Fretting over turning 30? We understand. As you approach your 30th birthday, it’s natural to have some concerns about your health. While the thought of undergoing various medical tests may be overwhelming, it’s important to remember that these screenings are essential in maintaining your overall well-being.
As women enter their thirties, it’s important to prioritize their health and well-being. Regular check-ups and screenings can help detect potential issues early on and prevent them from becoming serious problems. From screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer to tests for heart disease and osteoporosis, Dr Geeth Monnappa, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore shares the tests that every woman should schedule with her healthcare provider. By taking these small steps, women can ensure that their thirties and beyond are healthy and beautiful.
6 tests that should be undertaken by a woman over 30
A PAP smear, also known as a Papanicolaou test, is a procedure that screens for cervical cancer in women. The test involves collecting cells from the cervix using a small brush or spatula, which are then examined under a microscope for abnormal changes. It is recommended that women start getting PAP smears at the age of 21, and then repeat the test every 3 years until the age of 65. This screening test can detect cervical cancer in its early stages, when it is most treatable. It’s important to schedule and keep regular PAP smear appointments as it can save lives.
After the age of 30, women can opt to have an HPV test done in addition to their PAP smear. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. By testing for HPV along with a PAP smear, women at high risk of developing cervical cancer can be identified more accurately. This can reduce the frequency of PAP smear testing to once every five years for women who test negative for high-risk HPV.
In women at high risk of developing breast cancer like those with BRCA 1 and 2 mutations or mutations in a first degree relative, a yearly clinical breast examination by a doctor along with a mammogram and MRI of the breasts is recommended after 30 by the American cancer society.
Women with an average risk of breast cancer have the option of starting mammograms by 40, however annual mammogram are recommended from 45 years of age.
Fertility And Pre-Pregnancy Evaluation
30 would be the right age to consult with a gynaecologist to assess your fertility. The ovarian reserves or the number of eggs in the ovary diminish from the late 20’s and drastically from late 30’s. If you’re planning to delay pregnancy it would be advisable to check your ovarian reserves to know the alternatives available in case of low reserves.
A pre-pregnancy check is recommended in all women planning a pregnancy irrespective of age. This includes a few tests to determine if they are healthy to get pregnant or if the sugars or thyroid levels need correction prior to a pregnancy. Rubella vaccination maybe recommended in a woman who is not immune prior to contemplating pregnancy.
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy individuals get a lipid profile starting at the age of 20, and then repeating it every 4-6 years. A lipid profile is a blood test that measures the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, so it’s important to keep track of these numbers. The test can help identify any potential issues early, and allow you to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Along with getting regular lipid profile, the American Heart Association also recommends focusing on a healthy diet and regular physical activity to maintain a healthy heart.
Thyroid Function Tests And Complete Hemogram
As you enter your thirties, it’s important to be proactive about your health by getting routine screenings. Two tests that are particularly important for women in their thirties are a haemoglobin test and a thyroid profile. A haemoglobin test measures the amount of haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in your blood, and can detect mild anaemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. A thyroid profile tests the levels of thyroid hormones and can detect clinical hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain and fatigue. Both of these conditions can present without any symptoms, so it’s important to have these tests done to detect and treat them early on, which will improve your quality of life.
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