Flourishing Woman: 4 Health Checkups All Women Need

For a woman, it often seems like they have to go to a slew of doctors for each part of their body. While you’re glowering at your husband and his one doctor, remember how important it is to take care of yourself, and that includes every system in your body. If you’ve been avoiding your doctors, it’s time to make some appointments! STD Checks Did you know that 1 in 3 people have type II herpes simplex virus (aka genital herpes)? And did you know that up to 80 percent of people with herpes have no idea they have it? While that’s a pretty sobering statistic, it’s important to know that 50 percent of people infected with herpes got it from someone who has no idea they have it. If you regularly get checked for STDs, you might be surprised to know that herpes isn’t tested for unless you request the test. You don’t have to have an outbreak to be tested, your doctor can perform a blood test to see if you are carrying the virus. Herpes isn’t a deadly or even especially dangerous virus, but if you are of childbearing age, it’s important to know your entire sexual health history. Your OBGYN can easily order this test during your annual visit. Bone Density Screening Experts are recommending women get screened for osteoporosis starting at age 65. This is typically when your bones start to see the effects of the disease, and it’s especially important if you have risk factors like a slender frame or you’re of Asian descent. The test isn’t painful. You simply lie on a table while a machine takes images of your bones. This scan gives the screened bones a T-score of -1 or higher, alerting your doctor if there are any concerns. How often you get tested depends on your initial results, your risk factors, and if you have any immediate family members who had osteoporosis. Skin Exams Skin cancer is a scary disease and one that not many people take seriously. Every year, there are more cases of skin cancer diagnosed than lung, colon, prostate, and breast cancer combined! You should check your skin every month, and by the time you’re 20, a doctor should be examining your skin during your annual check-up. Skin cancer can be caught early with extreme diligence, so make sure you’re checking in with your dermatologist once a year if you have moles or freckles. Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Checks Heart disease is the number one killer of women, far exceeding even breast and cervical cancer, and contributes to the deaths of one in three women. Even if you eat well and exercise regularly, you should still make a point to ensure you’re having your heart disease risk factors evaluated, including having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked annually. These are pretty good assessments of your overall heart health and can pinpoint a problem before it’s too late. Colon Cancer Screening Most of the emphasis in regards to cancer prevention is focused on breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers, but colon cancer is a frequent killer of women. Starting at age 50, you should be having regular colon cancer screens. This isn’t the most pleasant procedure, but it isn’t as bad as the media makes it out to be. Catching colon cancer early will go a very long way towards increasing your survival rate. It can be frustrating keeping up with all of the necessary health screenings, but most of them can be done by one doctor in just one or two visits. Whenever you feel like skipping your annual physical, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Author’s Bio: Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. ( function() { if (window.CHITIKA === undefined) { window.CHITIKA = { ‘units’ : [] }, }, var unit = {‘calltype’:’async[2]’,’publisher’:’selfgrowth’,’width’:300,’height’:250,’sid’:’Chitika Default’}, var placement_id = window.CHITIKA.units.length, window.CHITIKA.units.push(unit), }()),

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