CHECKUP! Essential Medical Exams For Women In Their 30s And 40s (2nd Week Programs)

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1) Prenatal Test

If you are pregnant, make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible to begin prenatal care for you and your baby. Your first visit will be a long one: you’ll be asked for a detailed medical history, and your obstetrician will also perform a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test, and will check your blood pressure. He or she will take a sample of blood to determine your blood type and to test for conditions such as anemia, rubella and hepatitis B. Early in the pregnancy, you should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. After the initial trip to the doctor, your visits will be shorter. During the first six months of your pregnancy, you’ll need to see your obstetrician about once a month; during months seven and eight, you should go in about once every two weeks. During the last month, you should see your doctor once a week until delivery.  Depending on your age and overall health, different tests may be necessary throughout your pregnancy. Mothers with a history of pregnancy problems, high blood pressure or diabetes may need multiple ultrasounds (in which the doctor looks at the baby in the womb using sound imaging) to monitor the fetus’s growth and position and to check for physical abnormalities.  Mothers over age 35 often have an amniocentesis test, which involves extracting and examining a sample of the fluid that surrounds the fetus; the test can provide early indications of abnormal development. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests asking your doctor if the test is necessary for you. Discuss with your obstetrician all the tests that are going to be performed. Be sure you understand why you’re having the tests and what the risks are to you and your baby.

2) Uterine Fiboids Exam

Prolonged menstrual periods, pelvic pain and frequent urination could be signs of uterine fibroids. Your doctor can check for these noncancerous growths during a pelvic exam.

3) Rectal Exam

After age 40 a rectal exam should be performed with your yearly pelvic exam. Your doctor will inspect the wall between your rectum and vagina for abnormal growths and will check for polyps, hemorrhoids or blood in the rectum itself. Women who have a family history of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctors about any additional tests they should have.

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