Three health checks every woman should have

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle and investing in your health is very important. As a woman, there are certain health screenings you should make sure you have, as recommended by your healthcare professional. We have highlighted three of these tests below that can help identify potential problems early so that you can get the treatment you need.

Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam

From the moment you become sexually active, it is recommended that you have a pelvic exam as well as a Pap smear. A Pap smear involves having cells removed from the cervix and examined for any abnormalities that may be caused by cervical cancer. A Pap smear can also help detect sexually transmitted infections. This is done as part of a pelvic exam, which is an examination of the reproductive organs that is done to check for any masses or other abnormalities that could hint at disease in one or more of the organs. How often you go for an exam and Pap smear can vary from once a year, to once every three years. Your healthcare professional can guide you as to what is best for you.

Breast Exam

When visiting your doctor for your pelvic exam and Pap smear, a breast exam will likely also be done. This is a manual check where a doctor performs a hands-on examination of the breasts to check for any lumps or abnormalities. It doesn't hurt to conduct your own checks at home every few months though. It is recommended that from at least the age of 40, all women should have a mammogram once every two years. This is a screening test for breast cancer in which the breasts are compressed and x-rayed. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it's best to start these visits earlier and to consider going annually or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Bone Density

A bone density test is used to detect osteoporosis and consists of x-rays being taken of certain bones in the body. Healthy bones will have a T-score of -1 or higher. The frequency of this health screening varies from woman to woman and is based on an individualís bone density and risk factors. This test becomes more important as you get older and if you have a medical history that may have an impact on your bone density.

Life can be unpredictable and illness can strike at any moment, so why not take the time to ensure that your health comes first by chatting to your doctor about these vital screening tests? Taking the time to invest in suitable life insurance cover at the same time can be another way of making sure your family is secure when life is once again unpredictable and you are no longer around to provide for them.

Credits:
http://www.everydayhealth.com

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