Although fertility declines as we age, you can still get pregnant until menopause. Talk to your provider about your current health and risk of breast cancer to decide what type of contraception might be right for you.
If you’ve chosen to wait to begin having mammograms to screen for breast cancer or have been–or have been on the every-other-year plan—your provider will recommend annual screening by age 50.
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.
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.
Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women of average risk beginning at age 65, but talk to your provider about starting earlier if you have had broken bones as an adult; you have a biological parent who has had a hip fracture; or if you smoke, drink excessively or are underweight. Also discuss screening frequency, which can vary from person to person.
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50, but talk to your WHA or primary care provider about starting screening earlier if you:
Have had a close relative with colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
You have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
You have certain genetic conditions.
We may be able to help with some of these when we see you. Otherwise, see your primary care provider for screening related to:
High blood pressure. Get your blood pressure every year. 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.
We can help with seasonal flu and Tdap if you’re in to see us.
Seasonal flu vaccine is especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, and older adults.
Tdap vaccine (if you’ve never had one) or a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years.
Shingles vaccine. Healthy adults aged 50 years and older should get a zoster vaccine to prevent shingles and complications from the disease.