As a woman, wife, mother, daughter, and sister, there are people counting on you. You want to live a long, healthy, happy life, and make the most of what Allah has given you. For that reason, it’s important to protect your health. Yearly checkups are one thing, but as women, there are some extra health checkups to consider beyond routine physicals. In our societies, it can often be hard, difficult, or uncomfortable to talk about women’s health problems. So, we have done some homework for you, and provided a list of 5 medical checkups that you might want to consider getting to protect your health and happiness.
1. A pap test:
As you get older, you’ll want to invest in a semi-regulary pap test. Pap tests check for cancer of the cervix, the opening to a woman’s uterus. Medical doctors take cells from the cervix and examine them under a microscope to check for irregularities like cancerous cells. Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice on how often you need to be getting pap tests.
2. HPV tests:
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a whole classification of related viruses, not just one. These viruses cause warts on different parts of the body–and there are over 200 varieties. About 40 varieties are spread through direct sexual contact with someone who has an HPV virus. HPV viruses are the most common form of STI, and can even be spread through simple skin-to-skin contact. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to get HPV tests.
Mammograms are a type of low-energy X-ray screening that examines the human breast for screening, diagnosis, and warning signs. Mammograms are used mainly to detect breast cancer in women early, through characteristically cancerous masses of microcalcifications.
The CDC says that women aged 50 and up are at a higher risk for breast cancer, and ought to get a mammogram every two years. But as always, talk to your doctor about your specific risks and needs.
Clinical breast exams are also recommended every year or two for women over the age of 25. During a clinical breast exam, doctors check for breast cancer by feeling and looking at breasts, checking for lumps and irregularities.
4. Blood Test
Blood tests are a standard procedure for medical checkups of all ages. Laboratories perform an analysis on a blood sample that is typically extracted from a vein using a hypodermic needle, or via a finger prick. Blood analysis is a great way to get a snapshot at someone’s overall health. Blood sugar levels, white blood cell counts, vitamin count, and other health factors can be derived from a single blood test. Specifically, blood tests are beneficial for Hijabi women who might suffer from low Vitamin D levels due to remaining covered from the sun. Talk to your doctor if you think you might need a blood test to get a snapshot of your health.
5. Pelvic exams:
Pelvic exams are a procedure performed by gynaecologists, wherein they examine the internal and external portions of the female organs to determine overall organ health by feeling their shape, size, and the position of the uterus, ovaries, and cervix, along with checking for any irregularities. Pelvic exams are often done yearly at a routine gynaecologist visit along with a pap test and HPV test.