Recommended Health Screenings for Women of All Ages

Be certain to talk with your health care provider about your personal risk factors, including family history, to determine when you should begin regular screenings. For some women, it's best to start particular screenings at an earlier age.

It is important to discuss your  body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, with your primary care provider. For younger family members, be sure to discuss this with their pediatrician. Establishing a relationship with your primary care provider is an important step to maintain your overall wellness and learn healthy lifestyle choices.  

Age 9

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: three shots given over six months (recommended for females ages 9 to 26)

When Sexually Active or by Age 18

  • Pelvic exam/Pap smear: annually first three years, then every one to three years based on exam results
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis): frequency based on risk

Age 18

  • Breast self-exam: monthly
  • Clinic breast exam: every three years from ages 20 to 39; annually from age 40
  • Pelvic exam/Pap smear: first three years, then every one to three years based on exam results

Age 20

  • Cholesterol: every five years based on results

Age 21

  • Blood pressure: every one to two years based on results
  • Pap smear (cervical cancer): every one to three years based on results

Age 40

Age 45

  • Blood sugar test (type 2 diabetes): every three years based on results

Age 50

  • Bone density scan (DEXA): talk with your health care provider
  • Colonoscopy: every 10 years based on results
  • Double-contrast barium enema (colon and rectum X-ray): every five years if not having colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): every one to two years based on results
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: every five years
  • Flu shot: annually
  • Health maintenance exams, including vision and hearing impairment: talk with your health care provider

Age 65

  • Pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia): once

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-7900.

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