There are a number of exams that are crucial to your health. Read on for five of the most important tests that every woman needs to ensure optimum health for life.

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1. Pap Smears

Every woman between the ages of 21 and 65 needs to have a regular pap smear test. Sometimes the testing might not start until 25, depending on where you live. For younger women the test should be taken every three years, while for older women it is every five years. During the smear test a speculum is used to open the vaginal canal and then cells from the cervix are taken with a small brush. The cells will be examined to check for any changes or abnormalities.

2. Blood Pressure Check

Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Your blood pressure should ideally be below 120/80 mm Hg and should be checked every two years from the age of 20. For those over 40 or at increased risk, the screening should be annual. For women on the Pill, you should get your blood pressure checked every six months. The test is straightforward, as you can see from this NHS guide.

3. Cholesterol Check

A cholesterol test helps to check for increased risk of stroke and heart disease. For those over 20 you should check it every five years, and ideally your cholesterol should be lower than 200 mg/dl. A borderline high reading is 200 to 239 ml/dl.

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Other important tests if you are sexually active are STI checks. You can easily buy home testing kits, such as Chlamydia testing kits London from specialist clinics such as https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/chlamydia_screening/, which make testing an easy process from your own home.

4. Bone Density Screening

After the age of 65, you should get screened for osteoporosis. Some women are at increased risk, such as those with a low body weight, and these women should be tested at an earlier age. The test is called a DEXA scan, and it uses low-dose X-rays to capture images of your bones.

5. Mammograms

Mammograms test for breast cancer by compressing the breast between two plates so an X-ray can be taken. The recommended age to start having regular mammograms is 50, when women should begin having them every two years.