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Osteoporosis Prevention and Risk

Bone density testing is primarily done to check for and prevent conditions like osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of harmful fractures. While many women will start needing routine bone density tests—including one called a DEXA scan—at around age 65, we encourage you to talk with your provider about scheduling a test earlier if you are at high risk.

Some high-risk factors for osteoporosis can include:

  • Women age 65 or older
  • Women who are underweight
  • Excessive tobacco or alcohol consumption
  • Certain conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain medications, such as antiseizure medications

Your healthcare provider can help you determine when regular screenings are needed based on your health and history.

Is There a Link Between Osteoporosis and Menopause?

The hormone estrogen helps protect against bone loss. Women who have gone through menopause may be more susceptible to osteoporosis because they produce less estrogen. If you have gone through or are going through menopause, your provider is here to help you adjust to this new stage of your life and recommend preventative healthcare services, such as bone density testing.

How is Bone Density Tested?

Your bone health is tested through a DEXA scan. You will be asked to lie down for up to 10 minutes while the scan measures bone density at the heel, spine, hip, wrist, and hand. The scan will be reviewed by a radiologist to determine if your bone density is normal, low, or at risk.

After testing, your provider will reach out to go over the results and make a plan for scanning frequency or the next steps. We are here to support you by recommending preventative testing and lifestyle changes that put your safety and bone health first.

Talk with Your UWH of Michigan Provider About Next Steps for Bone Density Testing

Bone density testing is an important part of women’s healthcare that monitors your bone health to prevent and treat osteoporosis. If you are over the age of 65 or have questions about your risk for osteoporosis, contact your UWH of Michigan provider today.