• What Regular Screenings Do Women Need?

    on Aug 24th, 2015

While it's important for everyone to receive an annual physical exam, there are some regular screenings women need in particular. Although the frequency of the screenings depends on your age and unique health situation, most women should have these tests done on a routine basis.


Regular Screenings for Women

Blood Pressure - If your blood pressure is at a regular level, you'll only need to get it checked every 2 years. However, you may need to get it checked more often if you have high blood pressure (120-139/80-89 Hg or higher) or if you have heart disease, diabetes, or other health concerns.

Cholesterol - Beginning at age 20, women should have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.

Dental - The health of your teeth and mouth is important to your overall health. You should visit your dentist for a yearly exam including a cleaning and sometimes an x-ray to check for hidden decay.

Pap Smears - By age 21, a woman should begin having pap smears biennially. Pap smears, paired with a pelvic exam, can check for cervical cancer, STDs, and any irregularities of the reproductive system.

Mammograms - While you should do a monthly breast self-exam to check for abnormal lumps, it's important to have a complete breast exam done by your doctor every 3 years. If you're 40 or older, a mammogram should be done every 1-2 years to test for breast cancer.

Eyes - If you have problems with your vision, get your eyes examined every 2 years. Women 45 and older should have their eyes regularly checked for glaucoma

Blood Glucose - Women 45 and older, or sooner depending on your risk, should receive a blood glucose test every 3 years to test for diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Colon Cancer - Although you generally don't need to start colon cancer screenings until age 50, you may have to start sooner if you're at a greater risk. Colon cancer screenings involve a sigmoidoscopy (flexible lighted tube and camera) that exams the lower part of the colon and a colonoscopy (longer tube) that exams the whole colon. If the tests are clear, the sigmoidoscopy should only need to be repeated every 5-10 years, while the colonoscopy should only need to be repeated every 10 years.

Bone Density - At the age of 65, women should begin regular bone density screenings. These screenings are done with low-dose x-rays called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA, scans. You may need to start these screenings sooner if you're at a greater risk for osteoporosis.


If you have questions about the best screenings for you, talk to your doctor to find out what exams are most important for you right now.


Make sure to check out our post on the regular screenings needed for men.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog post and any related links is not considered medical advice and is not to be used in the place of a doctor's visit. Always consult your physician with any questions or concerns and before starting any new products or procedures. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Never ignore professional medical advice from your doctor, or delay seeking or employing it, because of the information contained in this blog post and related links. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.


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