Taking Care of Your Health

In all the bustle of taking care of everything—and everybody else, women sometimes forget to take care of themselves. This handout lists the schedule for recommended health checks, tests, and vaccinations for women who are at average risk for most diseases. These charts are guidelines only. Your health care provider may suggest more frequent testing if you have a family history or personal medical history that suggests you have a higher chance of getting cancer or other diseases.

Screening Tests Ages 18–39 Ages 40–49 Ages 50–64 Ages 65 and older
  1. Adapted from: the National Women’s Health Information Center. Available at: http:www.4woman.govscreeningchartsscreenings-general.pdf
General Health:
Full checkup, including weight and height Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider
Thyroid test (TSH) Start age 35, then every 5 years Every 5 years Every 5 years Every 5 years
Eye and Ear Health:
Eye exam Get your eyes checked if you have problems or visual changes Every 2–4 years Every 2–4 years Every 1–2 years
Hearing test Starting at age 18, then every 10 years Every 10 years Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider
Mental Health Screening Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider
Oral Health:
Dental exam 1–2 times a year 1–2 times a year 1–2 times a year 1–2 times a year
Skin Health:
Mole exam Self exam monthly; Health care provider exam every 3 years Self exam monthly; Health care provider exam every 3 years Self exam monthly; Health care provider exam every year Self exam monthly; Health care provider exam every year
Heart Health:
Blood pressure test At least every 2 years At least every 2 years At least every 2 years At least every 2 years
Cholesterol test Start at age 20, talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider
Diabetes:
Blood sugar test Talk to your health care provider Start at age 45, then every 3 years Every 3 years Every 3 years
Bone Health:
Bone mineral density test Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Get a bone density test at least once.
Talk to your health care provider about repeat testing.
Breast Health:
Mammogram (breast x-ray) Every 1–2 years. Every 1–2 years. Every 1–2 years.
Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider Talk to your health care provider
Reproductive Health:
Pap test & pelvic exam Every 1–3 years if you have been sexually active or are older than 21 Every 1–3 years Every 1–3 years Talk to your health care provider
Chlamydia test If sexually active, yearly until age 25. Ages 26–39, if you are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, you may need this test If you are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, you may need this test. If you are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, you may need this test. If you are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, you may need this test.
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) tests (HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis) Both partners tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, before having sexual intercourse. Both partners tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, before having sexual intercourse. Both partners tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, before having sexual intercourse. Both partners tested for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, before having sexual intercourse.
Colorectal Health:
Fecal occult blood test Yearly Yearly
Colonoscopy Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider Every 10 years Every 10 years
Rectal exam Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider Every 5–10 years with each screening test Every 5–10 years with each screening test
Flexible sigmoidoscopy Every 5–10 years (if not having a colonoscopy) Every 5–10 years (if not having a colonoscopy)
Double contrast barium enema (DCBE) Every 5–10 years (if not having a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy) Every 5–10 years (if not having a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy)
Immunizations:
Influenza vaccine Discuss with your health care provider Discuss with your health care provider Yearly Yearly
Pneumococcal vaccine One time only
Tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine Every 10 years Every 10 years Every 10 years Every 10 years

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Recommended Screenings for Women with High Risk Factors

The National Women’s Health Information Center

http:www.4woman.govscreeningchartsscreenings-general.pdf

Quiz on healthy lifestyle, information on healthy eating, calculate your BMI, learn about the symptoms of depression and other problems that are common in women.

Web MD

http:www.webmd.com

Health Tools for Women

Web MD

http:www.webmd.commedicalinformationhealthtoolshealthywomendefault.htmz36288100000001500

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