You don’t need to be feeling sick to go to the doctor. Regular checkups can help prevent illness. In this women’s health checklist, we outline some of the most important health checks we should all be doing regularly.
And with doctor to your door services, getting regular women’s health checkups has never been easier! Heroes Home Doctors can provide general checkups from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
General Women’s Health Checkups
Everyone should get regular health checkups from their GP. General health checkups will typically involve a consultation to discuss your family medical history, past medical conditions, your current lifestyle (including diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption). A checkup may also include a skin check for potential skin cancer.
For women, a general health checkup can include further discussion around pregnancy, sexual health, and bone density tests to check for osteoporosis. It’s crucial to find a GP you trust and where you feel comfortable. A trusted GP will give you the best advice for your individual health needs.
A general health checkup helps catch and treat preventable illnesses in their early stages.
Breast Cancer Checks
Regular breast screening saves lives! Breast cancer is the second largest killer of Australian women, with 1 in 7 women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. Fortunately, breast cancer is a common and treatable illness when it is caught early.
Several factors can impact your likelihood of developing breast cancer, including your family medical history and genetics. Regular checkups mean that potential breast cancer is caught early and treated appropriately.
Treatment for breast cancer will differ depending on your diagnosis. It can include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, but catching it early can help reduce your treatment’s severity and recovery time.
Women over 40 can access free mammograms twice a year. This is especially encouraged if you are between 50 and 74 years old.
Mammography is the recommended screening method for the early detection of breast cancer in Australian women. A mammogram consists of using small amounts of radiation to take images of your breast. A mammogram provides a more accurate screening for potential breast cancer than physical examinations. (Though checking yourself at home is still a good habit to get into!)
Ultrasounds can also help detect breast cancer and use high-frequency sound rather than radiation to screen for abnormalities. However, mammograms are used commonly, with ultrasounds available as an additional screening tool if required.
Cervical screening tests
Women aged 25 to 74 can access free cervical screenings every five years. Of course, you can request a cervical screening within five years, or if you are under 25; however, this is likely not covered by the Government’s cervical cancer screening initiative.
Cervical screenings help catch symptoms that suggest cervical cancer and the presence of HPV – the virus that can cause cervical cancer.
Heart Health Checks
We probably think we understand the signs of heart attacks, but did you know heart problems present differently in women than men?
It’s never too late to improve heart health! You can avoid most heart diseases with proper care. Regular heart checkups will help you better understand your own risk of heart attack or stroke, and your GP will be able to work with you to help you reduce the risk.
Vision and hearing checks
Women are more likely to develop long-term vision impairment than men, so it’s important we’re getting regular vision tests. Optometrists generally recommend getting your eyes checked every two years.
While many eye conditions affect all sexes, women are more susceptible to getting a long-term eye condition. Some of the most common vision impairments for women include:
- Dry eye syndrome (where your eyes cannot produce enough tears to lubricate your eye)
- Macular degeneration
Hearing tests are recommended for women from 60 years old or earlier if you suspect hearing loss. Hearing tests are painless and non-invasive. Like our vision, our hearing can change over time, so you should be getting regular hearing tests as recommended by your GP. Plus, you may be eligible for free hearing tests through the Hearing Services Program.
Frequently asked questions
How often should I get a general checkup?
Health checks for women are recommended every year. This often involves a discussion with your GP about your medical history, family medical history and general lifestyle factors, such as diet, smoking, and exercise.
General checkups with your GP may lead to discussions surrounding particular issues, like breast cancer screenings and cervical exams.
How often do I need a breast exam, pelvic exam and Pap test?
Regular checkups help us stay healthy and catch illness in its early stages. Women’s health issues can be detected early during routine health checkups, such as breast and cervical cancer. Breast exams/mammograms should be done twice a year (if you are over 40), and cervical exams – or pap smears – are required every five years for women over 25 years old.
Checkups should be done in consultation with your GP and can even be done from the comfort of your own home, with home visits available through Heroes Home Doctor.
What can I do to be more healthy?
Have a chat with your GP to discuss your current health concern and goals. They will be able to give you realistic tips and expectations to improve your health, which may include, but are not limited to:
- Eating healthier;
- Exercise routines;
- Weight loss or gain;
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.
A trusted GP will provide advice that suits your needs and lifestyle and accommodate any injuries and existing medical conditions to help you achieve your health goals.
We understand you might have more questions. We’re here to help! Check out the Heroes Home Doctor FAQ page to find the answers to more commonly asked questions.
Get a doctor to your door today!
At Heroes Home Doctors, we’re just like your regular GP, but we come to you. We believe healthcare should be easy and accessible for everyone. That’s why we’re committed to delivering high-quality healthcare from the comfort of your own home. This includes all your general check up needs.
Book a home women’s checkup now! And remember, if you’re feeling unwell, reach out to a doctor immediately.