Recommended Annual Exams and Immunizations for Women in 2019 [Infographic]

Posted: 
January 2019

Schedule these exams for women to help you stay healthy in the New Year.

To help you stay healthy so you can pursue all your goals in the year ahead, consider making time to schedule your yearly women’s health appointments. While you’ll encounter many other medical tests and screenings throughout your lifespan, these recommended annual exams and immunizations for women are the ones to focus on every year:

  • Breast exams
  • Pelvic exam (Pap smear may be indicated)
  • Blood pressure check
  • Influenza vaccine

Continue reading about these yearly exams for women to help stay on top of your health.

Our infographic shows the recommended annual exams and immunizations for women in 2019.

Breast exams

There are three types of breast exams to think about every year – and more often in some cases. Aim to perform a self-exam monthly because you can be the first line of defense against any unusual lumps, discharge, or discomfort that may appear. The more frequently you self-examine, the more likely you’ll notice any changes that may warrant follow-up with a doctor. Since you can’t always detect breast cancer on your own, getting a clinical breast exam at your gynecologist’s office every year during your Well-Woman exam may help you discover any abnormalities early. If you’re over 40 or your doctor recommends it sooner, you may also need to schedule an annual mammogram appointment where an x-ray scans your breasts to look for lumps or changes in your breast tissue.

Read more about mammogram guidelines and what to expect during your appointment here.

Pap smear & pelvic exam

Pap smears used to be an annual standard for most women. However, unless you have risk factors for cervical cancer or new guidelines no longer recommend you schedule one every single year, screening may be recommended every 3-5 years for women 21-65 at average risk. 

Even if you’re not due for a Pap smear this year, an annual pelvic exam should remain on your list for 2019. During this quick exam for women, your doctor will perform a physical and manual assessment of your vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, rectum, and pelvis.

Blood pressure check

Another recommended annual screening for women is a blood pressure check. Even if your last reading was normal, re-check it again at least once every year. If you have high blood pressure, re-check it within a few weeks or months to see if it has lowered or talk to your doctor about lifestyle modifications and other interventions that can help. A blood pressure check is a straightforward test that only takes a few seconds. Often, people even monitor their blood pressure at home, which can be a healthy option if you’d like to know your numbers in between appointments.

Influenza vaccine

Getting the flu shot isn’t a guarantee against getting the flu, but it is an annual recommended immunization for women (and men) to help stave off this potentially devastating illness. The CDC explains that within two weeks of the shot, antibodies develop which protect against three flu viruses (whichever ones research suggests will be most prevalent). It’s particularly important for high-risk groups like the elderly, young children, those with certain medical conditions, and pregnant women.

These recommended annual exams, screening tests, and immunizations for women may not be the only ones you’ll need in 2019. It’s important to talk to your women’s health doctor about other screenings you may be due to schedule, depending on your age, risk factors, and the date of your last non-annual exams. Click to request an appointment online or call (920) 885.6090 to see our doctors, midwives, and women’s health team in the New Year.

 

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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