Revisit your birth control method. Is it still working for you? Is your family complete? Do you want to consider something else?
Recommendations on when to begin having mammograms to screen for breast cancer vary and begin as early as age 40 for women of average risk. Talk to your provider about your risk factors and make a plan for when to start.
Pap smears with combined HPV testing continue until age 65. If your results are normal, your provider will likely recommend screening every three to five years, depending on what type of testing you’ve had in the past and your past results.
While the risk of sexually transmitted infection generally goes down as we age (yay!), you’ll still want to talk to your provider if you’ve had a new partner since your last screening. Women should also 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.
We want to make sure all of you is healthy! These are the recommendations for general health screening in this age bracket. A primary care provider can help you stay on top these, if we’re not addressing them when you’re in to see us:
High blood pressure. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends getting your blood pressure tested every year beginning at age 40; before age 40, every two to three years is okay if you don’t have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Optimal blood pressure in healthy women is less than 120/80.
Diabetes. Screening for diabetes is recommended if you are overweight or obese, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or have had diabetes during pregnancy.
Thyroid disease. Periodic screening is recommended for women beginning at age 45.
Cholesterol/lipids. Screening tests for high cholesterol are recommended periodically for all women, but may be done more frequently if you are overweight, obese or have other risk factors.
Don’t forget to get your seasonal flu vaccine. If you are or become pregnant, you should also have a Tdap vaccine sometime between 27 and 36 weeks. If not, you should get a “Td” (tetanus and diphtheria) booster every 10 years.