Today, women manage both personal as well as professional fronts. The constant juggle between taking care of the family and managing work, women often forget to take care of themselves. Women are more liable to physical and mental problems which may result in health issues. Keeping this in mind, women’s health check-up have become vital.
Women’s health check concerns the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions which affect the women’s physical and mental well-being.
Women have unique issues like pregnancy, menstruation and menopause which need special care. Women’s health screening tests for breast and cervical cancer as well as bone disorders should be done on a regular basis.
Female hormonal changes affect the body in different ways and women check -up helps to detect any symptoms or conditions caused by these changes. Men and women have a lot of common health problems but these can affect the women differently so specific tests for women’s check-up are designed to treat these problems like the following:
- Gynaecological issues like birth control
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Breast, ovarian and cervical cancer
- Heart diseases
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Menopause and hormonal disorders.
Women health package includes women health screening and preventive care such as:
- Regular gynaecological examinations including breast and pelvic exam
- Pap smear and HPV tests
- Bone density tests
- Breast cancer screening
- Colon cancer screening
- Screening for sexually transmitted diseases
- Hormone therapy
A complete women’s health check-up includes the following:
- Physical examination – a complete clinical examination is done by the doctor to look for any diseases or symptoms. I t also helps in deciding further course of investigations and treatment. Habits like diet and exercise are also discussed.
- Breast examination and screening – screening mammogram is recommended after the age of forty. If there is family history of breast cancer , yearly mammograms should be done at an earlier age. If the woman has risk factors for breast cancer, mammogram, breast ultrasound and MRI scan is also recommended. For women under the age of forty, a clinical breast exam is recommended to check for any lumps or abnormalities.
- Pelvic exam – after the age of twenty, women should get a pelvic exam and Pap smear every three years to check for any risk of cervical cancer. If the Pap smear and HPV tests are normal, Pap smear should be repeated after every five years after the age of thirty. Women screening is also done for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
- Blood pressure screening – blood pressure should be checked every two years as a part of the routine women’s check-up in healthy women. In women suffering from diseases like diabetes, heart disease or kidney problems, the blood pressure should be checked more frequently.
- Cholesterol check-up – it should start between the age of twenty to forty and should be done every five years in healthy individuals. In women with systemic diseases, it should be checked more frequently.
- Screening for diabetes – blood sugar levels should be checked if risk factors like obesity or family history are present. During pregnancy, blood sugar is checked to diagnose gestational diabetes.
- Bone mineral density test – the incidence of osteoporosis is more in women due to declining levels of estrogen with age which plays a protective role for bones in women. The level of estrogen decreases significantly after menopause and so the bones lose their calcium content and become weak. Bone density tests like DEXA scan screens the bones in the spine, hips and wrists to assess the density of the bone and the future risk of problems like fractures. This test should be done once in five years after the age of thirty-five.
- Thyroid test – women are more prone to thyroid dysfunction due to major hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, delivery, lactation and menopause. This may cause unexplained gain in weight, hair loss and other hormonal problems. A screening test for thyroid hormones is done every five years to detect any abnormality in thyroid function.
- Vitamin D check – it is essential for bone health. This test is done on the basis of age, diet,level of sun exposure and is recommended by the doctor.
- Blood sugar test – it should be done regularly to assess the blood sugsar levels in order to diagnose the risk of developing anaemia and other diseases.
- Colorectall cancer screening – this screening test should be done in between the age of fifty to seventy. It is done by stool test, sigmoidoscopy or a CT scan.
- Eye exam – a eye exam is recommended every two to four years in order to detect any problems in the vision.
- Dental exam – it should be done every one or two years to deal with dental problems.
- Immunisations – various relevant vaccinations are revised and done on a regular basis as a preventive measure.
- Emotional health – it is a part of the complete well-being of the person and can be affected by hormonal changes in women.