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Important Medical Exams For Women

06.18.24 in Gynecology

Important Medical Exams For Women

Important Medical Exams and Screening Tests For Women

Certain screening tests for women are extremely important. These important medical exams for women help prevent and detect medical conditions and diseases early on. We face a lot of unique challenges as women, and as we age, the risks and benefits of procedures and screening tests change.

The saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”, could not be further from the truth when it comes to women’s health. In fact, detecting disease in otherwise healthy people is why there are important medical exams for women.

Since there are many types of screening tests for women, some experts may disagree on which tests you should have. So, for the purpose of this article and depending on your stage of life, the following exams are recommended.

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Important Medical Exams For Women

01. Mammogram

One of the most important medical exams for women is a mammogram to detect the early signs of breast cancer. A mammogram is a screening test for women that involves taking an x-ray image of the breast. About 1 out of every 8 women will develop invasive cancer in their lifetime.

When to get a mammogram

Age 18 – 49. At this age, most women do not need to have a mammogram performed.
Age 50+. After a woman reaches age 50, it is recommended shat she is screened every 2 years.

If you are at higher risk for breast cancer, you may want to consider getting a mammogram earlier. Common risk factors include:

  • Radiation treatment near chest or face before 30 years old.
  • Women who have received hormone replacement therapy.
  • Family history of breast cancer.

02. Blood Pressure Test

Whether there is family history of heart attacks or diabetes, a simple blood pressure test can help detect early signs of these conditions. In the United States, heart disease is the number one killer of women. In fact, 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.

Who should get a blood pressure test

Women of all ages. If your blood pressure is normal (120/80 or lower), you should get tested every two years. For blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89, a test once per year is recommended. But you should discuss treatment options with your doctor if your blood pressure is higher than the outlined ranges.

03. Bone Density Test

Particularly after menopause, women are more susceptible to bone density loss. When osteoporosis is caught early, there are better options for effective treatment to prevent further bone loss.

Generally, a DEXA Scan is used to perform bone density tests. This test measures the density of bones in areas of the body that are prone to fractures and breaks such as forearms, hips, and the spine.

When to get a bone density test

Age 18 – 64. If you meet certain high-risk criteria, your doctor may choose to perform a bone density test. Otherwise, women in this age range do not normally need such a test.
Age 65+. As we age, our bones naturally become thinner. As such, at this stage of life is when most cases of osteoporosis are seen.

04. Pap Test

A Pap test is another important medical exam for women. This screening test for women help detect the presence of cervical cancer. Often caused by HPV, there are approximately 11,500 new cases of cervical cancer each year in the United States. And an estimated 4,000 deaths are attributed to this disease each year.

When to get a Pap test

Age 21 – 29. Getting a Pap test every 3 years is recommended for women of this age.
Age 30 -64. Women of this age should have a Pap and an HPV test performed together every 5 years.
Age 60+. At this age, most women do not need this exam.

Women who have the following may require more frequent tests:

Screening Tests For Women

Having an annual exam with your OBGYN is one of the best things you can do for your health. Riverwalk OB/GYN Women’s Health provides compassionate healthcare for women at all stages of life.

Request an Appointment at Riverwalk OBGYN in San Antonio

Book online or call (210) 402-6022 to schedule your annual exam.

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