Important women's health screening tests. Plus, a women's health mini quiz
Good health stems from healthy lifestyle habits. Most medical experts agree that, in general, the following are important steps to maintaining good health:
- Be physically active.
- Get at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
- Get to a healthy weight, and stay there.
- If you smoke, quit.
- If you drink alcohol, limit it to one drink per day.
Important screenings that can help keep a woman's health on track
Although everyone's individual health needs are unique, there are still important screenings that can help you keep your health on track. Review these guidelines recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to determine which health screenings you may need.
This chart is meant to be used as a general guide: don't wait if you are currently experiencing problems or have concerns based on family or personal health history. As always, discuss your individual needs with your healthcare provider. And be sure to check with your insurance plan to find out which tests are covered.
|Screening Test||Age 18-39 Years||Age 40-49 Years||Age 50-64 Years||Age 65 & Older|
|Blood pressure test||Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.
Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
|Bone mineral density test (osteoporosis screening)||Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis.||Get this test at least once at age 65 or older. Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.|
|Breast cancer screening (mammogram)||Discuss with your doctor or nurse.||Starting at age 50, get screened every 2 years.||Get screened every 2 years through age 74. Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened.|
|Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)||Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older, have had sex, and have a cervix.||Get a Pap test every 3 years if you have had sex, and have a cervix.||Get a Pap test every 3 years if you have had sex, and have a cervix.||Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.|
|Cholesterol test||Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.||Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.|
|Colorectal cancer screening (using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)||Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.||Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75. Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.|
|Diabetes screening||Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.|