Depending upon your age and health history, we recommend that all women who are sexually active or over the age of 21 should have annual exams and wellness screenings. During your “Well Woman” visits, your physician will update your family history and perform a routine physical exam to include a clinical breast exam and pelvic exam. It is also important for all women to have a Pap test as part of their routine health care. Contrary to some beliefs, there is no established age limit for the Pap test even if you have already gone through menopause. Once you reach age 65, you can discuss your risk factors with our family physician to determine whether you need to continue having Pap tests.
- Pregnancy Testing
- Sexually Transmitted Infection Evaluation and Treatment
- Preconception Counseling
- Family Planning
- Pap Smears
- Annual Physical Examination
Women’s Health screening – ages 18 – 39
You should visit your health care provider from time to time, even if you are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for medical issues
- Assess your risk of future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for women ages 18 – 39.
Blood Pressure Screening
- Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 – 139, or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 – 89 mm Hg, you should have it checked every year.
- Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. Or check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
- If you are between ages 20 – 45, you should be screened if you have a higher risk for heart disease. In healthy women, screening will begin at age 45.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.
- If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, your provider will test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
- If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight.
- Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.
- If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years. ￼￼
- You should get a flu shot every year.
- After age 19, you should have one tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TdAP) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
- You should receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
- Your provider may recommend other immunizations if you are at high risk for certain conditions, such as pneumonia. ￼Ask your provider about the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine if you are between ages 18 – 26 and you have:
- Not received the HPV vaccine in the past (you will need all 3 shots)
- Not completed the full vaccine series (you should catch up on this shot)