COLORADO, USA — Women’s Health Week is a great reminder for women to make sure they are taking care of themselves.  

Staying healthy throughout your life, starting in your 20s, is so important.

Below are general tips for healthy women (broken down by age):

20s & 30s

Immunizations:

  • Flu annually
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine (up to age 26 years old)
  • Tetanus plus diphtheria and pertussis (for whooping cough protection especially if you are thinking about getting pregnant). Just tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years

Screening tests:

  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI) annually
  • PAP smear every three years (21 years old- 30 years old) then every five years with HPV screening
  • Blood pressure every two years
  • Cholesterol especially if you have a strong family history or other risk factors for heart disease or stroke checked every 5 years
  • Consider diabetes screening based on risk factor discussion with your doctor

40s & 50s

Immunizations:

  • Flu shot annually
  • Tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years
  • Shingles/Herpes Zoster shot starting at age 50

Screenings:

  • Blood pressure annually
  • Cholesterol every 5 years, or sooner if you have risk factors
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years by age 44 years old, sooner if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure or obesity
  • Mammograms every 1-2 years for breast cancer screening. May start earlier than 40 years old depending on family history and other risk factors.
  • Colon cancer screening on regular basis (based on type of test) by 50 years old. May be earlier depending on family history and risk factors.
  • If you are with the same partner you do not need STI screening. If you have multiple partners, then STI screening annually.

60+

Immunizations:

  • Flu shot annually
  • Pneumonia vaccine at age 65 years old
  • Tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years
  • Shingles/Herpes Zoster shot if you have not had it

Screening tests:

  • Blood pressure annually
  • Cholesterol every 5 years, or sooner if you have risk factors
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years
  • Mammograms every 1-2 years for breast cancer screening.
  • Osteoporosis screening with bone density testing starting at age 65. May be earlier if you have had fractures.
  • Colon cancer screening on regular basis (based on type of test). After 75 years old, discuss if you still need screening with your doctor.
  • If you are with the same partner, you do not need STI screening. If you have multiple partners, then STI screening annually.
  • PAP smear for cervical cancer may not be needed after 65 years old. Discuss with your doctor.

Consult your doctor if you have a strong family history of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and different types of cancers. 

Your screening may vary based on your own risk factors, family and social history.

Follow 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Comilla Sasson on Facebook and Twitter. Have a medical question or health topic idea? Email Dr. Comilla at comilla.sasson@9news.com 

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