What should women at 26 know

An overview of preventive examinations for women

The woman - a precautionary grump? That's more like saying to men, isn't it? Just under half of all women over the age of 20 undergo preventive examinations for early cancer detection. These are an integral part of the service catalog of the statutory health insurance companies. Everything you should know about this can be found in condensed form in this post.

The main focus of prevention is tumor and cardiovascular diseases, because these are among the most common causes of death in Germany. Regular examinations declare war on these diseases and lay the foundation for staying healthy. Because: the sooner the doctor diagnoses an illness or determines a risk, the better the chances of recovery.

Which preventive medical check-ups are useful for women?

Regardless of whether it is a matter of going to the dentist or the gynecologist - preventive care begins at a young age. Below you will find the most important preventive examinations paid for by statutory health insurances.

Don't lose sight of your vaccination protection

You will already receive your first vaccinations as a baby, because these are also part of the preventive measures and protect you from infectious diseases. Complete vaccination protection is important into adulthood - you should renew your protection against diphtheria and tetanus every ten years, for example. Statutory health insurance pays for all vaccinations that are recommended in the so-called vaccination guideline. Since this is based on the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute, you can get an overview yourself in the institute's current vaccination calendar. For example, the following vaccinations are recommended:

  • Influenza: standard vaccination from 60,
  • Pneumococci: standard vaccination from 60,
  • Haemophilus influenza type B,
  • Hepatitis A and B,
  • Rabies,
  • Meningococcal infection,
  • Poliomyelitis (polio),
  • Rubella,
  • Whooping cough,
  • HPV vaccination (cervical cancer): free of charge for girls between the ages of 9 and 14 after medical advice.

It is best to have your vaccination certificate checked regularly by your GP or gynecologist so that you do not miss anything important.

From childhood on: Checking out caries and the like in good time

Regular dental examinations are necessary for the milk teeth and from the age of 18 at the latest, there should be two dental appointments per year. In this way, the dentist can identify damage to the teeth in good time and remove tartar. The oral health study by the Institute of German Dentists has proven that caries can be reduced in all age groups through preventive measures alone.

But not only the teeth benefit from regular preventive care: misalignments often affect the entire body, from the musculoskeletal system to the internal organs. Inflammation in the mouth can even damage the kidneys or heart.

From 20: Going to the gynecologist is worthwhile

From the age of 20, an annual visit to the gynecologist for the early detection of cervical cancer is advisable. The preventive care includes an examination of the external and internal genitals and a swab of the cervix and cervix. As part of the so-called "Pap test", the smear is examined for possible changes under the microscope.

Another possibility for early detection of cervical cancer is the HPV test. The swab taken is examined for pathogens in the laboratory. The result is available within a few days, and you will be notified immediately of any abnormalities. However, the statutory health insurances usually do not cover any costs for this test.

From 30: Detect breast cancer in good time thanks to a preliminary examination

Breast cancer screening is also an essential part of the gynecological examination. From the age of 30 you are entitled to a palpation examination once a year. The doctor looks for lumps, indurations or enlarged lymph nodes and guides you to examine yourself.

From 50 to 70 years of age, the statutory health insurance pays a mammogram every two years. This examination is carried out with X-rays and allows early detection of tissue changes in the breast. Before the age of 50, you are entitled to an examination if breast cancer is suspected.

If the tissue in the breast is compressed, conventional mammography is not sufficient. In this case, an ultrasound scan is done to find changes that cannot be felt. If breast cancer is suspected, this examination is paid for by the statutory health insurance.

Health from 35? Check!

The health check from the age of 35 or "Check-up 35" takes place at the family doctor or internist. It includes the following services:

  • Detailed anamnesis interview: The doctor asks about your medical history, common illnesses and your health behavior. From this, initial conclusions can be drawn about possible risks.
  • Examination of the organs, the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system and the sensory organs
  • Blood pressure measurement: High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Detected early on, it can be reduced with medication or by changing lifestyle habits.
  • Blood draw: total cholesterol and blood sugar are determined in the laboratory.
  • Urine sample: The urine suggests weaknesses or diseases of the kidneys.

