You're 21-35

What do I want?

Between general good health, disease screening and tackling life’s other lady health issues as they arise, you have a lot to think about. Whether you’re trying – or TRYING NOT – to get pregnant, our providers can help you understand your reproductive health, fertility and contraceptive options so you can enjoy these years, however you plan to spend them.

  • Hello, uterus.

  • Lucky you!
  • Your annual visit is still important.
  • Preventing pregnancy is part of preventative healthcare.
  • Speaking of pregnancy…
  • Medical records, test results and privacy.
  • Deductibles, copays and more.
  • Lucky you!

    It’s time for your first Pap test! Ok, so maybe it’s not quite as fun as some of the other things going on in your life right now, but cervical cancer screenings, known as Pap tests, begin at age 21 and are an important part of keeping you healthy. During the test, your provider will collect cells from the outside of your cervix. At the lab, your cells will be examined by a pathologist for any changes that might lead to cervical cancer. Good news: if everything is normal your provider could recommend waiting up to three years for your next one! Beginning at age 30, your provider will likely recommend a Pap test together with an HPV test. If both of these are normal, you may be able to go five years between cervical cancer screenings.

  • Your annual visit is still important.

    Even if you’re not due for Pap test. Depending on your situation and needs, your visit may include a breast and pelvic exam. Your provider may also listen to your heart and lungs and look at your skin for any obvious changes that could indicate skin cancer.

  • Preventing pregnancy is part of preventative healthcare.

    If you don’t want to become pregnant, your provider will probably want to talk about what you’re doing to actively prevent it. This is the perfect time to discuss whether you’re happy with your method of birth control. There are many options available and your provider can help you find the one that works best for you. If you decide to start using a long-acting form of contraception—such as the intrauterine device or contraceptive implant, you may (or may not) need a follow-up visit to have it inserted.

  • Speaking of pregnancy…

    If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, your provider would love to talk to you about how to get ready for that. Being healthy when you conceive will help you have a healthier pregnancy.

  • Medical records, test results and privacy.

    WHA is part of a network of providers in the community who share one medical record system, which streamlines your access to your health information, including report results, and makes it easier for us to deliver coordinated care.

  • Deductibles, copays and more.

    Insurance is confusing. Learn more about what you should know going into your visit—and how to ask your insurance company for the information you need.

A Simple Guide to Screenings and Prevention

Cervical cancer screening
STI screening
HIV Test
HPV vaccine
Seasonal flu vaccine
Tdap vaccine

Cervical cancer screening

From age 21 to 30, you should have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer every three years or, as recommended by your provider. Beginning at age 30 (and going until age 65), cervical cancer screening guidelines recommend a Pap test and an HPV test done together. If your results are normal, your provider may recommend waiting up to five years to test again.

STI screening

Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for sexually transmitted infections. Talk to your provider if you’ve had a new partner since your last test.

HIV Test

Every woman should be tested for HIV at least once. There is no agreement among medical professionals about how often re-testing should occur; your provider may assess your risk and recommend re-testing.

HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine is recommended for women and men up to age 26. Even if you’ve tested positive for HPV—the vaccine can protect you against other types of HPV that are also known to cause cancer and genital warts.

Seasonal flu vaccine

Everyone six months and older should receive the flu vaccination every flu season. The flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and older adults.

Tdap vaccine

Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine (if they did not receive it as an adolescent) to protect against pertussis (whooping cough) and a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably sometime between 27 and 36 weeks.

Is This Normal?

Answers you want, questions you may not want to ask

Let's Talk About It

Here are some topics your provider may bring up

  • 1 Family planning

    Family planning

    Family planning is deciding when (or if) you want to have children, how many to have and how to space their births—and taking active measures to follow your plan through the use of contraception. Your provider can help by answering any questions you have about fertility, becoming pregnant and birth control.

  • 2 Relationships


    Relationships are the personal connections and emotional bonds between people that are often formed and strengthened by mutual experiences. They can be family relationships, friendships or romantic relationships. Healthy relationships are free of physical, emotional or sexual threat or abuse. Ideally, they are kind, honest, respectful and emotionally supportive. Talk to your provider if you need help dealing with an unhealthy, stressful or abusive relationship.

  • 3 Emotional wellbeing

    Emotional wellbeing

    Emotional health and wellbeing refers to our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life in a positive way and recognize and manage negative emotions, like stress, anger and sadness. Emotional health is very important to physical health because when you’re not able to process negative emotions or manage stress, it can impact sleep or lead to unhealthy coping strategies—such as substance abuse, emotional eating, etc. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, your relationships are suffering or you’d like help finding healthier coping strategies, talk to your provider about a referral to one of our behavioral health specialists.

  • 4 Abnormal bleeding
  • 5 Contraception
  • 6 Disease prevention

    Disease prevention

    Sometimes your risk of developing a disease–such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes–is linked to family history or genetics. But there are often steps you can take to reduce your risk. (The fancy term for this is “modifiable risk factors.”) Examples of modifiable risk factors include not smoking, not drinking alcohol excessively, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol. Talk to your clinician about your health and family history and what you can do to minimize your risk.

More Resources for You

Our Moment of Truth

Learn more about midwifery care and women's health during pregnancy and beyond on this site from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.


A website to compare the cost of prescription medications.

The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – this is a great resource for vaccination and disease screening and prevention recommendations.


On online resource and forum for women having bleeding issues, fibroids, pelvic pain, etc.

Office on Women’s Health

Articles, fact sheets, resources and infographics on staying healthy throughout your life from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Excellent breastfeeding information!

ACOG Patient Information

Information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on a wide variety of women’s health issues.


A website about birth control and STDs.

M. Catherine Schaefer, CNM, ND, MSN - Nurse-Midwife in Portland, OR M. Catherine Schaefer, CNM, ND, MSN
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Check Accepted

If you’re pregnant and want to begin care at WHA–or need to schedule an appointment during your pregnancy, call us! Find a provider and location here.

Please have your insurance information handy before you begin scheduling.

This will allow our teams to check whether your plan may require a referral for the care you need or to prepare benefits information to share with you at your visit. If you do not enter insurance information when scheduling, you may be asked to pay a $200-$500 deposit before receiving service.