Overview: Health checks for women at your IPSA Medical clinic

For women, IPSA Medical recommends having a yearly general health check-up, especially when you are just too busy to visit your NHS GP or when you think that you are well and don’t feel you need a medical review.
At your IPSA medical clinic, your routine check-up consultation usually involves your IPSA Medical physician talking through your previous medical history, your family’s disease history and your lifestyle choices (exercise habits, your diet, alcohol consumption and smoking habit).
By seeing your IPSA Medical physician for your annual medical check-up, you will help yourself to stay healthy, because at IPSA Medical, our aim is to determine early warning signs of illness/disease, as many diseases (e.g. some cancers, diabetes or heart disease) can be picked up early, leading to more effective treatment outcomes.

What if I am at high risk for a disease due to my family history?

If you are at high risk due to a family history of a particular disease, then your IPSA Medical physician will recommend more frequent check-ups and/or having checks carried out when you are at a younger age.

What will my IPSA Medical doctor focus on during my consultation?

At IPSA Medical, we always adapt our consultations for each individual and their presenting symptoms. What this means is that your IPSA Medical physician will decide which areas to focus on during your consultation based on any of your presenting symptoms, risk factors, your current lifestyle and any of your relevant family history.

What types of tests will I be offered during my IPSA Medical health check-up?

Some typical health checks for women that may be carried out and/or recommended by your IPSA Medical physician during your consultation are shown below. This is not an exhaustive list, because your IPSA doctor might recommend additional investigations depending on any presenting clinical symptoms and any risk factors in your present lifestyle.

What examinations might be performed, recommended or requested during your IPSA Medical routine women’s health screen?

Cervical smear test
This screening test is important because it picks up irregularities that might (if untreated) lead to cervical cancer. Women should have a smear test (every two years) up to 70 years of age. Even if you been vaccinated against HPV, you still need to have smear tests regularly.
STI screening
If you are under 30 years old and sexually active, then IPSA Medical recommends a chlamydia test (a simple urine test) every year, because chlamydia affects your fertility and often produces no symptoms.
IPSA Medical recommends a general health check-up before planning your pregnancy. During your check-up, you can discuss the health risks that may occur during your pregnancy with your IPSA Medical clinician. Once you do become pregnant, regular antenatal check-ups at your IPSA Medical clinic will help in terms of monitoring your baby’s development, picking up on any abnormalities and assessing your health (e.g. ultrasound scans, urine and blood tests, among others).
Heart health checks
Your health checks at IPSA Medical for heart disease might include:

  • Blood pressure: Every two years, from 18 onwards, your blood pressure should be checked. If your blood pressure is found to be slightly high, or there you have a high blood-pressure family history or stroke/heart attack family history, then your IPSA Medical clinician will recommend more frequent checks.
  • Weight check: Being overweight does pose significant risks for many other health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Blood tests: Your IPSA Medical physician will check both your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. High levels sometimes indicate an increased risk for heart disease.

Diabetes health checks
The IPSA Medical diabetes tests include your fasting blood-sugar level and/or your three-month average blood-sugar check.

You have a higher type 2 diabetes risk if:

  • You are over 45 and obese (with your BMI over 30)
  • You have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • You had gestational diabetes during your pregnancy
  • You are an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander who is over 35
  • You have a family history of diabetes
  • You belong to some specific ethnic groups (e.g. Pacific Islanders and Sri Lankans)

Breast cancer health checks
Women (no matter their age) should see their IPSA Medical physician within a week of noticing any breast changes. Women who are from 50 to 74 (with no personal/family breast cancer history) should have screening mammograms (breast X-rays) every 2 years. If you have a personal/family history of breast, then your IPSA Medical clinician will discuss the recommended screening frequency with you.
Eye health checks
Eyesight often deteriorates with age. IPSA Medical recommends that women above 40 should have regular eye examinations.
Bowel cancer health checks
Bowel cancer, a fairly common cancer, if detected early enough, has a good recovery rate. The faecal occult blood test (FOBT) is used to determine the presence of blood in your stool (poo) sample. For those women over 50, IPSA Medical recommends having this test every 2 years.
Bone density health checks
Osteoporosis is a disease and it causes the thinning of your bones. At IPSA Medical, a bone density test (DEXA) helps your IPSA Medical clinician to determine your current bone health.
Bone density testing is recommended for women with:

  • A spinal deformity with a stooped posture
  • Osteoporosis or concerns about developing osteoporosis (e.g. because of a family history)
  • A previous fracture (not caused by a fall or a major trauma)
  • Risk factors for osteoporosis: thin build, early menopause, long periods involving no menstruation when you were younger, being over 70 years old and/or the long-term use of cortisone medications

Young women should consider the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine before becoming sexually active so as to prevent cervical cancer. Before your health check-up at your IPSA Medical clinic, check that your childhood immunisations are up to date and if you need any boosters, e.g. tetanus.
IPSA Medical recommends the flu vaccination for:

  • Women over 65
  • Women who are pregnant (especially if you are in your last trimester), because your baby will also gain protection
  • Women with chronic conditions (e.g. diabetes or severe asthma)
  • Women who are concerned about getting the flu because it would impact them significantly

What happens after my IPSA Medical health check-up?

At the end of your IPSA Medical health check consultation, your IPSA Medical physician might help you directly (by prescribing medication) or may refer you for further scans and/or investigations. If necessary, your IPSA Medical physician will book a review appointment with you and this will depend on the outcome of your consultation or diagnosis. Sometimes, your IPSA Medical physician might refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and/or treatment, and these referrals are arranged on the same day as your IPSA Medical consultation.
To book your IPSA Medical women’s health check-up, call your nearest IPSA Medical clinic or book online.

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