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Health and Wellness Guidelines for Women

Women’s Health by the Decades

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Women have a higher risk of developing certain serious health conditions such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and gynecological cancer. Many of these conditions can be prevented or managed if the warning signs are found early enough, which is why women’s health services often focus on health screenings and wellness programs.

Below, we briefly review some simple steps you can take to stay vigilant through every decade of your life.

Download Women’s Health by the Decades PDF

20s | 30s | 40s | 50s | 60s | 70s | 80s

In Your 20s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).

Heart Health

Diabetes

Blood glucose or A1c test: Get screened if you are at risk for developing diabetes.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: At least every three years.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: At least every three years.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly beginning at age 21.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test yearly until age 24 if sexually active. After age 25, get this test if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Eye and Ear Health

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: Up to age 26, if your vaccine series is incomplete, discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Meningococcal vaccine: Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are a college student or military recruit.

Download In Your 20s PDF

In Your 30s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).

Heart Health

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Every 3 years. Discuss your risk factors for diabetes with your doctor or nurse.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: At least every three years.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: At least every three years.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test yearly if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Eye and Ear Health

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Meningococcal vaccine: Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are a college student or military recruit.

Download In Your 30s PDF

In Your 40s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).

Heart Health

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Every three years. Discuss your risk factors for diabetes with your doctor or nurse.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: At least every three years.
  • Mammogram: Yearly starting at age 40.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: At least every three years.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test yearly if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal Health

  • Screening should begin at age 45. Frequency varies by testing method and screening results.

Eye and Ear Health

Lung Health

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan in adults starting at age 50 who have a 20-pack-year history smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.

Download In Your 40s PDF

In Your 50s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).
  • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening: Get this one-time screening if you were born between 1945 and 1965.

Heart Health

Bone Health

  • Bone density test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse. Test if you are at increased risk.

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Every three years. Discuss your risk factors for diabetes with your doctor or nurse.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: Yearly.
  • Mammogram: Annually.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: At least every three years.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal Health

Frequency varies by testing method and prior screening results. Talk with a health care provider about which tests are best for you.

Eye and Ear Health

Lung Health

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan in adults starting at age 50 who have a 20-pack-year history smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: (to prevent shingles) One-time only; discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Download In Your 50s PDF

In Your 60s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).
  • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening: Get this one-time screening if you were born between 1945 and 1965.

Heart Health

Bone Health

  • Bone density test: At least once at age 65. Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Every three years. Discuss your risk factors for diabetes with your doctor or nurse.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: Annually.
  • Mammogram: Annually.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal Health

  • Frequency varies by testing method and prior screening results. Talk with a healthcare provider about which tests are best for you.

Eye and Ear Health

Lung Health

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan in adults starting at age 50 who have a 20-pack-year history smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: One time only.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: One-time, two dose vaccine recommended for adults 50 years and older.

Download In Your 60s PDF

In Your 70s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).

Heart Health

Bone Health

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Get screened if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure, or are at risk for developing diabetes.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: Yearly.
  • Mammogram: Annually through age 74.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal Health

  • Frequency varies by testing method and prior screening results. Talk with a health care provider about which tests are best for you.

Lung Health

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan in adults starting at age 50 who have a 20-pack-year history smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Eye and Ear Health

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: One time only.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: One-time, two dose vaccine recommended for adults 50 years and older.

Download In Your 70s PDF

In Your 80s

General Health

  • Full checkup: Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening: Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).

Heart Health

Bone Health

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test: Get screened if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure, or are at risk for developing diabetes.

Breast Health

  • Breast self-exam: Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam: Yearly.
  • Mammogram: Official recommendations vary. Discuss the schedule that is right for you with your doctor or nurse.

Reproductive Health

  • Pap test: Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Pelvic exam: Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests: Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.

Pelvic Health

  • Screening for urinary incontinence annually.

Mental Health Screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal Health

  • Frequency varies by method. Screening among women 76 to 85 should be an individual decision based on overall health and prior screening history. Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Lung Health

  • Screen for lung cancer with low-dose CT scan in adults starting at age 50 who have a 20-pack-year history smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Eye and Ear Health

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral Health

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine: Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine: Every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: One time only.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine: One-time, two dose vaccine recommended for adults 50 years and older.

Falls Prevention

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse annually.

Download In Your 80s PDF

Screenings

Receiving regular health screenings should be part of your normal health routine. You do not need to receive the same screenings every year, but you should have a schedule worked out with your physician to determine how often you should receive each screening based your medical history and risk factors.

Talk with your doctor about when and how often you should receive the following screenings:

  • Mammograms
  • Pap smears
  • Pelvic exams

Risk Assessments

Your risk factors for certain medical conditions will vary depending on your age, ethnicity, weight, and family medical history. One of the reasons finding a primary care physician is so important is that they can evaluate all of your risk factors and help you take steps to prevent any conditions you may be more predisposed to.

Schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable physician today to receive a complete assessment of your risk factors.

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