Both men and women should have regular health checks. See your doctor for regular medical check-ups to help you stay healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness.
Cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages when treatment may be more successful. If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a disease, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease.
Check-ups may help your doctor pick up early warning signs. For example, high blood pressure may be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.If you are at high risk of a particular disease – such as a family history, it is recommended that you get checked more frequently, and/or at an earlier age.
Both men and women should make self-checking part of their routine.
Things that can be checked at home include:
Women should have a pap test every two years. This screening test is an important test to pick up signs of irregularities that could lead to cervical cancer if not treated. The first pap test should be within two years of the first time you have sex over the age of 20. You should continue to have them every two years until you are 70. Even if you have been vaccinated, you should continue to have regular pap tests.
If you are under 30 years of age and sexually active, have a urine test for chlamydia each year, as chlamydia can affect your fertility and often has no symptoms. If you have sex with one or more new partners without a condom, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about checking for other sexually transmissible diseases.
You should have a general check-up before planning a pregnancy to discuss any health risks during pregnancy. Once you are pregnant, regular antenatal checks help monitor your baby’s development, pick up abnormalities and assess your health.
Tests include ultrasound scans, urine tests and blood tests.