Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The health of a woman depends on several factors. To be healthy, women must develop healthy habits like stress management, regular exercises and including healthy foods in their diet. Besides, they are also suggested to schedule routine health screening tests so that they can detect potential health complications early on. In fact, there are few essential screenings for women that can help them keep a check on their health issues. The earlier you diagnose the health issues, the easier it is to treat the condition before it turns fatal.

Essential Screenings for Women

Essential Screenings for Women

Below is the list of few screening tests that are considered essential for every woman, especially because these screening tests can help diagnose a critical problem before the condition shows off any signs of symptoms.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screening Test

High cholesterol and high blood pressure, significantly heightens the risk of developing heart diseases and stroke in women. These medical conditions may not show any signs or symptoms and hence it is essential for every woman to be screened regularly. This is one the most important essential screenings for women. Women starting from the age of 20 must undergo blood pressure check at least every two years and cholesterol screening at every four-six year. Women are at great risk of developing such medical conditions due to weight gain, age, family history, lifestyle habits and their life phases.

Pap Smear

Pap smear screening test is performed to check if there are any abnormal cells in the cervix, which can turn into cervical cancer later. In the test, cervical specimen is taken and is tested for human papillomavirus, which is an infection causing virus and a primary cause of cervical cancer in women. The doctor will also evaluate the passageway to detect the presence of any abnormal cells and send them to labs for further inspection. Yearly Pap test is one of the essential screenings for women after crossing the age of 21 years.

Breast Cancer Test

Mammogram is basically an X-ray that reveals the changes occurring in a woman's breast and may indicate the positive symptom of developing cancer. Mammogram is conducted yearly or biennially in women starting from 45 years to 50 years. Mammogram is an essential screening for women to be conducted regularly as it is effective in diagnosing early stages of breast cancer in women before any signs occur. According to experts, the mammogram screening can decrease the mortality rate of breast cancer in women between 40 and 74 years by 15-20%.

Bone Density Screening

Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis and it can be detected with a bone density screening after crossing the age of 65. Women with a slender frame or fractured bone must start bone density screening earlier. Women who smoke, drink alcohol or have a parent who broke hip at any age or have vitamin D deficiency must also start bone density screening earlier. This is one of the necessary essential screenings for women, which helps to detect bone loss earlier. This can help you seek timely medical advice and make lifestyle changes like including exercises regime, calcium intake and stopping smoking and drinking.

Diabetes

According to medical experts, women above 45 years must be screened for diabetes. Moreover, younger females with higher risk factors like having family history of diabetes or being overweight must also have their blood glucose levels checked. It is important that you seek medical advice for any symptoms like blurry vision, fatigue, extreme thirst, urination, so that appropriate tests can be performed. Checking blood glucose level is one of the most crucial essential screening tests for women and must be done as advised by your physician. The blood test will reveal if you are pre-diabetic or having higher blood glucose level. Medications can be prescribed accordingly to stabilize your glucose level.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

This is another essential screening for women that usually starts at the age of 50. The most common procedure used to screen the colorectal cancer is colonoscopy which starts with the colon and the rectum. A flexible and long tube with small camera and light is used for screening that helps doctors examine the rectum and the colon to find abnormalities like polyps or erosions, which can develop into cancer later. The biggest advantage of colonoscopy is that it can help doctors to remove the polyps during the procedure without bigger invasion. The colorectal cancer screening is suggested once in every ten years for females with minimal risk, while others need to undergo this screening more frequently.

Depression Screening

It is also one of the important essential screenings for women, as emotional problems and depression is on the rise these days. It is still most underrated and under diagnosed mood disorder and women are two times more likely to develop depression and mood disorders compared to men. It is crucial for women to understand the symptoms of depression and if they experience any such problems, they should consult the doctor immediately. The screening test includes possible physical examination followed by answering series of question session to identify the possibility of depression. Screening for depression in new mothers and pregnant women is normal.

These were some of the screening tests considered essential for women, especially if they want to lead a healthy lifestyle ahead. All these essential screenings for women must be considered after consulting a doctor and they may prescribe you few more screenings or tests depending upon your health condition and age. So, screen your health regularly to spot early signs and treat the condition before it worsens.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 14, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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