Medical checkups are very necessary. Sometimes, before we are down with a sickness, the sickness must have been in our body for a couple of days or even weeks. We only start to feel sick after the bacteria or virus that cause the illness must have weakened our immune system. It is not always easy to detect sickness in the early stages. The only way to properly do that is through a medical checkup.
During a medical checkup, the doctor screens your body, looking for signs of medical issues, depending on the kind of check-up you went for. If any issue is discovered, the doctor would advise you on what to do, such as the kind of treatment you should go for, or the options you have. The doctor would also give you general medical advice, which is always very important.
As a woman, you need to go for regular medical checkups. Besides the normal things you ought to check for, there are some serious issues you need to look out for. In today’s post, we would be discussing some important medical checkups for Nigerian women.
A mammogram is a breast examination, usually done with X-rays. It is a screening done to check for signs of breast cancer, which is one of the most common cancers that affect Nigeria women. Many surveys show that breast cancer is prevalent among Nigerian women of all tribes. Early discovery of the signs of breast cancer could lead to the removal of the cancerous lump or lumps. When this is done, the woman may no longer be in danger of breast cancer.
It is advised that you should start going for a mammogram at least once a year from the moment you turn 40. But there is nothing wrong if you decide to get it earlier, such as in your 20s or 30s even. The cost of a mammogram in Nigeria ranges from ₦6,000 to ₦20,000 depending on the healthcare center.
2. Pap Smear
A pap smear is a test conducted to check for signs of cervical cancer, another common cancer that affects women. According to a study, 53.3 million Nigerian women are estimated to be at risk of developing cervical cancer During the test, the doctor takes a sample of cells from the cervix, which he then examines for signs of cervical cancer.
It is advised that you start going for a pap smear as soon as you turn 21. You should have the pap smear done once every three years. When you turn 30, you can have the pap smear once every three years alone or once every five years if you are combining it with Human papillomavirus (HPV) test. HPV is an STD that also causes cervical cancer. The average cost of a pap smear test in Nigeria is ₦7,000, while it costs around ₦25,000 to get vaccinated against cervical cancer.
Sexually transmitted diseases are those infections or diseases that are passed through sex. If you are a woman with active sex life, then you should go for frequent STD testing. Unlike men, women do not immediately show symptoms of some kinds of STDs and it may be in their body for a very long time, without them knowing until you get a test done. Some of the common STDs in Nigeria you should test for include gonorrhoea, syphilis, Hepatitis A and B, HIV, HPV, and so on. You can ask your doctor for a particular test to conduct.
4. Blood Pressure
Women face a lot of stress, whether at home or at work. All of this stress could lead to a rise in blood pressure. If left unchecked, this could lead to stroke or other heart diseases. You can check your blood pressure every year, or more often if you suspect you have been under a lot of stress in recent times.
5. Blood Sugar Test
A blood sugar test is a medical test that checks the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. This test is usually done to help diagnose diabetes, and people with diabetes can also use this test to manage their condition. A blood sugar test is another important medical test for Nigerian women, because there is high prevalence of diabetes mellitus among Nigerian women. You should take this test often if you are:
- 45 years old or older
- Don’t exercise much
- Have high blood pressure, high triglycerides, or low good cholesterol levels (HDL)
- Have a family history of diabetes
- Have a history of gestational diabetes
- Gave birth to a baby who weighed over 4 kg.