Medical Tests for Women©

Medical Tests Every Woman Should Get Regularly

The stresses of daily life can take a larger toll on your health than you can imagine. A woman’s body is constantly changing, with puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, not keeping a check on your health can lead to many serious complications, if symptoms go unnoticed and are ignored for a long time. This International Women’s Day, make a vow to yourself to keep your physical and mental health in top form.

Getting regular medical tests can help keep health conditions at bay. “Early diagnosis with timely treatment can help against life threatening conditions. Often routine examinations can help assess conditions that otherwise showed no symptoms and hence stayed as underlying dormant illnesses,” says Dr. Vanshika Gupta Adukia, a Pregnancy/Childbirth and Lactation Expert, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and Founder of Therhappy.

Why Should Women Undergo Medical Tests Regularly?

For women with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or thyroid disorders, regular check-ups are crucial for monitoring and managing their condition. Healthcare providers can adjust treatment plans as needed and provide education on self-care.

Women also need to make sure their menstrual health is in top form through the different phases of their lives. “There ought to be regular screening for cervical cancer and knowledge of conditions like PCOS. It is also important to think about fertility to avoid any reproductory problems later in life. Taking the initiative and getting a fertility assessment at an early stage can solve all the concerns related to women’s health. I keep emphasizing the need for proactive appointments with gynecologists by imploring women around me to put their general well-being first. Education on reproductive health through early tests ought to be the priority,” states Rachana Gupta, Co-Founder of Gynoveda.

Dr Manisha Ranjan a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Motherhood Hospitals in Noida says gynaecological check-ups are particularly important for screening and preventing reproductive health issues such as cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and STIs. Regular Pap smears, pelvic exams, mammograms and STI testing can detect abnormalities early and improve outcomes. Furthermore, women also need to keep a check on their menstrual and menopausal Health. “Regular check-ups are important for addressing menstrual irregularities, managing menopausal symptoms and discussing contraception or family planning options.”

Dr Vinay Jethan, a Surgical Oncologist who consults at the Bombay Hospital and Medical Research Centre in Mumbai suggests, “The most important reason to get screened regularly is to detect disease at an early stage, especially in a disease like cancer which is amenable to cure if detected in early stages. Screening tests help assess risk factors for cancer and hence certain lifestyle modifications can be advised to reduce the risk of disease. Early-stage cancers generally do not have noticeable symptoms, hence they can be incidentally detected through screening. Basically regular health check-ups are an investment for your future well-being!”

Screening for early chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia helps in picking up malignancies early in their treatable stages, summarises Dr Kruthi Malar, MD Medicine at the Hinduja hospital in Mumbai.

Now, here are some medical tests women should get annually and as per their age.

Medical Tests Women Should Get Annually

Disclaimer: Medical tests often prescribed by doctors and experts vary based on an individual’s health history, risk factors and personal circumstances.

Here are some general blood tests recommended to get every year:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) helps assess infections, anemias especially iron deficiency in women and helps prescribe supplementations
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) for inflammation
  • Creatinine to keep your kidneys in check
  • Urine Routine for kidney infections, UTIs and diabetes
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormones (TSH) to help uscreen for an underactive or an overactive thyroid functioning
  • Lipid Profile to check your Cholesterol levels and heart health
  • Glycosylated Hb for blood sugar
  • HBA1C helps assess pre-diabetes and diabetes by indicating the average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.
  • Liver Function Test to screen for any damage to the liver, Hepatitis or fatty liver
  • Check your Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12 levels
  • Evaluate your Blood Pressure

General Medical Tests Women Between 25-30 Should Get:

Get a pelvic exam: Dr Manisha Ranjan, a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Noida, advises, “A pelvic exam may be recommended at age 25 and then periodically thereafter. It includes an examination of the external and internal reproductive organs to check for any abnormalities, such as cysts or tumours.” Dr Sandeep Talwar, fertility expert at Nova IVF, also recommends that aspiring mothers in their early thirties should get regular ultrasounds. These are usually carried in the initial stages of one’s fertility journey in order to detect and tackle any underlying issues early on.

AMH levels: Dr Sandeep Talwar of Nova IVF says, “AMH level is used as a biological indicator to evaluate a woman’s ovarian reserve, offering insight of the quantity of viable eggs remaining in her ovaries. It involves a simple blood test to measure the AMH levels. Higher levels indicate a higher ovarian reserve, while lower levels suggest diminished ovarian reserve. However, extremely elevated AMH levels sheds light on the concerns of PCOS and directs the individual for an overall check-up.”

