I guess at the moment with not getting out and about health checks are the last thing on your mind – except hoping that you and your loved ones do not contract Covid-19. But as lockdown slowly starts to ease, and things slowly return to some level of normality it is important to think about them and any you may be due…..
Here are some Important Health Checks for Women that you should have regularly:
- Smear tests (or Pap smear, or PAP Test). If you are due a smear test it is super important to contact your local health center to check the current situation on having a test. You should aim to have one as soon as you are able to. Over one million women have missed their smear tests during the lockdown in the UK. Smear tests are generally offered to women between the ages of 25-64.
- Sexual health checks. If you are you ‘sexually active’ then you should have regular sexual health screenings, and if you’ve had unprotected sex with one or multiple new partners, it’s time to schedule your next. It is important to remember that just because you don’t have any symptoms, doesn’t mean you don’t have an STI – you still need to go even if you don’t have any present concerns. If you are sexually active, it is important to have regular checks – in the US an annual check is recommended for women’s sexual health.
- Mammogram. A mammogram screens for breast cancer, and involves compressing the breast between plates so that X-ray images can be captured. There has long been discussion about when and how often a woman should have them, the most recent guidelines are that women should from the age of 50 have a mammogram every two years. If you have a family history of the disease or other concerns, talk to your doctor about starting annual screening earlier.
- Blood pressure checks. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that if your blood pressure is below 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) you should have it checked at least once every two years, from when you turn 20. For adults aged 40 or older, African-Americans, or those with conditions such as obesity which should put them at increased risk for hypertension, annual screening is recommended.
- Cholesterol Test. If your cholesterol is high there are steps you can take to improve your cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease and heart attack. The medical term for high blood cholesterol and triglycerides is lipid disorder. This disorder occurs when you have too many fatty substances including cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
Please always remember if you have any health concerns do not hesitate to contact your local health professional.