Women’s health: Which exams you should be getting done at what age

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 3:52 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There are a lot of doctors and annual exams to be done as a woman in her 20s, 30s, and 40s, but knowing when to go and who to see can feel overwhelming.

Experts at UAB broke down when you should start seeing certain doctors for exams and at what age.

Dr. Audra Williams is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAB. She said most women should start seeing a gynecologist in their teens and have their first Pap smear at 21.

“If they’re normal, we really don’t have to repeat them three years or even five years as a woman gets older,” said Williams.

She said your 20s and 30s are the prime years for reproduction. It is also recommended during those years to have your blood pressure checked for heart disease, which is typically done at an annual primary care appointment or gynecology appointment.

Your early 30s is when it’s recommended to start going to a dermatologist to start checking for any abnormalities.

During a women’s 40s in when menopause may start. Women between their 20s and 40s should get an annual eye exam done, but women getting close to menopause may notice dry eye symptoms as well.

“As we get into our 40s, lot of women are going to be approaching period menopause or menopause. Starting to have irregular periods, starting to have hot flashes,” said Williams.

Even if you do not feel that something is wrong, Williams said to always go to your annual exams to make sure you’re getting all the appropriate screenings done.

“We want to make sure that things are continuing to maintain healthily and that you’re getting all the screenings that you need throughout your lifetime,” said Williams.

While it can be hard to keep up with all the appointments, most practices will send annual reminders. Williams also recommends putting a reminder in your phone.

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