Regular visits to beauty salons for modern ladies have long and firmly become a habit, but periodic examinations by doctors are still fading into the background. In our material, we have compiled a list of the most necessary examinations that should become a useful habit for every self-loving woman.
“In a healthy body — a healthy mind” – this phrase is familiar to many ladies, but the state of the body, unlike appearance and emotional background, is not always given enough attention. The growth of oncological, cardiovascular, and gynecological diseases, including among young women, indisputably indicates the need for timely medical examination, which helps to identify diseases at an early stage and avoid serious consequences in the future.
The list of mandatory annual examinations may vary depending on age and the presence of chronic diseases. But there are basic ones that every woman should remember. Anna Alekseevna Pozdnyakova, a gynecologist-reproductologist of the Nova Clinic network of reproduction and genetics centers, told us about them in detail.
Cytological examination of the cervix
Scraping from the cervical canal and vaginal cervix to cancer cells allows you to detect adverse changes at an early stage, timely treat and prevent the development of cervical cancer, which currently occupies one of the leading places in the structure of oncological diseases in women. If for some reason your uterus and cervix were removed, cytology smears are not given up.
PCR smear of vaginal discharge for human papillomavirus (HPV)
Infection with HPV type 16 and 18 increases the risk of developing cervical cancer. When HPV infection is detected and changes according to cytological examination data, a woman is recommended to perform a colposcopy (a targeted examination of the cervix using a microscope of a special design). This approach allows you to identify the altered area of the cervix with the help of special staining, and later, if necessary, take a tissue sample for a detailed study of its structure and determine treatment tactics.
Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs
This examination is recommended to be performed in the first phase (on day 5-7) of the menstrual cycle. The survey allows:
evaluate the structure, structure, size of the cervix and body of the uterus, as well as the ovaries;
to exclude the presence of pathological formations in these organs, including to identify the asymptomatic course of such a formidable disease as ovarian cancer;
to assess the condition of the endometrium (the mucosa lining the uterine cavity from the inside) and the fallopian tubes.
In the second phase (day 19-22) of the cycle, the study is additional and is carried out to clarify the functional state of the ovaries. With the help of ultrasound, it is possible to find out whether ovulation occurs in women planning pregnancy or suffering from an irregular menstrual cycle.
Examination of the mammary glands
This study is conducted every 1-2 years with the help of:
ultrasound examination at the age of 40;
mammography (X-ray examination of the mammary glands) in women over 40 years old.
These methods allow you to detect changes in the structure of the tissue and contact a mammologist in time to determine the tactics of additional examination and treatment. In addition, all women are recommended to carry out monthly independent palpation of the mammary glands in the first phase of the menstrual cycle (up to 12 days of the cycle). In case of detection of seals, soreness or discharge from the nipples, you should immediately seek advice from a mammologist of facts about the female breast”).
Examination for sexually transmitted infections
Examination for the presence of herpes simplex virus type II, chlamydia, trichomonas, gonorrhea, ureaplasma urealyticum, mycoplasma genitalium is recommended:
sexually active women;
in the presence of characteristic complaints (unusual color and consistency, unpleasant odor of discharge from the genital tract, abdominal pain) in addition to routine microscopic examination of a smear of discharge from the vagina and cervical canal.
Tests for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C are performed if the woman is at risk (that is, there was unprotected sexual contact with the carrier of the infection or with a partner whose status is unknown).
Determination of hormone levels
Determining the level of hormones, including reproductive ones, is recommended for women aged 18-45 years planning pregnancy:
in the presence of characteristic symptoms of endocrine diseases;
at the risk of early menopause or the development of premature ovarian insufficiency (menopause before the age of 40-45 years).
In the absence of the above conditions and complaints of menstrual irregularities, this examination is impractical. The functional state of the ovaries and the reproductive potential of a woman, that is, the ability to conceive, are evaluated taking into account:
the concentration of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones, estradiol, testosterone;
the level of anti-Muller hormone in the blood in combination with the determination of the number of antral follicles (structures in which female germ cells — oocytes develop) during ultrasound of the ovaries.
Under the age of 35, the level of AMH varies from 1.1 to 4.8 ng/ml. At a concentration of less than 1 ng/ml, we are talking about a decrease in ovarian reserve and the risk of premature aging of the ovaries, which can lead to infertility and the development of menopause before the age of 45. This condition can be caused by:
performing surgical intervention on the pelvic organs, especially the ovaries;
genetic, autoimmune factors;
exposure of toxic substances to ovarian tissue during chemo or radiation therapy.
Determining the level of AMH in unborn women allows:
timely resolve the issue of childbearing;
when planning deferred motherhood, to preserve female germ cells with the help of assisted reproductive technologies;
timely prescribe treatment in order to prevent the development of long-term consequences of sex hormone deficiency, which develops against the background of ovarian insufficiency.
If a reduced ovarian reserve is detected at the age of 35, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist-endocrinologist or a reproductologist.
Screening of thyroid-stimulating hormone and free thyroxine
This screening is indicated for women planning pregnancy, as well as after 50 years. On an individual basis, the attending physician decides whether this study is necessary and determines the level of prolactin in the presence of complaints such as:
violation of the menstrual cycle (shortening or lengthening of the period between menstruation, delay or absence of menstruation, poor discharge);
deterioration of the skin and hair.
If deviations are detected, it is necessary to consult an endocrinologist.
General therapeutic examination
To assess the state of health at any age, it is important to undergo an annual general therapeutic examination with mandatory monitoring of blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, hemoglobin and glucose levels in the blood, as well as ECG and fluorography. Additionally, as necessary , it is carried out:
consultation with a dermatologist for timely diagnosis of malignant skin diseases in the presence of suspicious formations, rapidly growing moles and age spots;
consultation of an ophthalmologist in the presence of complaints to detect eye diseases (glaucoma, cataract), especially in older women.
Regular examination makes it possible to identify pathological processes in the early stages and carry out timely effective treatment, often preventing the development of serious diseases such as cancer and acute heart failure, which lead to fatal consequences.
Gynecologist-reproductologist of the network of centers of reproduction and genetics of Nova Clinics.