Women's Health Screenings Change Going Through Menopause

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • Reaching middle age is a time for many changes. Whether it’s watching your adult children start college, welcoming new grandbabies or dealing with emerging issues related to your aging parents, you’ve got to be ready to deal with change.

     

    And that includes what to expect from your doctor as it relates to your health. Beginning around the age of 40, you’re going to need some additional tests, such as a baseline exam to determine eye health. And those health screenings will continue to change in your 50s and 60s. So let’s go through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommended screenings based on age.

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    When you are between the ages of 40 and 49 (which is often when you’re in perimenopause), you should get the following types of health screenings:

    • A general check-up that addresses weight, tobacco use, alcohol use, depression, a thyroid exam, and an examination of your skin for moles, skin cancers and other issues. Schedule these examinations at intervals as recommended by your health care provider.
    • An examination to determine your HIV status at least once during this decade. Talk to your health care provider to determine if you need additional testing while in this age range.
    • A blood pressure test to screen for heart health every two years or more.
    • A cholesterol test to screen for heart health. The frequency of this test should be based on the recommendation of you r health care provider.
    • A blood glucose or A1c test to screen for diabetes starting at the age of 45. This test should be repeated every three years.
    • A mammogram every 1-2 years to screen for breast health, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • A clinical breast exam to screen for breast health. The frequency of this screening should be based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • A pap screening every three years to determine reproductive health.
    • A pelvic exam annually to determine reproductive health.
    • A chlamydia test to determine reproductive health. Your health care provider should order this assessment if you’ve had a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners.
    • A test to see if you have any sexually transmitted infections. This should be ordered based on a discussion with your health care provider.
    • A baseline eye examination at the age of 40 and then a follow-up every 2-4 years based on your doctor’s recommendation.
    • A hearing screening every 10 years.
    • A routine dental and oral cancer examination.
    • The influenza vaccine annually.
    • The pneumococcal vaccine in consultation with your health care provider based on whether you smoke or have a chronic health problem.
    • Tetanus, diphtheria vaccine or the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine every 10 years based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Hepatitis B vaccine, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Hepatitis A vaccine, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine if you haven’t had at least one dose. Talk to your health care provider about this.
    • Chickenpox vaccine if you’ve never had this disease or have been vaccinated but only had one dose. Consult with your health care provider on this.
    • Meningococcal vaccine, based on the recommendation of your health care provider.

    When you are between the ages of 50-64 (which is when many women go through the menopausal transition), your health care screening needs change slightly, so here are the recommendations:

    • A general check-up that addresses weight, tobacco use, alcohol use, depression, a thyroid exam, and an examination of your skin for moles, skin cancers and other issues. Schedule these examinations at intervals as recommended by your health care provider.
    • An examination to determine your HIV status at least once during this period. Talk to your health care provider to determine if you need additional testing while in this age range.
    • A blood pressure test to screen for heart health every two years or more.
    • A cholesterol test to screen for heart health. The frequency of this test should be based on the recommendation of you r health care provider.
    • A bone mineral density test, based on a consultation with your health care provider.
    • A blood glucose or A1c test to screen for diabetes starting every three years.
    • A mammogram every 1-2 years to screen for breast health, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • A clinical breast exam to screen for breast health. The frequency of this screening should be based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • A pap screening every three years to determine reproductive health.
    • A pelvic exam annually to determine reproductive health.
    • A chlamydia test to determine reproductive health. Your health care provider should order this assessment if you’ve had a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners.
    • A test to see if you have any sexually transmitted infections. This should be ordered based on a discussion with your health care provider.
    • Screening for colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about which test you should have done and how often you need to be tested.
    • An eye examination every 2-4 years until the age of 55. After that, you should have your eyes examined every 1-3 years until the age of 65 based on your doctor’s recommendation.
    • A hearing screening every three years.
    • A routine dental and oral cancer examination.
    • The influenza vaccine annually.
    • The pneumococcal vaccine in consultation with your health care provider based on whether you smoke or have a chronic health problem.
    • Tetanus, diphtheria vaccine or the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine every 10 years based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Hepatitis B vaccine, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Hepatitis A vaccine, based on your health care provider’s recommendation.
    • Measles, mumps, rubella vaccine. Talk to your doctor about this vaccine, especially if you haven’t had at least one dose and were born in 1957 or later.
    • Chickenpox vaccine if you’ve never had this disease or have been vaccinated but only had one dose. Consult with your health care provider on this.
    • Meningococcal vaccine, based on the recommendation of your health care provider.
    • The zoster vaccine for shingles when you reach the age of 60.
    • Work with your doctor on these preventative screenings and you’ll be doing your part to maintain your health as you age.


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  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. (2014). A lifetime of good health: Your guide to staying healthy.

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Published On: April 21, 2014