As you get older and your body begins to change, your health needs will start to shift as well. What may be important to your health in your 20s, may not be as important in your 50s, and vice versa. Here are women’s preventative health tips at every decade of your life:
In your 20s
Establish relaxation techniques
It’s no question that your 20s are a time full of change and uncertainty. During this transitional period, it’s no wonder many people feel more anxious compared to other periods of their lives.
That’s why it’s crucial to establish healthy coping mechanisms for stress now so that you’re nurturing your mental well-being, while also setting yourself up to tackle stress more effectively as you grow into adulthood.
During these years of young adulthood, one of your preventative health tips is to:
Assess Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis risks
While they are different conditions, the warning signs of both PCOS and Endometriosis may be present in your 20s. With PCOS, hormonal imbalances can lead to numerous cysts developing on the ovaries.
PCOS symptoms typically include:
- Infrequent periods
- Painful sex
- Excess hair growth
- Difficulty conceiving
Endometriosis, on the other hand, occurs when cells from the uterine lining grow on other areas, like the ovaries, rectum, or bladder. Signs comprise of painful periods, intense cramping, and pain during and after sex.
Both conditions are difficult to diagnose, which is why it’s crucial for you to bring up any concerns with your doctor and don’t stop until you find your solutions.
Health screening in your 20s:
- Pap smear every 3 years from the age of 21 on to check for HPV
- Pelvic exam and STI test annually
Women’s preventative health tips: For your 30s
Protect your skin
Your skin is your largest organ, making it a bigger target for potential problems. You may not have worn as much sunscreen as you should have in your younger days, but if you haven’t already, now is the time to establish a skin-care routine with sun protection.
Sun damage is possible no matter what time of the year it is, so be sure to wear sunscreen on exposed skin every day. If you worry about already existing signs of sun damage, start by visiting a dermatologist.
This professional can conduct yearly skin exams to see if there’s anything is abnormal. It’s also a great idea to speak to a dermatologist about skin-care solutions for sun-induced damage.
From there, you can get prescribed an anti-aging cream to help reverse:
Check fertility status
After the age of 35, a woman’s fertility may begin to decline. For this reason, it’s important to reflect on whether you’d like to start a family or not.
If you would like to have children, or just want to see if you have the option to do so, visit your gynecologist to assess your fertility status. This step can begin your family planning and find infertility solutions, if needed.
Health screenings in your 30s:
- Thyroid test from 35 on every 5 years
- Skin cancer assessment annually
When you’re in your 40s
Modify fitness routine
As you age, physical activity is more imperative to your health than ever before as it helps to keep your body strong and healthy. Your metabolism, joints, and bones will likely change in your 40s, which is why it’s essential to reflect on how your body is feeling.
This self-reflection allows you to assess how best to adjust or implement your fitness routine. You may want to add more walking daily than before, for example, as well as some weight-bearing activities.
Find small opportunities to stay active, like taking the stairs or stretching every hour. Or maybe you used to be a runner, but your body feels like it could benefit from yoga now.
However you decide to adjust your fitness routine, just be sure to listen to your body as you go.
Manage perimenopausal symptoms
Perimenopausal symptoms may arise during your 40s as your body prepares for actual menopause. Your body experiences a disruption in estrogen levels as it gets ready to stop releasing eggs.
Common symptoms during this time can include:
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness
Everyone’s experience is different, however. If you struggle with any symptoms, bring them to your doctor’s attention as soon as possible.
Health screenings in your 40s:
- Blood cholesterol test annually
- Bone mineral density test annually
Women’s preventative health tips in your 50s and beyond
Evaluate weight gain
As mentioned earlier, your body changes as you age. Eating a cheeseburger now may stay in your hips longer than it used to, for instance, and that’s perfectly okay.
What’s significant here is to evaluate how your weight is changing and where in your body these changes are happening. If it’s weight gain out of nowhere, speak to your doctor about possible testing you can get done to find out why.
By contrast, if you’re struggling to keep the weight off, there are simple lifestyle changes to try to remedy the situation. In addition to exercise and physical activity, start by eating better.
It’s easy to eat out all the time, but by making healthy recipes at home, you’ll not only save money but also save calories. Make this something fun and find a new healthy cookbook to use to sample recipes.
Supplements and vitamins
It’s not uncommon to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, especially during menopause. For example, women require calcium and vitamin D to retain proper bone density and formation. Thus, getting enough of both calcium and vitamin D is essential for females to combat osteoporosis during this time of your life.
Supplements can be helpful if still lacking from natural sources of vitamin D and calcium found in foods and drinks. You can also speak to your doctor about possibly testing for any deficiencies and evaluate which supplements would be ideal for you.
Health screenings from age 50 onward:
- Mammogram yearly
- Colonoscopy every 5 to 10 years depending on family history
- Shingles vaccine
Are these women’s preventative health tips new to you? Are you due for any female checkups soon?