Get tested for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases): Many women are either sexually active or experimenting with their sexuality during the ages of 25-30. It’s always a good idea to keep a check on yourself, depending on the risk. During pregnancy, Dr Kruthi Malur advises to also get checked for HIV for AIDS, HbsAg for hepatitis B and anti-HCV for hepatitis C.

Cervical cancer screening (to be repeated every three years): “At age 30, women have the option to undergo co-testing, which includes both a Pap smear and an HPV (human papillomavirus) test. If both results are normal, screening intervals can be extended,” advices Dr Ranjan.

Breast Self Examination: Learn how to give yourself a breast exam and routinely give yourself check-ups.

Dr Malur also advises that women between the ages of 25-30 should also get annual influenza vaccinations before monsoon season sets in. Additionally, she recommends getting your blood count levels (CBC), inflammation and infection (ESR), thyroid and hormone levels (TSH), Vitamin D levels, blood sugar levels (FBS), urine routine and liver function tests like (RFT, LFT).

For women who want to get pregnant or become new mothers, fertility expert Dr Sandeep Talwar of Nova IVF suggests that you get you assess the levels of key reproductive hormones such as Estrogen, Progesterone, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) that play vital roles in the menstrual cycle, ovulation and fertility. It’s also advised to get an hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test to evaluate your fallopian tubes and uterus for any blockages or abnormalities.

General Medical Tests Women Should Get In Their 40s:

In addition to the above mentioned tests, here are some more to start getting in your 40s:

Mammography: Dr. Vanshika Gupta Adukia, pregnancy/childbirth and lactation expert, pelvic floor physiotherapist and founder of Therhappy, Mumbai, recommends getting mammograms every 2 years to rule out breast cancer and then perform the same annually after the age of 45.

Cardiac screening: If you have a family history of cardiac issues or are a smoker, you should start getting cardiac screenings like ECG tests and 2D Echo.

Complete lipid profile: It’s also a good time to get your lipid profile checked to make sure your cholesterol levels are under control.

Cervical and Ovarian cancer screen: With age, the risk for ovarian cancer goes up. So Dr Vinay Jathem recommends getting your serum CA-125 levels checked. He also recommends continuing screening for cervical cancer.

Colorectal cancer screening: If you have a strong family history of colon cancer, Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia advises to undergo a fecal occult blood testing followed by a colonoscopy.

Eye Screening: Consult your ophthalmologists to rule out glaucoma and cataract.

General Medical Tests Women Should Get In Their 50s:

Besides the above mentioned tests, here are some additional medical checks-up to get done routinely:

Bone Density Scan: Getting a DEXA exam is recommended by Dr Manisha Rajan to access your bone health and screen for osteoporosis.

Mammogram: Keep continuing getting regular mammograms, as per the recommendation of your healthcare expert. Continue with regular mammograms as recommended by the healthcare provider.

Colonoscopy: Dr Manisha Rajan states, “starting at age 50, colonoscopy screening is recommended for the early detection of colorectal cancer. The frequency of screening may vary based on individual risk factors.”

Menopause Evaluation: With the onset of menopause around the age 50, it is recommended to go in for regular evaluations. Dr Rajan says, “Women may start experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. A healthcare provider may evaluate symptoms and discuss options for managing menopause-related changes.” Further more, Dr Vanshika Gupta Adukia suggests getting a DEXA scan once again. “Get the test to screen for osteopenia and osteoporosis in the perimenopausal, menopausal phase and postmenopausal phase to assess bone health and prevent eventual fractures.”

Lung cancer test: Dr Vinaj Jethan recommends getting screened for lung cancer by getting a chest X-Ray or a Low Dose CT scan (LDCT), especially if you have a past history of smoking or are presently a smoker.

Pelvic and abdomen ultrasound: Dr Kruthi Malur recommends getting a USG abdomen test with post void residue to keep a check on your bladder, your endometrial conditions and to catch any sign of fibroids, tumours, cysts or masses.

Dr Malur also suggests getting an influenza vaccination every year pre-monsoon, a pneumococcal vaccine and zoster vaccine, if one is immunocompromised.

Overall, regular check-ups empower women to take control of their health, identify potential issues early, and access timely interventions and treatments to maintain optimal health and well-being throughout their lives. However, it’s important to note that these recommendations may vary depending on individual health history, family history, and risk factors. Women should consult with their healthcare providers to determine the most appropriate screening schedule for their specific needs.