As a woman ages, there are certain things that she can do to ensure good health no matter how old she is. There are recommended preventative care visits at each stage of life that screen and evaluate any health risks or needs.
By being proactive in looking after your body, you’re likely to catch any serious illnesses before they affect your quality of life. Take a look at what you should do at various age intervals to ensure optimum health.
Early Teens (13-17 Years)
Usually, with teenagers, many of the preventative services on offer focus on mental and emotional well-being. Included are those that teach teenage girls about contraceptives and other pregnancy-related issues.
Some other essential screening facilities include checking for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Under the infectious diseases category, the focus is predominantly on sexually-transmitted illnesses.
There are checks for gonorrhea, HIV, and other STIs. Included are prevention counseling and syphilis screening. At this stage, it’s not usual to test for any forms of cancer.
Early Adulthood (18-21 Years)
Along with the usual tests performed at the teenage stage, there are a couple of extra prevention measures that you can do at this age. These would include folic acid supplementation, if necessary, and lipid and urinary incontinence screening. An additional check done for this age group is hepatitis C.
It’s highly recommended that young ladies start regular checks for cervical cancer and go through a risk assessment for BRCA. The evaluation aims to identify whether the person has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, which could impact the chances of developing breast cancer.
Adulthood to Middle Age (22-39 Years)
Everybody needs to have a comprehensive health insurance package. However, for women, it’s vital to have the right one that covers essential well-woman assistance. The number of preventative services and checks increases into adulthood in middle age.
Added to screening tests mentioned above, women need to add pregnancy-related tests if they decide to have children. Part of the bundle will include sexually-transmitted diseases, pre-eclampsia screening, blood typing, and gestational diabetes testing. Some extra care offered would be breastfeeding counseling and assistance.
Middle Age (40-49 Years)
As you get older, the focus on services such as STDs will decrease, and more attention will be on the prevention of illnesses such as cancer. It’s recommended to go for a pap smear and a mammogram once a year.
If you fall into the high-risk category for BRAC, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to reduce breast cancer risk. A physician might recommend a test to see if statins are needed to prevent CVD (Cardiovascular disease). It’s mainly for women who suffer from elevated cholesterol levels.
Early Senior (50-64 years)
As you move towards the early senior years, you need to screen for osteoporosis. Early detection and treatment help to prevent future fractures. You may even get a prescription to boost your calcium levels to ensure healthy bones in your golden years.
Should you be at risk of CVD, treatment with statins and other medications will continue pending the screening test results. Added to the regular testing for cancers, your physician will likely perform a lung cancer screening exam.
Senior Years (65 Plus Years)
The older you get, the more care needs to be taken to ensure good health. Fall prevention analysis is one of the services on offer. Colorectal cancer screening is also recommended at this age.
Tests for osteoporosis are ongoing, as is the monitoring of your heart’s risk of CVD. These care options are in addition to all the other tests that are done throughout the years.
If you have a comprehensive well-woman care plan in place, you’re well on your way to good health across the years. In your early teens and adulthood, a lot of focus is placed on sexually-transmitted diseases as well as mental and emotional well-being.
As you reach middle age, you need to shift your attention to cancer prevention and, if applicable, pregnancy-related services. As women move into their senior years, it’s advised to keep an eye out for CVD signs, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.