When you’re a mom there’s so much you have to keep track of; kids’ schedules, school work, dinner, and if you’re working there’s an entire list of responsibilities you need to account for at your job. It’s no wonder our health often comes last. With the New Year upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to look into the medical tests and procedures you should do in your 30’s. It’s hard to keep track of it all so I’m making a printable for you to download and print, then you can check off each medical test as you complete them.
10 Medical Tests Women Should Have in Their 30’s
You should have your blood pressure checked every two years in it’s normal and every year if it’s abnormal. High blood pressure is responsible for heart disease, kidney failure, or stroke.
You thyroid is responsible for regulating your metabolism. If you have an underactive thyroid it can lead to weight gain; if you have an overactive thyroid it can lead to rapid weight loss. It’s important that you have your thyroid tested by the age of 35 if you have a medical history that does not have any thyroid problems. If you do have a family medical history of thyroid disorders, it’s wise to be checked when you’re younger so you can get a baseline to compare later on in life.
High cholesterol is associated with heart disease and the only way to check is to have blood work done and it should be one of those medical tests in your 30’s that you complete. When you have your cholesterol checked you the medical professional will draw your blood, send it off to the lab and then your results most of the time will be mailed to you or your doctor will contact you. If your LDL (the “bad” cholesterol, HDL is “happy”, that’s how I remember it) is 131 or higher then you should be retested annually. If it’s 130 or lower then you can get rested again in five years.
Skin Cancer Screening
You don’t have to be an avid tanning bed user or sun worshiper to get skin cancer (Melanoma). Anyone who has had a sunburn before the age of 18, is fair-skinned or has a family history of skin cancer are more likely to get skin cancer. Monthly self-checks are important if you answer yes to any of those descriptions above. The way you do a self-check is by looking at any moles that are larger than a pencil eraser, are asymmetrical, or have an irregular border or color. If you notice any of the above symptoms plus moles or spots that are growing, changing shape or bleeding, contact a dermatologist immediately.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Another medical test in your 30’s is a Complete Blood Count. The test will help diagnose anemia, infections, certain types of cancer, and so on. There are some ethnicities who are more prone to anemia than others, for example Indian women are more susceptible to having low iron and therefore become anemic.
If you’ve had a period chances are you know exactly what a pap smear is; it’s that annual cervical exam your OBGYN will perform. You know, straight up with the stirrups and everything. The test screens for abnormalities which may be cervical cancer. If the results from your pap smear come back clean you do not need another pap smear for three years.
The new human papillomavirus ((HPV) DNA test can be done at the same time as your pap smear using the specimen that’s collected. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can lead can cervical cancer. Talk with your doctor about the test when you’re at your annual exam.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
If you have had multiple partners, unprotected sex with multiple partners, are trying to get pregnant or are going to be sexually active with a new partner you should have a STI screening. The screening can be done with a cervical swab similar to a pap smear to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia. A blood test will be done to screen for syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV. This screening can be done annually or any time you have a new sexual partner.
Clinical Breast Exam
Despite the new guidelines the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) passed recently about not doing self breast exams, most doctors will tell you that it’s still important for a woman to get acquainted with how her breasts feel. During your annual exam with your gynecologist may perform a clinical breast exam although this procedure isn’t necessarily mandatory. It doesn’t hurt to check, the same with your own self-exams, it won’t hurt you to check and it can only help early detection.
The USPSTF recommends that women who are pregnant or have been pregnant be screened for depression. The screening is very simple, your doctor will ask you a series of questions and then depending on the answers, you’ll discuss with your doctor if you need to seek treatment.
How many times should you get an annual exam in your 30’s?
If you have a clean bill of health, no health concerns and no prescriptions that need to be renewed then you can have an annual exam every other year. Otherwise it’s a good idea to see your doctor annually. You should, however, have a dental exam at least once a year.
FREE Printable Checklist
It’s challenging to keep track of everything you should be doing for everyone else, let alone what you should be doing for yourself. I’ve created this handy printable for you to use to keep track of the tests you need to have in your 30s as well as the results. Just click here to print it.
Have you had any medical tests done in your 30’s that you feel should be added to this list?
As the creator of the lifestyle blog and book, Me Before Mom, Bert supports millennial moms facing the challenges and changes of motherhood. Me Before Mom is an online community that offers support through real life stories, encouraging advice, and answers to questions about how a woman maintains herself during this self-sacrificial time of parenthood. Stories from Bert Anderson have helped women across the globe through the Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, and on the Harry show. Whether weathering the first year of motherhood or walking through the later stages of motherhood, Bert has helped many continue to find herself while still in the throes of motherhood. Purchase your copy of Me Before Mom: Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First today!