Taking care of your health and wellbeing should feature at the top of your list of priorities. Without your health, you’d be able to do all of the things you usually occupy your time with. Whether that’s work, exercise, socialising, family commitments or anything else. Of course, there are general pieces of health advice that apply to everyone. You should visit the dentist once every six months. You should see your optician once every two years. You should check in with a healthcare professional when you see any negative changes to your overall health – whether that’s illness or injury. However, there are particular checks that you should take into account when you’re a woman. Here are a few that you may need to schedule in depending on personal factors, such as your age and other individual factors.
A common health check that anyone with a cervix should schedule in is cervical screening. You may have heard this health check referred to by a number of names, with some common ones including a “smear test” or a “pap smear”. Cervical screening is a routine health check that examines the cellular material in your cervix (which is the entrance or “barrier” between your womb and your vagina”). If any irregularities are spotted, this could be an indicator of cancerous cells. Your healthcare professional will carry out further testing to determine whether this is the case. If not, this is great news. If so, you can be referred on to treatment as soon as possible. Cervical screening is recommended for anyone with a cervix over the age of 25. You will be asked to attend once every three years. Between the ages of 45 and 60, you will be asked to attend once every five years. It is a simple process and many surgeries will happily send letter, email or text reminders to let you know when you should arrange your appointment.
Another check that women should carry out is a breast check. This is something you can do at home to make sure that you quickly notice any changes to your breasts. There are a number of guides out there that can help you with this process. Look out for changes such as lumps, bumps, new moles, a change in shape or a change in the colour of your nipples. These could be indicators of breast cancer, a condition that many women experience at some point during their lives. If you do notice any changes, book an appointment with your doctor straight away, who will be able to help you further with professional examinations and mammograms – a specialist form of x-ray for breast scanning.
Menopause is a process that many women go through between the ages of 40 and the 50s. It is a natural process that sees all sorts of changes to your hormones and essentially indicates the end of your menstrual cycle and fertility. Being prepared for menopause is important as many people don’t know what to expect. Symptoms and conditions associated with menopause can vary from hot flushes to night sweats, osteoporotic fracture, emotional imbalance and more. While you can’t stop menopause, you can prepare yourself and make yourself more comfortable throughout the period. You can also consult your doctor if you notice changes that you weren’t expecting or that feel excessive or intense. They may be able to provide referral to specialist forms of therapy such as hormone replacement therapy, which can make a hugely positive difference to your experience of menopause.
TVUS and CA-125 Tests
While you only need to undergo a TVUS or CA-125 test if recommended by your healthcare professional, it’s important to be aware of what they are. Put simply, these tests are used to determine whether someone has cervical cancer or not. This is a condition that proves dangerous and even fatal. TVUS stands for transvaginal ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create an image of your internal parts. The CA-125 test, on the other hand, measures the amount of CA-125 protein in your blood.
Hopefully, some of the suggestions above will show you some important elements of taking care of your health as a woman. Each of the areas of focus is extremely important and keeping an eye on your health can really make all the difference when it comes to managing your wellbeing.