A blood test can be an invaluable tool to diagnose a health problem that may just save a life. So what are some blood tests that every woman should have?
Heart disease is a major concern for women. Womenshealth.gov noted that for every woman that dies in the United States each year, one in four of them dies from heart disease. Several factors can contribute to heart disease, including high blood cholesterol, which clogs a person’s arteries.
A total cholesterol test measures all of the cholesterol in a person’s blood and can identify if a person is at risk. If the cholesterol test comes back between 200 and 239 mg/dL, the person’s total cholesterol level is borderline high. A total cholesterol test reading of 240 mg/dL or higher is considered high risk.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Screenings
Sexually transmitted diseases can cause different health problems, such as affecting fertility. Women who are sexually active should consider getting tested for different sexual transmitted diseases.
Some sexually transmitted diseases are tested for using urine, while others require a blood test. For example, with herpes, a blood test can identify antibody levels of the virus. This would indicate whether the person has ever been infected with the virus.
MedlinePlus noted that the blood test may come back positive even if the person has never had an outbreak of herpes. Another important blood test to have is for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The set of blood tests used to screen for HIV are the ELISA/Western blot tests.
Thyroid Functioning Tests
If a person’s thyroid is not functioning properly, it can cause several health problems. For example, with hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, a patient can have fatigue, irregular menstrual periods, increased sweating and difficulty concentrating.
With hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, a patient may have weakness, depression, fatigue and heavier menstrual periods. Several blood tests can identify if a person’s thyroid is under-producing or over-producing.