General Health Screenings And Immunization Recommendations For Women

Many people only go to the doctor when they are sick or injured, but every healthy adult should still see their healthcare professional at least yearly. Many organizations recommend regular preventive exams and screenings, including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. You should speak with your doctor about the screenings you should receive, but here are some of the most commonly recommended for women.

General health screenings

There are some yearly health screenings that are considered “general” and should be done regularly. Here’s a little info you should know about some of them, though there are others you may need depending upon your current health, lifestyle, and family history.

Well-woman visits: These are good for screening for cervical cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and lab work. Speak with your doctor about your lifestyle habits and vaccinations at every well-woman visit.

Thyroid screening: Most healthy adults do not have to get yearly thyroid testing, but it is recommended for those 40 years and older. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to get tested for hypothyroidism.

Diabetes: Getting tested for diabetes, even if you aren’t sure you have symptoms, can help you identify high blood sugar levels. That means that you could detect diabetes earlier. It is typically recommended that adults get tested every three years starting at age 45. If you have any of the following risk factors, you can and should get tested at any age.

  • Obesity
  • Blood pressure higher than 140/90
  • Current blood pressure medication use
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • A previous history of gestational diabetes

Breast health: This is one of the most important types of women’s healthcare that you should receive.

  • It is generally recommended that women between the ages of 40 and 50 begin getting mammograms every one to two years to detect breast cancer early.
  • Clinical breast exams should be done every three years starting around 20 to 30 years of age.
  • Women 40 and over should receive a breast exam every year.
  • Self-breast exams should be done often at home.

Immunizations

As stated above, you should speak with your doctor to find out which services are right for you. This includes immunizations. Here are some of the most typical immunizations you may encounter.

  • Influenza (flu) vaccine: This is recommended for all people ages 6 months and over.
  • Hepatitis A: This is given to children who are one year of age in two doses, 6 and 18 months apart. Adults can also get this immunization if they feel they are at risk of getting hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis B: Children get this at the ages of 0, 1, and 6 months. If children or adults who weren’t vaccinated are at risk of getting hepatitis B, they can still get the immunization.
  • Herpes zoster: Adults can get this once at the age of 60 or over to help prevent shingles, even if they have already had this painful condition.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus): This immunization helps protect against the 9 most common types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer and against genital warts, which is also HPV-related. It is given at ages 11 to 12, though it can be given to women ages 13 to 45 if not previously administered. No booster is necessary, but the immunization must be given in 3 doses at 0, 2, and 6-month intervals.
  • Measles, mumps, rubella: Also known as MMR, this immunization protects against all three viruses.
  • Meningococcal (meningitis): This is required for military personnel and most college students. You and your doctor can decide if you are at risk and not in these two categories.
  • Pneumonia: This immunization should only be given once at the age of 65 or older, though it can be given to younger people at risk due to the following circumstances.
    • Chronic heart conditions
    • Lung or liver disease
    • Asthma
    • Alcoholism
    • Diabetes
    • Smokers
  • Td/Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis): This is typically given to patients every 10 years.
  • Varicella (chickenpox): People 19 years of age and over who have not been previously vaccinated (or who have not had chickenpox) can get this immunization. It is given in two does in 0- and 4- to 8-week intervals.

Immunizations during pregnancy

It is recommended by the CDC that pregnant women get two immunizations. These are the flu shot and Tdap. For the flu shot, you can get it at any time while pregnant. The best time to get the Tdap vaccine is between 28 and 36 weeks.

Women’s Healthcare Associates is here for you!

The Team at WHA is ready to help you stay healthy and happy! We provide a variety of Services, including health screenings and immunizations. Give us a call at (806) 355-6330 to schedule an appointment and learn more About Us.

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© Women'Healthcare Associates 2017 - All rights reserved
Website design and marketing by UCI Digital