Prevention is essential for women’s healthcare. Not only does it preclude the appearance and propagation of diseases, it also lowers the need to undergo treatments that, thanks to check-ups, would be absolutely superfluous. According to the specialists at Quirónsalud, undergoing preventive examinations is essential to care for female health, improve women’s quality of life, and detect possible problems early, so they can be treated, and other related complications avoided.
Regarding when women should start going in for check-ups, Doctor Yaquelín Popa, Family Physician at Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, recommends starting between the ages of 15 and 20. During this first check-up, adds the Doctor, one of the important issues is to figure out of there are alterations in the menstrual cycle, two years after the first menstruation. A basic blood test should be taken, including serologies to find sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and if the patient has started to engage in sexual relations, a gynaecological examination, including cytology and vaginal smear, if the patient presents any type of symptom. “On this front, the specialists must take the lead in offering as much information as possible about sexually transmitted diseases, and the most efficient methods to prevent them,” points out Doctor Popa. These check-ups should be accompanied by an accurate survey of questions for the patient, and taking her blood pressure. “The goal,” indicates the specialist, “is the prevention and early diagnosis of some diseases that don’t usually produce symptoms or can go undetected in their early stages.”
Women’s sexually active period starts in their twenties, when Doctor Judith Catalá, family physician at Quirónsalud Alicante, recommends paying greater attention to preventing sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies. Doctor Catalá advises “undergoing a gynaecological check-up every year, with cytology to rule out the presence of Human Papilloma Virus, in addition to a breast examination, and a blood test with serology if you have had risky sexual encounters.” Likewise, the specialist also recommends obtaining information about different birth control methods and the condom use to prevent STIs. In this age group, it is also advisable to start biannual medical check-ups that include medical examinations as well as blood and urine tests, measuring blood pressure and gynaecological examinations.”
Between thirst and forty, check-ups need to be more exhaustive, and in addition to yearly gynaecological visits, Doctor Jesús Recio, Head of Internal Medicine at Quirónsalud Valencia, recommends greater control of a woman’s cardiovascular health. According to Doctor Recio, “cholesterol and hypertension controls need to be more exhaustive between 30 and 50, since the risk is higher, especially after 45.” From this age, the specialist recommends undergoing a stress test and an echocardiogram for better cardiological control. “Another issue to watch for after 45 years of age,” the specialist points out, “is type-2 diabetes, since the disease starts to appear around this age, especially if there is a family history.”
After 50 years of age, a time when women are in perimenopause, Doctor Fulgencio Molina, Head of Family Medicine at Hospital Quirónsalud Murcia, proposes undergoing a bone densitometry, in order to detect bone density deficits early, and rule out osteopenia and osteoporosis. “Additionally,” he adds, “we should not ignore dental health, cardiovascular check-ups and, if there is a family history, cancer screenings, particularly colon cancer.”
Hearing and sight problems also tend to start after 50, so we advise yearly visits with the ophthalmologist and the otorhynolaryngologist, to detect any hearing or sight problem, and improve quality of life.
Finally, after 65 years of age, the experts at Quirónsalud recommend flu vaccines every winter, to avoid any type of complication.