Women’s Health: Important health checks in your 50’s

By September 17, 2018Women's Health

Dr. Alex Te-Loo from Mount Sheridan Medical Practice discusses important health checks for women in their 50s.

Hi, I’m Dr. Alex Te-Loo from Mount Sheridan Medical Practice, and today, I’m going to be speaking to you about what’s involved for a health check for a lady in her 50’s. We always like to discuss something called SNAP, which regards smoking, nutrition, alcohol intake and physical activity. Ideally, you shouldn’t be smoking at all, your nutrition should include a mix of vegetables and fruit daily, your alcohol should not exceed two standard drinks daily, ideally with a break once a week, and your physical activity should include at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. We try to review SNAP at every health check and as regularly as possible.

With the recent changes in the National Pap Smear Guidelines, you will now be getting a cervical screening test from the ages of 25. STI screening is also recommended, and it is worth noting that most contraceptives won’t protect you from STIs. Contraception is a very important part of a women’s health check. There are many different options, and it should be discussed further with your GP.

Women are able to start regular breast screens from the age of 40. This is done with Breast Screen Queensland every two years. It is also important to do regular self-examinations. This process can be discussed further with your GP. Routine blood testing will usually begin for women when they’re in their 40’s. This includes testing things like cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. Depending on the individual patient and their history, additional tests may be considered.

Women in their 50’s may begin to experience menopausal symptoms. These can be extremely varied and may include things like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and irritability. Further management can be complex and should be discussed with your GP.

From the age of 50, you should receive a bowel screening kit from the government every two years. Other options for investigation can include things like colonoscopies, which can be discussed further with your GP.

Living in tropical Australia, it is very important that you use sun protection and consider having yearly skin checks.

It’s important to remember that the health checks we have just discussed are general outlines, and not specific to individual patients. Your GP may discuss further recommendations that may be necessary for you. If you have any family history of note or any other particular concerns, this can be discussed with your GP when you are reviewed.

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