4 Annual Health Checks All Women Should Have

Preventative health care can provide women with the answers to what is going on inside their bodies. Naturally, aging means our bodies will likely change in different ways. Knowing how to support these changes and gain insight into anything else occurring is vital to retaining total health.

This is where preventative healthcare comes in. Preventive healthcare is the practice of going to routine appointments and screenings to make sure your body is working as it should. Typically these screenings occur every 12 months and are helpful diagnostic tools should anything untoward be happening.

A bonus is that these checks can help reduce your medical costs as many problems will be discovered earlier in many cases.

But what screening do women need to have?

Annual Check-Ups

Keeping out your annual check-up with your physician can help you identify any areas of concern and make the required referrals, such as, if applicable. Your annual physical will take into account many different areas of your body and help your doctor compare any changes against the previous year, both good and bad. That doesn’t replace going to doctor’s visits when required throughout the year.

Pap Smear

Current advice from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, you should undergo a Pap smear every three years. Your doctor will recommend your first pap smear should be at 21 and continue until age 65. As part of the cervical screening procedure, your doctor will use a speculum to widen the vaginal canal before removing cells from the cervix with a small brush and examining those cells for alterations that could indicate cervical cancer development. In the case of women above the age of 30, they can undergo the test every five years if they combine it with screening for HPV, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to cervical cancer.

Skin Exams

Women should examine their skin at least once a month in the comfort of their own homes. Be thorough when discussing your body, looking for any new moles or changes to existing moles that could potentially indicate the presence of skin cancer. New moles or changes to existing moles may indicate the presence of skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, speaking with your doctor or dermatologist about how often you should have an in-office check-up is recommended if you have a family history of skin cancer.


When doing a mammogram, which is used to screen for breast cancer, it is necessary to compress the breast between two plates to obtain X-ray images. Women should undergo a mammogram every two years starting at the age of 50. However, the American Cancer Society recommends that women begin yearly mammograms at the age of 45 and then transition to biennial mammograms at 55 or beyond. This will be different again if you have a family history of the disease or any additional concerns. Talk to your doctor about beginning annual screening earlier rather than later.

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