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TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

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  2. TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
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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 TestsAges 18–39Ages 40–49Ages 50–64Ages 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 heightDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care provider
Thyroid test (TSH)Start age 35, then every 5 yearsEvery 5 yearsEvery 5 yearsEvery 5 years
Eye and Ear Health:    
Eye examGet your eyes checked if you have problems or visual changesEvery 2–4 yearsEvery 2–4 yearsEvery 1–2 years
Hearing testStarting at age 18, then every 10 yearsEvery 10 yearsTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care provider
Mental Health ScreeningTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care provider
Oral Health:    
Dental exam1–2 times a year1–2 times a year1–2 times a year1–2 times a year
Skin Health:    
Mole examSelf exam monthly; Health care provider exam every 3 yearsSelf exam monthly; Health care provider exam every 3 yearsSelf exam monthly; Health care provider exam every yearSelf exam monthly; Health care provider exam every year
Heart Health:    
Blood pressure testAt least every 2 yearsAt least every 2 yearsAt least every 2 yearsAt least every 2 years
Cholesterol testStart at age 20, talk to your health care providerTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care provider
Diabetes:    
Blood sugar testTalk to your health care providerStart at age 45, then every 3 yearsEvery 3 yearsEvery 3 years
Bone Health:    
Bone mineral density test Talk to your health care providerTalk to your health care providerGet 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 providerTalk to your health care providerTalk to your health care provider
Reproductive Health:    
Pap test & pelvic examEvery 1–3 years if you have been sexually active or are older than 21Every 1–3 yearsEvery 1–3 yearsTalk to your health care provider
Chlamydia testIf sexually active, yearly until age 25. Ages 26–39, if you are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, you may need this testIf 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  YearlyYearly
ColonoscopyDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care providerEvery 10 yearsEvery 10 years
Rectal examDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care providerEvery 5–10 years with each screening testEvery 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 vaccineDiscuss with your health care providerDiscuss with your health care providerYearlyYearly
Pneumococcal vaccine   One time only
Tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccineEvery 10 yearsEvery 10 yearsEvery 10 yearsEvery 10 years

FOR MORE INFORMATION

  1. Top of page
  2. TAKING CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
  3. FOR MORE INFORMATION

Recommended Screenings for Women with High Risk Factors

The National Women's Health Information Center

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Health Tools for Women

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This page may be reproduced for noncommercial use by health care professionals to share with clients. Any other reproduction is subject to JMWH approval. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JMWH suggests that you consult your health care provider.