Women are prone to different types of health challenges, depending on their age. The health problems that often affect women (depending on age) include metabolic disorders and heart disease. Others are certain cancers that are gender-specific and osteoporosis. Women may also be prone to some mood disorders, depending on their ages. It is with a view to addressing such issues that well women clinic London appointments may need to be made from time to time.
Regardless of their individual ages, all women should have a ‘well-woman exam’. This is also what we refer to as the annual preventive healthcare visit. The things that are checked during this visit include
- General wellness
- Stress levels (or depression) screening
- Basal Metabolic Index (BMI). Heart rate and blood pressure checks
- Checks for exposure to toxins such as alcohol and nicotine
- Sexual health and contraception counseling
- Screening for signs that may be indicative of abuse (or neglect) of the woman
- Healthy lifestyle counseling, on things like diet, sleep as well as exercise
- Prevention of cancer
- Assessment of the woman’s risk for heart disease, cancers that are gender-specific and for diabetes
Thus for purposes of checking for these kinds of issues, setting up NHS or private GP appointment London may be necessary.
Next, we need to look at things that women in various age brackets need to be checked/advised on:
- From the age of 21, the woman should start having pap smears for screening of cervical cancer. In case it’s negative, the test should be repeated after 3 years. Once the woman reaches age 30, in addition to a pap smear, there should also be HPV testing. If nothing of concern is noted, the tests (pap smear and HPV) can be done after 3-5 years.
- Once a woman becomes sexually active, she needs to be screened for gonorrhea and chlamydia annually, until she is 24. After the 24th year, it is the specific woman’s risk exposure that determines how often such screenings (for STIs) need to be undertaken.
- There have been reports of women who are breastfeeding being diagnosed with breast cancer. The self-examination of the breast is essential, the focus should be on trying to detect any lumps/breast skin changes. If those are found, they are worth reporting to a doctor and seeking a NHS or private GP appointment London.
- For women whose close blood relatives have had breast cancer before, baseline mammography is needed at the age of 35.
- Key aspects here include blood pressure and cholesterol level tests, and screening for diabetes. The need for these checks will vary from woman to woman. That is on the basis of her BMI and lifestyle factors, Family history, and long-term usage of contraceptives (as well as medications like steroids).
- Note that cardiovascular risk is higher for women who have had eclampsia, as well as those who have had gestational diabetes.
- The main test here is a PAP smear. In case of negative, this test may need to be redone after 3 years by itself. Or it may be redone after 5 years with the HPV test.
- Pelvic exam is necessary at any point in time (even outside the annual physical exam) for women with issues like abnormal bleeding (vaginal), abnormal discharges, or pain.
- For women who engage in sexual behaviors that are too risky, STI screening (at the specialist level) may be needed.
- From age 40 onwards, annual or biannual mammograms are recommended.
- Heart rate and blood pressure measurement is essential, as is a BMI checkup. A woman’s family/personal history may determine whether further tests are needed like thyroid function, cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Stress tests and EKG is not indicated on annual basis for all women in this age group. It depends on the patient’s health.
- Screening for cancer of the colon should be done at age 45. If it reveals abnormal, it needs to be repeated every 3-5 years. But if it’s negative, it may only need to be redone after 10 years.
- For women whose close blood relatives have had colon cancer, the screening should start earlier than 45. And it may need to be redone more often.
- The final pap smear should be at age 65 if all previous ones have not revealed any findings of concern.
- Pelvic exam may be necessary at any point in time if certain symptoms are present. Those include vaginal bleeding that is abnormal, pain, or discharge.
- Should a woman be found to have atrophy in the vagina, the use of vaginal estrogen may be recommended (at the specialist level). This can also help in cases of women with UTIs that are too frequent.
- In this age group, mammograms should be annually or every 2 years. But if there are special risk factors, breast cancer screening can be done more often.
- Over 65, women need frequent blood pressure and cholesterol level checks and also diabetes tests.
- Daily use of aspirin is not recommended for all, it is essential to talk with a healthcare provider.
- This screening should be once per 10 years. But if a greater risk is discovered, it may be done more often.
- If a woman is assessed to be at low risk, assessment for bone density should be initiated at age 65. And it should be done every couple of years thereafter.
- In case a woman is assessed to be at high risk, assessment for bone density should be initiated at any point after age 50.
Do you need well women clinic London services? Our Private GP London clinic offers all women’s wellness services.