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Health Tests Every Woman Should Get

Women’s health is a complex and multifaceted subject, and there are myriad factors that influence it. Read on to know the important health tests every woman should get.

Currently, women in India face numerous health difficulties because of both lack of awareness and unavailability of resources. There are unique health issues that women face, which vary from age group to age group and require different interventions at each life stage. While, of course, a balanced diet and lifestyle (including exercise and mental health management) are important factors in maintaining one’s health, preventive screenings and
tests are essential, too.

Women face a series of unique health issues like:

  • Gynaecological health issues
  • Women are more likely to get urinary tract infections
  • Disorders related to infertility
  • Many women in India still do not have access to or are not aware of prenatal and postnatal care, which might result in a pregnancy with medical complications
  • Metabolic disturbances or hormonal imbalances like polycystic ovarian syndrome have become increasingly common in women, as have sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits
  • There is a lack of knowledge about the importance of cancer screening tests required at all ages.
  • Malnutrition has a significant impact on one’s psychological and physical health, and has been linked to an increased risk of maternal mortality as well as birth abnormalities in children

Because of these issues, it is recommended that women get regular screenings to identify any health issue and take action as soon as possible. This is not an exhaustive list of tests, as they may vary from person to person. Of course, do take these medical tests under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner, who may recommend them earlier or later, depending on factors like your medical and family history, and other risk factors that you may have.

Medical tests for women in their 20s and 30s

  • Check your weight: Weighing yourself on a regular basis is important as being overweight or underweight puts you at risk of getting a variety of disorders later in life.
  • Blood pressure: The test is simple and quick to do, and it’s important to monitor your blood pressure as you grow older, as high blood pressure can lead to heart diseases and other problems.
  • Lipid profile: Everyone over the age of 20 should be aware of their cholesterol levels and have them checked at least once every five years—if they have no medical history of cardiovascular problems or diabetes, or other risk factors. If they, or an immediate family member, do have a history, the tests should be done more often. Certain medications can also impact one’s cholesterol levels, so it’s important to consult a doctor and see if more testing is required.
  • Diabetes screening: A simple test to check your blood sugar levels can determine your risk of diabetes, which can lead to other complications.
  • Clinical breast exam, pelvic exam, and Pap smear: Clinical breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap smear tests all play a big role in protecting women from breast and cervical cancer, and diseases that can cause infertility. If you have a family history of cancer, you may have to get these tests more regularly to screen for irregularities.
  • Protect your eyes, skin and teeth: An often overlooked test, getting your eyes checked every couple of years is important for maintaining eye health and can help prevent further damage. The same applies for your dental health, and two visits a year to the dentist are recommended. Keep an eye out for irregularities on your skin through self-exams, or your doctor may conduct the same to look for signs of skin cancer.
  • Check your immunizations: Regularly update any vaccinations that you might need, keeping note of when the next booster shot is due.

Medical tests for women above 40

  • Blood sugar: People above the age of 40 are at a higher risk for developing diabetes, so it’s vital to get your blood sugar tested regularly to screen for it.
  • Breast exam and mammogram: Most experts recommend having mammography tests after you turn 40. The frequency of this test depends on your personal risk factors and family history. One should also supplement this with regular breast self-examinations.
  • Blood pressure: As people get older, their blood pressure tends to rise and needs to be monitored more regularly. There are various measures to control blood pressure like diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and medication.
  • Cholesterol screening: Scheduling regular cholesterol screenings become more important as you grow older. Abnormal levels or a drastic change in one’s lifestyle can lead to more frequent tests.
  • Watching one’s weight. Another consideration is maintaining a healthy weight, as being overweight or underweight increases one’s risk of developing a variety of ailments, including diabetes and heart disease.
  • Pelvic exam, Pap test and colorectal cancer screening: A woman should get these tests done regularly as a preventive measure against various forms of cancer.
  • Bone density test: Bone density decreases as one ages, but it is more pronounced in women. Those above 50 years of age should get screened for osteoporosis.
  • Looking for skin changes: Cancer can develop from unusual moles or skin changes, but it is treatable, if identified at an early stage.
  • Protecting one’s eyes: After the age of 40, have your eyes examined every two years to check for common disorders such as presbyopia, glaucoma, and others.
  • Regular immunizations: Consult your doctor to determine whether you require a tetanus booster shot, flu shot, pneumonia vaccine, or other immunizations.

References:

“Women’s Health.” National Health Portal, 2 April 2015,
https://www.nhp.gov.in/healthlyliving/women-s-health.
Bader, Helaine, et al. New Dimensions in Women’s Health. United States, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2020.
“HPV and Pap Testing – NCI.” National Cancer Institute, 9 May 2022,
https://www.cancer.gov/types/cervical/pap-hpv-testing-fact-sheet Accessed 20 June 2022.

At Seva At Home, we produce a wealth of free health information to help individuals and families live healthier, happier lives. This has been produced by independent research carried out by the Seva At Home team. This information is not a replacement for medical advice. Please consult your physician for relevant medical diagnosis and advice. 

To learn more about our healthcare services in India, contact our caregiving team today at +1 (603) 718-4828 if you are based in North America, or at 1800-120-800-003 if you are based in India.

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