15 Health Tests All Women Over 40 Should Get

As the saying goes, ‘life begins at 40,’ individuals who have reached this mighty age should have had a comfortable and enjoyable life by now. Contrary to this belief, reaching forty years old is the perfect time for various medical conditions to attack one’s body and health. As you get older, your health isn’t getting any better, and this is the time where you’ll have to exert more effort to protect your health.

Women at 40: The Health Risks and Troubles

Regardless of how much you love and cherish your health condition while you’re in your teenage and early adult years, they won’t last forever. As you reach the age of forty, there are numerous health risks and symptoms that may emerge.

While general medical examinations such as visiting an oral Surgeon in Sherman once every year are recommended in people of all ages, older adults and seniors with more compromised health should take their health efforts to a higher level through different routine examinations. Taking these tests and screenings will help women detect potential risks, symptoms, and existing conditions in their bodies, helping them find ways to mitigate them while it’s still early.

To keep your health in its best possible condition, take note of these health tests that women over 40 should undergo:

1. Mammogram

Only one in 100 cases of breast cancer cases in the United States is accounted to men, which puts the 99 women at risk of the life-threatening condition. At 40 years old, it’s paramount to start your breast screenings by using mammograms.

A mammogram is an X-ray examination that utilizes low-energy X-rays to identify any abnormal masses, areas of irregular density, and calcifications in the breasts. Generally, the National Cancer Institute identifies two types of mammograms:

  • Screening mammogram: Used to detect breast changes in women showing no signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
  • Diagnostic mammogram: Women experiencing abnormalities in their breasts, such as pain, change in breast size and shape, thickening of the nipple, and nipple discharge, should undergo a diagnostic mammogram.

Read full article to know more about how mammogram results are interpreted to differentiate a normal breast from a potentially cancerous one. Having a mammogram at least annually is vital to find breast abnormalities before they can be detectable through physical touch. 

2. Pap Smear

Technological innovation has immensely helped the medical industry, and this specific health test is one of its greatest contributions. Cervical cancer, which is a cancer in women characterized by changes of cells in the cervix, used to be the leading cause of death in American women. Thanks to Pap smear, or Pap test, more women prevent and survive cervical cancer.

In a Pap smear, your physician will obtain a sample of your cervical cells through the vaginal entry. It’s usually done along with a pelvic examination, and, sometimes, a human papillomavirus (HPV) test, as some cases of cervical cancer stems from the human papillomavirus.

Upon discovering and treating precancerous cervical cells early, a woman’s survival rate increases to almost 100%. Also, cervical cancer develops slowly, giving women more time and opportunity to detect them immediately.

Doctors recommend undergoing a Pap smear every three years if you’re aged 21 to 65, but you should take more frequent Pap tests if you have the following risk factors for cervical cancer:

  • Has a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Has multiple sexual partners
  • Has a weaker immune system
  • Has a history of cigarette smoking

3. Blood Pressure Screening

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Heart diseases remain the leading cause of death globally. Increasing age is listed as one of the major risks of heart conditions, alongside physical inactivity, family history, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Regardless of the number of risk factors a woman possesses, it’s paramount to perform a comprehensive blood pressure screening every year. Not everyone experiencing high blood pressure may experience its symptoms, and it’ll be only a matter of time before it develops in several years.

A blood pressure screening uses a sphygmomanometer to examine the systolic and diastolic pressure manifested from your heartbeats. Advanced medical facilities utilize automated blood pressure machines today.

Moreover, take note of these tips to stay away from high blood pressure:

  • Have your own blood pressure monitor at home and learn how to use it
  • Keep yourself away from day-to-day stress
  • Follow a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight
  • Be physically active
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption

4. Bone Density Screening

Aside from breast and cervical cancer, another medical condition prominent in the women population is osteoporosis. Your lifestyle and health habits during your previous years, starting from childhood to early adulting, contribute to your risks of developing bone disease. Unfortunately, 68% of people with osteoporosis in the US are women.

To keep your bones in check, a bone density screening is necessary for women in their 40s. This test can help diagnose osteoporosis by estimating your bones’ density and assessing how likely they are to break.

Bone density screening uses different methods and apparatuses for different bone groups. For instance, the central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) focuses on the hip bone and spine, while bones in the heel, lower arm, wrist, and finger use any of the following peripheral tests:

  • pQCT (peripheral quantitative computed tomography)
  • pDXA (peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)
  • QUS (quantitative ultrasound)

5. Cholesterol Test

High cholesterol levels in the body are a significant driver of heart attacks and diseases. Although a higher percentage of men suffer and die from cardiovascular diseases, women are surprisingly at more risks for high cholesterol.

Triglycerides, a group of lipids or fat found in your blood, present more dangers in the women population because they tend to increase along with age and impending menopause. Undergoing a quick and painless cholesterol test will save your life.

