as long and healthy a life as you possibly can.
I know health exams can be inconvenient, embarrassing and even unpleasant at times, but there are certain health exams that every woman should have if she wants to stay on top of her health. Here are some of them:
Pap smears and pelvic exams are probably the most dreaded of all health exams, for women anyway, but they are also one of the most important. Every woman over the age of 21, or who is sexually active, whichever is first, should have a pap smear at least once every couple of years to check for abnormal cells, which could later lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a big killer because it is not one of the easiest cancers to recognize, so it really is of the utmost importance that you schedule those pap smears like clockwork; you owe it to yourself and your family to do so.
Again, mammograms aren’t exactly something us women look forward to, but they are pretty necessary. If you can, you should ideally start scheduling breast exams from the time you turn 20, returning every three years. Once you hit 40, you’ll want to start attending screening yearly because you’re more likely to get breast cancer once you reach that milestone.
Everyone, male and female should be having regular eye exams, even if they don’t feel like they have a problem with their eyes. This is important not only because our eye health and sight generally degrades as we age, but also because optometrists can spot the early warning signs of a whole host of diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure – they can spot it all. Try to schedule an eye exam at least once every couple of years if you can.
Bone Density Screening
This is one for older ladies. Once you hit 65 or thereabouts, you should start scheduling bone density screening appointments annually because you are much more likely to develop osteoporosis as you age, and if you can catch the early warning signs, you can take measures to strengthen your bones and stave off the illness.
Blood Pressure Testing
For some reason, high blood pressure seems to be viewed as a male thing by many people, but women are just as at risk of developing high blood pressure, especially if they’re overweight or have a poor diet, which is why getting screened every two years is the smart thing to do. Combine this with a blood glucose test that checks for diabetes, and it’ll be even better for your health!
Making the time to get examined is what any smart, health-conscious woman would do, so don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or taking time off from work, make the appointments and look after your health!