Midlife Health Checks For Women

Midlife Health Checks For Women

Have you had or are you due a midlife health check?  It's so easy to forget what we need to do to safeguard our long term well-being but midlife is an important time for reviewing our health and particularly as a woman.

The NHS offers free health checks every five years to men and women between the age of 40 and 74 to assess their likely risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or diabetes.  A two stage process, the first is a fasting blood test to measure your cholesterol level and blood glucose.  The second is an appointment to discuss the results and your lifestyle in more detail and if necessary to devise ways of making changes to proactively improve your long term health.

How much do you weigh?  How big is your waist? Have you ever smoked? How much do you drink? What is your blood pressure?  What is your family health history?  The information gathered is not only used to review your physical health status in its entirety but is also fed into an online programme to give you an overall score on your heart health.

In addition, for women there is the all important cervical screening and the mammogram which is routinely offered to all women every 3 years once they turn 50.

The review is a comprehensive health MOT and is one which should not be ignored.

I turned 50 in February of 2017 and thereafter received a constant stream of correspondence from my GP about all the checks on offer.

Prior to this my last health review was actually at the age of 40.  I was working at the time and benefited from the BUPA well woman check through my company's health insurance.  Since then I have religiously attended the women's health screenings offered to me over the years but have undergone nothing more comprehensive in the last decade and count myself lucky that aside from a burst appendix in my mid 40's I have never had any significant cause for concern.

There is no denying that midlife is a period of monumental change for a woman and there is a need to embrace those changes and adapt accordingly.

To be honest I don't do change very well and there have been some areas of my midlife status I have found harder to accept than others.

I don't want to fall into that bracket of women that worry about their looks but the honest truth is that despite my best intentions on turning 50 some physical changes have irked me.  Why?  Well I suppose they signify a loss of youth, resilience and all that I have learnt to know and love about myself and more importantly what I have quite simply been used to until now.

Does that make me weak or superficial?  Maybe.  No one likes to admit to their faults but how can I spend my days telling my teens not to worry about their looks and to be accepting of who and and what they are on the inside and not the outside if I am suddenly so self-critical of my own appearance?

Appearances however can be deceptive and despite bemoaning my increasing waist size I consider myself to be generally fit and healthy and certainly embraced being fifty and fabulous with vigour in the early days of my fifth decade.

Health, however, is not just a physical state.  It is about more than the packaging for want of a different expression and the absence of disease, it is about the inner mechanics too, our mental and social well-being.

For me midlife also came with issues surrounding my mood and whilst reviewing my exercise regime helped to improve that, there was more to it so I sought help to review my hormones as I entered that peri-menopausal phase.

My fluctuating hormones as it turned out had a lot to answer for including a lengthy period of insomnia which of course was also having a knock-on effect on my mood.  With the help of my bio-identical hormone therapy these areas are now almost a year on improving for sure.

So where am I now?  Well fast approaching 51 a lot of boxes have been ticked over the last year and I have completed all my health check appointments and sitting here with another New Year ahead I am so glad for those checks. Issues have been thrown up I need to address and as it happens my waist size is the least of my worries and more of that later.

Ladies we need to keep on top of our health and those reminders are there for a reason.  Don't ignore them, don't put them off until another day follow them up and if you haven't had a call to action yet then be proactive and ask your  GP for one.

 

Midlife Health Checks For Women

 

 

 

 

 

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17 Comments

    • Jo
      Author
      January 16, 2018 / 9:15 am

      Oh yes the dreaded blood pressure. Mine is very low but my husband is taking regular tablets to keep his in check. A friend has found having her own monitor quite useful in terms of keeping an eye on everything. #TweensTeensBeyond

  1. January 12, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    Hugely important post Jo and I hope many ladies will read it and take action. I think the mammogram screening in Wales starts at 50 as well so I guess i will be called at some stage. I know I’m up to date with the cervical screening. I didn’t know about the general health check, I am going to investigate. xxx #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      Yes mammograms start at 50 and are every three years – the biggest change is in cervical screening which shifts to five years once you hit the big 50. Will be interesting to see how everything compares in Wales. Good luck. #TweensTeensBeyond

  2. January 11, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    Here, here to this Jo and I, like you, have had some of the work related screening. I’m up to date with the smear and the first NHS mammogram has already dropped through the door. Timely reminder for us all lovely x #tweensteensbeyond
    Nicky Kentisbeer recently posted…Tweens, Teens & Beyond Linky – Week #33My Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:12 pm

      Glad to hear you are on top of everything Nicky. #TweensTeensBeyond

  3. January 11, 2018 / 1:56 am

    It’s a long while ago, but I don’t remember being offered a full health check at 50, though obviously reminders turn up at intervals for individual checks – maybe it differs according to Health Authority? It doesn’t worry me particulalry as, having had no health problems greater than pregnancy or flu, I tend to think I’m generally ok. Maybe I should be more pro-active though with age. I hope whatever your tests showed up has been caught early, and is easily treatable xx #tweenteensbeyond
    Mary Mayfield recently posted…DPP Festival, Sitwell TavernMy Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      Mary your posts certainly hint at a woman on top of her health and full of vitality! I think you are right each area will differ but there is an argument for us being more proactive. There is such a push in this country at the moment to lead us away from the GP unless it is an emergency and I am not sure that sometimes that is the best approach. Thank you for your kind words. The battle is beginning for me. #TweensTeensBeyond

  4. January 10, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    I turned 40 last summer and had to have my first mammogram. That was difficult for me because of my age. it wasn’t the mammogram itself but what it represents – getting older. I don’t think any of us want to get older and little things like that become a big deal because we don’t want to admit we are getting older. Losing our youth isn’t an easy thing to deal with but I think we are learning to deal with it as we go. Thanks so much for hosting #TweensTeensBeyond
    Michelle recently posted…2018: New Year, New HopeMy Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:08 pm

      You are lucky Michelle that everything in America is so much earlier than here in the UK. I have American friends and relatives who fly back to get their checks as they think our system is too slow and not thorough enough at an early age. Our perception of youth is a funny thing isn’t it? I don’t consider myself old in mind and spirit but my body is definitely bearing the brunt – I am in awe of those who carry their age so gracefully. A lot of it of course is all in the mind and taking it all one step at a time. Thanks for joining us. #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. January 10, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    it’s better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to our health, i’ve really got to tackle the smoking, but the more i try to do something about it, the more i seem to smoke, it’s the same with diet and exercise, but it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes #tweenteenbeyond
    chickenruby recently posted…Moving Home in Dubai Part 5 – PetsMy Profile

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:05 pm

      That is true Suzanne – it’s never too late – sometimes though it is easy to beat ourselves up about our vices and forget that life is for enjoying too. You will tackle it when you are ready. #TweensTeensBeyond

  6. January 9, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    Oh I know I should go but I just haven’t got to it yet. I’m 46 so I know I need too….I think this post makes me think I need too! Thanks Jo. Good post lovely and Happy New Year to you, #tweensteensbeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      It is worth us all taking stock of our health at some point but at 46 you are lucky enough to still be below the radar on the midlife checks. Happy New Year to you too. #TweensTeensBeyond

  7. Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas
    January 9, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    I always go for smears and mammograms, but haven’t been offered a general health check since reaching 50. I’m 52 next month so this is definitely something I’ll be chasing up. As the old adage says: prevention is better than cure! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Jo
      Author
      January 13, 2018 / 1:00 pm

      I don’t think that many people realise it is available and once you reach 50 the smear is every 5 years and the mammogram every 3 – but it is worth us all keeping a mental note of our due dates. #TweensTeensBeyond

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