A cholesterol test is an outpatient procedure where a physician will take your blood sample and analyze the following lipids in your blood and their ideal findings:

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides: 10 to 150 mg/dL

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6. Thyroid Test

Some of the most common issues that affect women after the age of 40 include gaining weight, experiencing hair loss, having brittle nails, and feeling exhausted. Hypothyroidism, often known as an underactive thyroid, is a prevalent cause of this condition.

This gland is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism by producing the hormones T3, T4, and TSH, which it then secretes into the bloodstream. Alterations of any kind have the potential to bring about significant changes in the body.

Because of the significant hormonal shifts that occur in women throughout pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and menopause, women have a higher risk of developing this condition. Beyond the age of 40, it is recommended that women get this test done once every three years.

7. Vision Test

Even if you believe you have good eyesight in general, it is important to have your vision checked at least once every 1 to 2 years, if not more frequently. Your prescription for glasses may need to be adjusted because it gets more difficult for many women in their 40s to see things that are close up.

8. Dental Test

Make at least one and preferably two trips per year to the dentist for checkups and cleanings. Individuals who have been to the dentist in the past three months had reduced rates of gum disease compared to those who haven’t gone in over a year. Gum disease can be prevented by going to the dentist regularly.

9. Heart Test

The risk of heart disease often rises after a woman has gone through menopause; nevertheless, the 40s are an excellent time to begin reducing factors that increase a woman’s risk of heart problems; these factors include cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity.

10. Skin Test

The majority of dermatologists as well as many primary care doctors recommend having a skin exam performed by a dermatologist at least once a year. It is up to you whether or not you go once a year, but you should at the very least be monitoring your skin often and going to the doctor if you see any changes.

11. Depression or Mental Test

Regardless of your age, this should be done at every appointment by your primary care physician. Nonetheless, there are certain points in a woman’s life when she may be more susceptible to being used. Women in their 40s and older who are approaching menopause may find that their moods shift unexpectedly at times.

12. Hearing Test

If you are above the age of 40 and have not yet had your hearing checked, you should do so as soon as possible given the significant role that aging plays in hearing loss. Audiologists advise that individuals should get their hearing checked once every 10 years up until the age of 50, and then once every 3 years after that.

13. Vaccine

Your doctor needs to make sure that all of your vaccinations are up to date, including the one against Human Papillomavirus, which is also referred to as HPV. This is important to prevent the development of some cancers or genital warts.

14. Urinalysis Test

Urinalysis is a test that examines your urine for any abnormalities. It can diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, and infections of the urinary system, amongst others. During a urinalysis, the color, concentration, and composition of urine are observed and evaluated. For instance, if you have an infection in your urinary tract, you may notice that your urine is murky rather than clear. Renal disease may be present when there is an increase in the amount of protein present in the urine. Urinalysis results that do not typically require additional investigation almost always pinpoint the cause of the issue.

15. Annual Exam

Regular checkups at the doctor’s office might help identify any health issues early on or even before they manifest. Your age, the medical history of your family, and the risk factors you are exposed to will all play a role in determining the tests and screenings your doctor will prescribe for you during your physical exam. In addition, you should examine the lifestyle choices you’ve made.

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Did You Know?

  • Your metabolism gradually becomes less efficient as you become older. This indicates that you probably won’t be able to get away with maintaining some of the behaviors you did while you were in your 20s and 30s.
  • Your risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression is reduced when you keep a healthy weight or a BMI of under 25.
  • It is not unusual for people to experience shifts in their vision throughout time. Beginning in your early to mid-40s, you may notice that it is more difficult to see things clearly at close ranges. If this is the case, it may be time to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist to receive a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Also, you may find that you require lighter to see than you did in the past, struggle with glares while driving, and notice shifts in how colors appear to you.
  • If you want to avoid having to wear dentures in the future, you can’t afford to slack up on your oral hygiene routine right now. It calls for you to keep flossing every day, even though it hurts. If you start young and practice good dental hygiene, you’ll have your natural teeth well into your senior years.
  • Periodontitis, often known as gum disease, is typically due to poor oral hygiene and can result in the loss of teeth. Unfortunately, as you get older, your risk of developing it increases due to the changing hormones in your body.
  • You were bound to experience some level of stress throughout your 20s and 30s. You probably became accustomed to feeling a little bit overwhelmed as a result of your profession, your relationship, or the fact that you are bringing up a family. Now that you are in your 40s or older, it is imperative that you make it a priority to reduce your stress levels.
  • You might not give little healthy behaviors enough importance, but they do matter.
  • It’s important for women over the age of 40 to be aware that they may find they smile less and less. This is because of the natural aging process of the lip’s musculature, which, is a result of the enamel on the teeth being worn down by grinding and clenching.


Living a healthy lifestyle is known to keep one’s health in tip-top condition. However, you can’t simply determine that you’re in good health by telling yourself that you don’t feel sick. In one way or another, there should be ways to measure your health, either through quantitative and qualitative methods, which are known today as health tests and examinations.

As you reach 40, add these routine examinations to your list and start making appointments with your trusted health professionals.