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Vital health screening every mom needs....
March 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM

 

You always make sure to get your child to the doctor for his well visits, and maybe you even push your spouse to get a yearly physical – but are you up to date on your own health check-ups? Find out the latest guidelines and recommendations that will keep you healthy, strong, and full of energy.

Pap smear and HPV test

A pap smear is one of the most important tests you need, as it is the screen doctors use to identify precancerous cells that could lead to cervical cancer. In the future, using DNA from pap smears may even be used to screen for endometrial and ovarian cancers, according to a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine.

Previously an annual test, new recommendations issued in 2012 now call for a pap smear every three years for women ages 21 to 29. For women 30 and older, recommendations call for a pap smear every three years or a pap smear and an HPV test every 5 years. It’s important to speak with your doctor about how often you should get these tests depending on other risk factors.

Well-woman visit

Despite the new pap smear guidelines, visiting your OB-GYN for an annual well woman visit is still necessary, according to Alyssa Dweck, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and co-author of V is for Vagina.

Your doctor will do a pelvic exam to look for abnormalities of the external genitalia, cervix, uterus and ovaries. You will also have a breast exam which is recommended every one to three years for women ages 21 to 39, and yearly for women 40 and older. A well-woman visit is also a great opportunity for your doctor to evaluate your overall health and address any concerns you may have.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two STIs that can cause serious damage to the reproductive system if they’re not treated. “These are often silent infections where women have no symptoms,” Dweck said.

Since they’re most common in women ages 15 to 24, yearly screening until age 25 are recommended. Depending on your risk, your doctor may also recommend regular screening for other STIs, including HIV.

Mammogram

Starting at age 40, you should get a yearly mammogram to screen for breast cancer. However, depending on your genetic and family history – as well as other risk factors – your doctor may recommend getting a mammogram earlier.

Cholesterol

One in four women die from heart disease each year, so keeping your cholesterol levels in check is important for a healthy heart. A blood test which screens for both LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels and triglycerides should be checked once a year, according to Dr. Rose Kumar, a board-certified internist, founder and director of the Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine, and author of Becoming Real. If your levels are elevated, you should be tested six months after you’ve made lifestyle changes or have been prescribed medication.

Thyroid

“The thyroid gets sluggish in association with the hormonal changes that occur,” said Kumar. She added that anytime estrogen or progesterone change, particularly after giving birth or during perimenopause, a thyroid test that establishes a normal thyroid hormone level is ideal. If you’re breastfeeding, have postpartum depression, or you’re tired or have gained weight, it’s important to have your thyroid level checked as well.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and healthy skin – and some studies suggest may even prevent certain cancers. All women are at risk for being vitamin D deficient, particularly breastfeeding moms, according to Kumar. “A lot of the calcium is coming out of their bones in order to supply calcium for the child,” she said. High levels of vitamin D can be toxic, so speak with your doctor about your diet and about adding a supplement.

Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/19/vital-health-screenings-every-mom-needs/?intcmp=HPBucket#ixzz2OWBJlmmE

Replies

  • glitterteaz
    March 24, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    agreed

  • muslimahpj
    March 25, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Good post.

  • turtle68
    March 25, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Pap smear....every 3 years for my age group, getting quickly to the every 5 years LOL

    Well woman visit....I was shown by a doctor in my late teens on what symptoms or changing differences of the female genitalia to look out for, if things change or bumps occur that worry me to go and see a doctor...otherwise its all good :-)

    STI' testings are done when pregnant....as I have had no symptoms and been with my husband the whole time.  Im going with the "I dont have any" so dont need to be tested.

    Mammograms....me and my girl cousins get together every two years for a mammogram day.

    Im diabetic....cholesterol and thyroid is something that is watched quarterly.