If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, your doctor will advise you to change your lifestyle during a consultation. A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep and a good balance between work and leisure can go a long way towards improving values.

If your risk of cardiovascular disease is low, an interval of five to ten years is sufficient for the health check.

Also from 35: Make your skin the main thing

From the age of 35 at the latest, you should have your skin examined regularly from head to toe. The doctor pays attention to induration, discoloration or conspicuous birthmarks and takes tissue samples if they are suspected. The examination is done with the naked eye. Its aim is to detect both black skin cancer and light skin cancer at an early stage. Because with a timely diagnosis, the chances of recovery are good.

In addition to examining the skin with the naked eye, there is an examination that is carried out with the help of a so-called reflected light microscope. This is a hand-held microscope through which the doctor can magnify abnormal areas of the skin. In which cases this variant of skin cancer screening makes sense cannot be answered across the board. With statutory health insurance, the examination is not always part of the reimbursement.

From 50: Don't forget the large intestine

From the age of 50 you are entitled to an annual examination of the colon. The stool is tested for hidden blood using a paper strip test. This can be an indication of polyps, chronic inflammatory diseases or colon cancer. A tactile examination for hardening or changes in the tissue supplements the paper strip test.

A colonoscopy is advisable from the age of 55. The entire colon is examined with a small mirror. If there are polyps in the intestine, they are removed. The polyps are usually benign, but they can change in a malignant manner. Colorectal cancer starts with benign polyps in 90 percent of all cases - a factor that can be circumvented through preventive measures.

The colonoscopy is repeated after ten years. Since the examination takes place in twilight sleep, it is no longer as uncomfortable as it used to be. And it pays off: according to studies, more than 80 percent of all colon cancers can be prevented through preventive care. However, there is also an alternative: Instead of a second colonoscopy, you can have the paper strip test carried out every two years.

Provision for risk groups

Some preventive examinations are only useful for people at increased risk. This includes:

  • Examination of the eyes:
    From the age of 40 every two years with increased intraocular pressure, especially in diabetics for the early detection of glaucoma.
  • Complete blood count:
    In case of complaints or suspicion of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Examination of the heart and blood vessels:
    If there is a family history of heart attack or stroke.
  • Breath test:
    For heartburn, flatulence, frequent diarrhea or pressure in the stomach for the detection of a Helicobacter pylori infection.
  • Examination of the thyroid:
    If a thyroid disorder is suspected, from the age of 40 years.

As a rule, the costs for these examinations are only covered by the health insurance if there is a justified suspicion of a corresponding illness - or because you belong to one of the risk groups.

Are you expecting a baby? Care during and after pregnancy

In the event of pregnancy, preventive care for women consists of examinations and counseling services. Ultrasound and blood tests reveal high-risk pregnancies and enable faster intervention in an emergency. In addition, you will receive comprehensive advice on topics such as health risks and nutrition before and after pregnancy. All basic examinations are covered by health insurance, only additional services, such as a 4-D ultrasound, have to be paid for by yourself.

When does private supplementary insurance make sense?

There are also examinations in the area of ​​preventive care that are not included in the catalog of services provided by statutory health insurers, for example cancer early detection measures without a minimum age requirement. This means that the costs are only covered when you have reached a certain age. If you are younger and would like to have the examination carried out, the statutory health insurance companies will not cover the costs. In addition, the statutory health insurance usually covers the costs for additional examinations during pregnancy, such as B. the triple test or the neck transparency measurement, not. A private supplementary insurance can therefore be quite useful. Depending on the tariff, private supplementary insurances cover a whole range of additional preventive examinations that go beyond the spectrum of statutory health insurances. With private supplementary insurance, you can usually find pension benefits in so-called outpatient care tariffs - with Envivas, they are included in the PraxisTop tariff.

Practical pension calendar

To keep your pension as simple as possible, you can download our pension calendar here. This gives you a practical overview of all preventive examinations that are included in the catalog of services of the statutory health insurance companies. So you always know which examination is possible and when.