6 Very Important Self-Checks Every Woman Should Do

Most of us aren’t aware how to examine our own body. You see a new mole or a part of your skin that’s got a slight discoloration. You dismiss it as something trivial. Because it looks harmless and you really don’t have time to see a doctor. Remember, the first step towards a diagnosis is when you notice something strange.

Several serious medical issues appear with seemingly harmless symptoms. And there are ways you could spot them. Here are few self-checks you need to do.

1. Check Your Period

Look out for changes in blood texture and color of your period

Your menstruation cycle is your very own personal doctor. And after years of menstruating, you have an idea of what’s normal for your body. A lot of us dismiss things like a delayed period or spotting throughout the month as trivial things. While some of these abnormalities are related to high stress or a change in birth control pills, there are times when it could

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mean something more serious. Spotting is a common symptom of cervical cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, or uterine fibroids. Look out for changes in blood texture and color as well.

What You Need To Do:

If you are spotting during pregnancy or after menopause, please visit a doctor immediately. But if you are spotting between menstrual cycles and you aren’t sure about the reason, meet your gynecologist to rule out serious problems. The doctor’s advice is to do a pap smear exam once in 3-5 years if you are above 30 and once every 3 years if you are under 30.1

2. Check Your Breasts

Doctors recommend women need to self-check their breasts once a month

Doctors recommend women need to self-check their breasts once a month. So that they could become familiar with the structure and appearance of their breasts and can notice when something

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is off about it. You need to be aware of your breasts normal color and size.2

What You Need To Do:

Look at your bare breasts in the mirror. Place your hands on your hips and hold the shoulders straight. If you notice any difference in the nipples like a change in position, shape, color, or if there’s a discharge, please meet a doctor. Other things you need to watch out for are redness or rash in the area. Another way to check is to lift your arms over your head and check for any differences.3

3. Check Your Armpits

Check your armpits to rule out enlarged lymph nodes

Do not ignore your armpits. One of the first few signs of breast cancer is seen in the armpits. Because this area contains lymph nodes (responsible to filter the lymph that is circulated

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throughout your body) and it becomes enlarged if it becomes cancerous. Your armpits can also reveal symptoms of diabetes as well.

What You Need To Do:

Raise your left arm slightly and place the fingers of your right hand into the central area of the armpit. Now lower your left arm. Feel the area slowly by touching the front, back, and inner borders of the armpit. Repeat the same for the other armpit as well. If you feel a bulge, you need to see a doctor.4Also, if your armpit is dark and it feels rough, it could be a sign of diabetes. Do a blood sugar test to rule it out.

4. Check Your Vagina

Vaginal self-exams can helpful to rule out sexually transmitted diseases or infections

Vaginal self-exams are extremely important. If you are sexually active, vaginal self-exams can helpful to rule out sexually transmitted diseases or infections. You could check your

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vagina between menstrual cycles.

What You Need To Do:

You would need a small torchlight and a mirror to check your vagina. Make sure your hands are clean before you start. Spread the outside lips of your vagina and check the top of the clitoris. Now, look at the inside lips, the vaginal and urinary openings. Watch out for reddish blisters, open sores, or bumps – common symptoms of an STD or an infection. Also, check your vaginal discharge for a difference in texture, smell, or color. Normal discharge is white, clear, If you notice something off, it’s time to see a gynecologist.

5. Check Your Skin And Nails

Watch out for moles or spots that appear strange

Dermatologists recommend to always keep an eye on the condition of your skin and nails. So, it’s alright if you check the mirror a little too often. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans can get skin cancer. Also, examining your facial skin can help catch the

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signs of polycystic ovary syndrome.

What You Need To Do:

To check your skin, you need to examine yourself in a bright room and you would need a mirror. Watch out for moles or spots that appear strange, itches, or bleeds. Look at the front and back side of your body. Then raise your hands and examine the sides of your body. Check forearms, underarms, and palms. Also take a look at the back of your legs, feet, and neck. Don’t forget to examine the back and buttocks as well. If you spot a peculiar mole with uneven borders, see a dermatologist to be on the safe side.

Thick hair on your face could be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome. You would need to meet a gynecologist.

Before checking your nails, wipe off any polish completely. Check them for any difference in color. Dark or yellowish lines on the nail could be a symptom of skin cancer. Pale nails could be a sign of anemia. Thickening of nails could be a sign of a fungal infection.

6. Check Your Heart Rate

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Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death in the U.S. It is estimated that 1 in 4 women die from heart diseases.5 There are ways to check your heart’s health right from the comfort of your home.

What You Need To Do:

Do a high-intensity workout or activity. When your heart has reached its peak, stop the activity immediately and measure your pulse. Now, sit down for 2 minutes and make a note of your pulse again. Compare the difference between heart rates. If the difference is 55 or more, your heart is in good condition. But if the difference is a lot lesser, you need to make healthy lifestyle changes (we mean regular exercise).

Remember, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent serious health issues. Eat clean, be physically active, maintain a healthy weight, and don’t smoke. Choose the healthy and

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happy life!