    Vitamin D....well I live in a seasonless state so I get plenty of natural vitamin D

    Now.....all I have to do is lose weight and get fitter and I should live to 1000 LMAO

  • turtle68
    March 25, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    oh and P.s

    I dont take my kids to well visits or my push my spouse....the only time I take my kids to the doctors is when they are sick or something is worrying me.  Hubby is a hypochondriac....he takes himself ...constantly LOL


  • TranquilMind
    March 25, 2013 at 1:44 AM

     I hope you do live to 1000.  I'd like to see someone make it!

    You don't need mammograms that frequently.  The recommendation has changed to over 50, and then only every three (I think it is ) years. 

    Radiation is not a great idea, unless you have a problem that needs attention. 


    Quoting turtle68:

    Pap smear....every 3 years for my age group, getting quickly to the every 5 years LOL

    Well woman visit....I was shown by a doctor in my late teens on what symptoms or changing differences of the female genitalia to look out for, if things change or bumps occur that worry me to go and see a doctor...otherwise its all good :-)

    STI' testings are done when pregnant....as I have had no symptoms and been with my husband the whole time.  Im going with the "I dont have any" so dont need to be tested.

    Mammograms....me and my girl cousins get together every two years for a mammogram day.

    Im diabetic....cholesterol and thyroid is something that is watched quarterly.

    Vitamin D....well I live in a seasonless state so I get plenty of natural vitamin D

    Now.....all I have to do is lose weight and get fitter and I should live to 1000 LMAO


     

  • turtle68
    March 25, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    we have breast cancer rampant in our family....it was recommended every two years for families like us.

    Quoting TranquilMind:

     I hope you do live to 1000.  I'd like to see someone make it!

    You don't need mammograms that frequently.  The recommendation has changed to over 50, and then only every three (I think it is ) years. 

    Radiation is not a great idea, unless you have a problem that needs attention. 


    Quoting turtle68:

    Pap smear....every 3 years for my age group, getting quickly to the every 5 years LOL

    Well woman visit....I was shown by a doctor in my late teens on what symptoms or changing differences of the female genitalia to look out for, if things change or bumps occur that worry me to go and see a doctor...otherwise its all good :-)

    STI' testings are done when pregnant....as I have had no symptoms and been with my husband the whole time.  Im going with the "I dont have any" so dont need to be tested.

    Mammograms....me and my girl cousins get together every two years for a mammogram day.

    Im diabetic....cholesterol and thyroid is something that is watched quarterly.

    Vitamin D....well I live in a seasonless state so I get plenty of natural vitamin D

    Now.....all I have to do is lose weight and get fitter and I should live to 1000 LMAO




  • taniamorse85
    March 26, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Except for the mammo (I'm 27), I do all of the above every year.

  • Healthystart30
    March 26, 2013 at 1:27 AM
    Agreed! Nobody likes nether region check up, it's so important!
  • OneToughMami
    March 26, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    I hope one day that these are accessible to EVERY woman!

  • Farmlady09
    March 26, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Pap smear~ this one I agree with.

    Well woman visit ~ since it can be done with the pap smear and isn't invasive, I agree with it.

    STDs ~ I was tested when pregnant, and once since then. Been with DH ever since so I don't need them (and since DH is retired and we are together pretty much 24/7 straying isn't an issue).

    Mammograms ~ I'll pass. Based on studies that show they actually increase the chance of cancer, I'll absolutely pass.

    I get a blood workup once a year that includes cholesterol and pretty much everything else.

    Vitamin D ~ I have a farm. I'm outside, in the sun more than 6 hours every day. I don't use sunscreen although I do wear a gauze shirt and floppy hat from 11 am - 2 pm. I also eat home grown fruits and veggies. This one has never been an issue.

    I live with RA and SLE, sans meds (allergies). I don't go to a doctor for those any longer. Apparently I'm just no fun for them since they can't pump me full of pills. No one is getting out of this alive, and imo the very best things anyone can do to stay healthy is to eat right, exercise, get  enough sleep, and stay far away from doctors as much as possible. After watching several family members and friends waste away and die painfully over the past year, in all honestly a nice quick cardiac event would be preferable ... but not right now. I'm not done yet.