Well-woman screening: is it important?

Written by: Dr Ferhat Uddin
Published: | Updated: 23/02/2022
Edited by: Lauren Dempsey

Throughout a woman’s lifetime, her body undergoes many changes. As she gets older she must attend regular check-ups to maintain her health and ensure early detection to optimise her treatment options, if a health issue were to occur. Leading London-based general practitioner, Dr Ferhat Uddin shares her expertise on why well-woman screenings are vital to lead a happy and healthy life.

 

What is included in a well-woman screening?

A well-woman screening is a doctor-led review of a woman’s health and wellness. A doctor will take into account a patient’s medical and sexual health history and assess her mood and lifestyle before conducting blood pressure tests, alongside necessary physical examinations, like breast checks and gynaecology examinations. Blood screening to measure cholesterol and blood sugar (screening for diabetes) is important as well as hormone and vitamin testing if appropriate.

 

Why is it important for women to undergo this type of check-up?

Women experience many different life stages when their hormones change drastically. This can have a major impact on her health, perhaps increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease or other conditions.

 

At what age should women go for their first well-woman screening?

It is advisable to start arranging well-women screenings with your GP around the age of 40. This is the approximate age when women’s bodies begin to change, increasing their risk of developing a health condition. Prevention, where possible, and early detection are important. Of course, cervical screening (smear testing) is recommended from age 25. Breast screening is done from age 50 but can be offered earlier to women at higher risk of breast cancer.

 

How often should women see a GP for a well woman screening?

An annual review of cholesterol and blood sugars is recommended if any abnormalities are found on initial testing.

Women who are planning on conceiving should see their GP for pre-conception advice, to optimise their chances of a healthy pregnancy.

For women in midlife, hormones can start to fluctuate in the stage of perimenopause. A review annually to discuss symptoms is recommended, to identify this stage of life, as well as to start lifestyle changes and supportive treatment when needed.

 

If a well-woman screening shows some unusual results, what are the next steps?

If cholesterol or blood sugars are raised, dietary and lifestyle changes are the first step. Medication may be avoided if abnormal results are seen early in the treatment. When your history or blood tests suggest perimenopause or menopause, lifestyle and diet plans are formulated, and a trial of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be offered.

 

If you would like to book a consultation with Dr Ferhat Uddin to have a well-woman screening, you can do so by visiting her Top Doctors profile

By Dr Ferhat Uddin
GP (general practitioner)

Dr Ferhat Uddin is an experienced general practitioner who mainly deals with conditions relating to women's health. Her main areas of clinical interest and expertise include menopause care, sexual health, breast cancer, hormone replacement therapy as well as testosterone therapy but to name a few. She currently practices at her very own self-established London-based Liberty Health Clinics and so too at the Parkside Menopause Clinic, as part of the Wimbledon-based Parkside Hospital. 

Dr Uddin, who currently offers her patients online consultations, was appointed as a general practitioner in 2010 and has, ever since, developed a passion for providing excellent care when it comes to patients suffering from menopause. In 2020, she founded Liberty Health Clinics, an online menopause service provider that offers women not only a safe service, but also an extremely effective and personalised one in terms of integrating the various nutritional, psychological and medical dimensions of menopause. 

She graduated with an MBBS from the King's College London in 2004 and also impressively possesses a diploma in women's health, and has successfully undertaken further training at the London-based Guy's Hospital Menopause Clinic. Another passion of Dr Uddin's is teaching, and she currently teaches GPs and GP trainees on women's health and menopause.

Notably, she completed training in menopause under the guidance of the esteemed Professor Janice Rymer at Guy's Hospital Menopause Clinic as well as further training in menopause with the British Menopause Society. She is also a regular speaker for GP trainees at the Epsom Hospital, as well as being an NHS England GP appraiser. 

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