Milestones for Mom
According to most memes, going to the doctor regularly without your parent’s help is the highest level of “adulting.” Basic annual check ups are great for your health, helping you get ahead of the curve, but if you can’t keep up annually make sure you at least hit your healthy milestones with your doctor. Women have a number of exams that they need to keep up to date on, we are here to help you keep track!
Milestone Exams for Women Age 20
The American Heart Association recommends women get checked every four to six years, starting at age 20. This is part of your annual wellness exam and covered by your insurance. High cholesterol at an early age raises the risk of heart disease and should be monitored and remedied as quickly as possible. Exams and treatment in the earlier part of life keep your risk of heart disease at bay.
Milestone Exams for Women Age 21
At age 21 it is recommended that all women get pap smears, it’s recommended for all women who are engaging in sexual activities but most insurances won’t cover them until you’re 21! A pap smear is a test to find out if your cervical tissue holds any cancerous cells, it’s a pre-screening for cervical cancer. Most women say that it’s a slightly uncomfortable procedure, but I think most women would agree anytime you have to put your feet in stirrups at the doctors it’s a little uncomfortable.
Milestone Exams for Women Age 40
Starting in your 40s, your healthcare provider will perform yearly breast exams. They will visually and manually check your breasts for differences in size or shape, rashes and dimpling, and lumps. This will normally happen in your annual obgyn exam, preceding your pap smear.
Milestone Exams for Women Age 50
Once you turn 50, you should start being screened for colon cancer. And receiving annual mammograms. If you’re not 50 yet, you may be spared a colonoscopy. At home colon cancer screenings are becoming more readily available, if your results come back normal there may be no reason for a colonoscopy! Mammograms are x-ray images of your breast tissue to detect any signs of breast cancer. During a mammogram your breasts are compressed between two firm surfaces to spread out the breast tissue.
Milestone Exams for Women Age 65
Women age 65 and older should be screened for osteoporosis, this is usually done by Bone Density Tests. There are two machines used to test your bone density, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative computed tomography (QCT). DXA is considered by doctors to be the most useful and accurate test, and it tests the hip spine or total body. QCT is usually used to see if your osteoporosis treatments are working, but is a good second set of eyes when checking your density.
Milestone Exams Throughout the Ages
No matter your age, it’s important for you to be getting your milestone exams on top of your annual exams. Your doctor will assist you in deciding how to execute your exams in the most accurate and timely manner for you. These milestone exams specifically are important in finding ailments before they get out of control! Contact your doctor today if you think you’ve missed an important milestone exam!