11 Health Screenings Every Woman Should Know About

African American patient explaining issues to Asian doctor using tablet; blog: 11 Health Screenings Every Woman Should Know About

Because September is World Sexual Health Month, we thought it would be good to go over the health screenings you should get (related to both sexual health and overall health). These screenings can help you keep healthy by preventing certain conditions and detecting other conditions early.

11 Essential Health Screenings for Women

Talk to your doctor about when you should get the following health screenings:

1. Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screenings are an important part of women’s healthcare routines. For younger women under the age of 40, manual clinical exams are performed at annual women’s wellness exams. Self-exams can also be done throughout the year.

For women at average risk of breast cancer, mammograms should be performed every one to two years beginning at age 40 according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Women should be screened by their gynecologists at their annual exam each year to identify patients who are at increased risk such as a family history of breast cancer as those patients may need a mammogram earlier than age 40. 

2. Pap Smears

A Pap smear or Pap test is a procedure that is used to screen for precancerous or cancerous changes of the cervix in women. When women have this test regularly, cervical cancer can be prevented. These tests are recommended for health screenings for women beginning at age 21. Pap guidelines vary by patient age, surgical history, family history, and other contributing factors. It is important to have an annual pelvic exam with your health provider or gynecologist every year and they can evaluate the frequency of pap testing needed on an individual basis. Some patients may not need to have a pap test each year. 

3. STD Screening

If you are sexually active, it’s important that getting tested for STDs is on your list of health screenings. Not everyone needs to get tested for the same STDs and the frequency of screenings is different for each individual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adults and adolescents from ages 13 to 64 should be tested for HIV at least once in their lives. Click here to see other recommendations based on your age and history.

4. Bone Density Tests

This test screens for osteoporosis and bone loss. Osteoporosis increases the risk of bone fractures. Most women do not need this health screening until they are 65. However, if there are indications that the test should be done earlier, your doctor will probably recommend it based on your risk. 

5. Blood Glucose Tests

Around age 45, you should start getting your blood glucose levels tested every three years. This can help detect prediabetes and diabetes early. If you have risk factors that make it more likely you’ll get diabetes, you might need to be screened earlier.

6. Blood Pressure Screening

Blood pressure screenings are an important part of your healthcare routine because high blood pressure can lead to many complications. You are likely used to getting your blood pressure measured at the beginning of most medical appointments. If you don’t go to the doctor regularly, you should make a point of getting your blood pressure checked.

7. Cholesterol Tests

Cholesterol tests are recommended every four to six years for women over 20. After age 45, getting your cholesterol tested becomes more important because the risk of heart disease increases.

8. Colon Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society recommends that women with an average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.  Screening tests for colorectal cancer include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy with CT,  stool tests, and visual exams. How often you need to get tested depends on your health history and the results of previous screening tests.

9. Eye Exams

Having good vision and healthy eyes is an important part of your overall health. You should visit an ophthalmologist or optometrist at least every two years. Many people recommend having an exam every year, especially if you have existing vision problems.

10. Dental Exams

Your oral health is a crucial part of your general wellness. Taking good care of your teeth and gums can possibly prevent issues with your heart and arteries. You should get a dental cleaning and exam every six months.

Talk To An OB/GYN

The team at Triangle Physicians for Women is here for you in all stages of your life and are committed to providing you with comprehensive care during these uncertain times. That includes providing necessary health screenings to our patients. Our top priorities are always the safety and health of our patients and staff. For more information on our policies for COVID-19, call the office at (919) 678-6900 or click here for details.

I think Dr. Grana and her assistant (Mandy) are the best. I have been going to TP4W for years – at least 20, and I have never been disappointed with the level of care I have received. I can be a challenge as my level for pain tolerance is low and they put up with me! I can’t help but highly recommend the practice to anyone looking for exemplary women’s healthcare.

Love love love Dr. Grana and her crew. Love going to Holly Springs office. The girls are the best from Lisa at the front desk to all the girls in the back. Your music and atmosphere is great. Thanks for making these appointments fun!! Yes believe it or not, fun!!!

Dr V and the office staff were all very professional, understanding, caring and very efficient. I would be happy to recommend this practice to friends, family and associates. – Barbara M. Lucas

My visit was great! & my past visit have all been great.Kristy helped me even with me being a bit stressed & in a hurry because I had to be seen & my job is super strict. Her urgency to get me seen was phenomenal. I even got to see Heather, she’s awesome & amazing. She helped deliver my baby girl a year ago. My whole family loves her and Dr Sheshadri. We actually can’t wait to get pregnant again hahaha. Everyone treats you with respect and always makes sure your okay & answers whatever questions you have before you leave. Even leaving a message for the nurses,they get back to you so quickly.  This practice really makes you feel taken care of.  We appreciate you all!  – Erika Hooks

My experience with the TP4W staff has been top of the line.  They helped me through three pregnancies and coached me through every step of the way.  Eternally thankful I chose TP4W.  – Britney

TP4W have such amazing doctors, midwives and nurses.  I cannot say enough about Dr. Grana and the rest of the staff for all the help, advice, guidance and medical care they provided me with all of my kids.  She made me feel safe and calm through both c-sections.  My routine care and pregnancy care have always been top notch and I would recommend them to anyone looking for an OBGYN.  – Brooke

We were honored to receive a hand written note..

Dr. Grana, Angie, Jessica, Heather, April, Sarah and the rest of the staff –

Thank you all so much for taking such good care of me through both of my pregnancies and births, especially my latest one on 10/29! most of yall know how nervous I was from having gone through a lot (to say the least) with my first in 2016. You all made me feel so comfortable and at ease before, during and after. And going through a touch year with my dad, you guys always asked how he was doing at every appointment, which was so thoughtful and beyond your job description. I know that you all see many women go through what i did each and every day and deliver many babies and perform many c-sections. But I hope you know how special Ruby’s delivery was to me. You all have amazing jobs! I cannot thank you all enough. Merry Christmas!

Love, Lucy

I have been going to TP4W since 2010/11 and could not be happier.

The staff, nurses, midwives, and doctors are all amazing. I have 2 sons, both delivered via cesarean by Dr. V. Every visit and every provider did everything in their power to give me the birth experience I wanted, and also ensure that myself and my babies were safe and healthy. Dr. V even did everything in his power to help me avoid my first c-section and VBAC with the second, but that turned out to be out of his hands and he was the absolute best surgeon. With my two pregnancies, I experienced a few scares and some unusual circumstances that would be too long and too private to write in a review, but every single hurdle was handled with grace, honesty, and professionalism. I am so thankful for the recommendation from a friend to come to this office. I can’t imagine ever going to another practice.

TP4W is amazing and I am so very thankful I found them 9 years ago!! Amazing partnership between midwives and doctors, sweet nurses and front end staff, and relaxing environment. I literally recommend them to all my friends! I look forward to my appointments and feel like I’m going to catch up with old friends.

I’ve always had wonderful experiences at TP4W. Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough in their care. April delivered my son and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She is patient and compassionate. I had the best labor and delivery experience thanks to her. I do and will continue to recommend them to my friends and family!