screening tests everyone woman needs

You may be familiar with healthy habits such as exercising and managing stress, but what about regular recommended health screenings?

Regular health screenings are essential for detecting potential health problems early and can improve your quality of life. Here are nine screenings that every woman needs.

1. Pap smear and pelvic exam

All women should have a pap smear and pelvic exam every three years from age 21 to 65. During this screening, your doctor will use a device called a speculum to widen your vaginal canal to remove cells from the cervix. Your doctor will then examine these cells for abnormalities or other changes that may indicate cervical cancer.

2. Blood pressure

High blood pressure can cause increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, heart attack and stroke. If your blood pressure is below 120/80, you should undergo a blood pressure screening every two years after you turn 20. If you have health conditions such as hypertension or obesity, your doctor may recommend you receive an annual screening.

3. Mammograms

A mammogram is a critical screening every woman should get after age 40 to screen for breast cancer. During this screening, your doctor presses your breast between two plates to capture an x-ray image. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may begin receiving mammogram screenings earlier in life.

4. Cholesterol test

A cholesterol test will assess your risk of developing heart disease or stroke. After turning 45, you should receive a cholesterol test every five years. If you are at a greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke, you may receive this screening more often.

5. Colon cancer screening

Once you reach 50 years of age, you should receive your first colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. The first option for this screening is a sigmoidoscopy in which your doctor will insert a lighted tube and camera into your anus to examine the lower colon. Your second option is a colonoscopy, which scans your entire colon. If your doctor does not find any serious issues, you will receive a sigmoidoscopy every five years and a colonoscopy every ten years.

6. STI screenings

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) can be symptomless, and you may spread it to others without knowing. As soon as you become sexually active, you should receive an annual screening. If you have multiple partners, you should receive an STI screening more frequently.

7. Eye exam

Unless you have a serious health condition such as diabetes, you should receive an eye exam every two years before you turn 60. After turning 61, you should receive an eye exam each year.

8. Bone density

A bone density screening is an excellent preventive care measure against osteoporosis. All women should receive this screening once they turn 65. If you are at a greater risk for osteoporosis, such as a history of fractures, or you have low body weight, you may receive your screening earlier in life.

During this screening, you will lie flat on a table while an X-ray machine captures images of your bones. How often you receive this screening varies from patient to patient based on bone density and other risk factors.

9. Diabetes screening

All women over the age of 45 should receive a diabetes screening annually. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your doctor may perform a Type 2 Diabetes screening.

Start making healthy habits today with Health Images

We provide exceptional radiology imaging services, no matter your age or level of need. Whether you are looking to request a mammogram screening or a bone density screening, our team is ready to help you take control of your health. Contact us today to learn more!