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Women’s Preventive Health Care

Did You Know?

Women are particularly at risk of developing problems in their reproductive organs and should make efforts to reduce their risks by engaging in regular screenings, examinations and tests to detect problems early on. Read on for some preventive care recommendations.

  • Mammogram - Women should have a mammogram every one to two years after age 40.
  • Pap Smears - Women should have their first Pap smear at age 21 and continue to have one every two years. Women age 30 and over who have had three normal Pap smears in a row should have one every three years.
    • Screening can be stopped in women 65-70 years old who have had three or more consecutive normal Pap smears.
  • Pelvic Exams - Women who have been sexually active should have a pelvic exam every one to three years after having three consecutive normal exams to detect signs of illness.
  • Cholesterol Screening - Women should have a cholesterol test every five years after age 20.
  • Bone Density Test - Women over age 65 should have routine bone density tests to detect the risk of developing osteoporosis. This disease makes the bones more fragile and likely to break.
  • Blood Pressure - Women should have their blood pressure taken at least every two years to detect early signs of hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening - Women should have a colorectal screening to detect cancerous cells and growths in the inside wall of the colon after age 50.

Healthy Hints

If you have family history of any of these diseases, be sure to speak with your doctor. You may need to have more frequent screenings or begin screening earlier.

It is also wise for women who are thinking about trying to conceive to visit their physician for a full check-up. At this time, the doctor can address any health concerns that may inhibit conception or may pose dangers to a baby once conception occurs.

By Zywave, Inc.