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Women’s Preventative Care Timeline Infographic: Courtesy of John Hopkins Medicine.

Women's Preventative Care Timeline

Age 11-12: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is recommended for all girls (and boys) for protection from types of HPV that can cause cancers, such as cervical cancer, and genital warts.

Age 20: Start annual visits with your gynecologist. Your provider will also perform a breast exam every one to three years.

Age 21-29: Get a Pap test every three years. This allows your provider to look for changes in your cervix that may require treatment.

Age 30: If you have normal results, you may only need to have a Pap test every five years.

Age 40: Start getting mammograms every year. This screening looks for signs of breast cancer at an early, treatable stage. An annual breast exam by your gynecologist is also recommended.

Age 45-50: Colon cancer screening can detect cancer at an early stage, when it is easier to treat. It is recommended that women start screening at age 50, and African American women earlier, at 45.

Age 65: A bone mineral density scan checks for osteoporosis. Also, talk to your doctor about whether you need to continue having Pap tests.

Age 75 and up: Speak with your provider about whether you still need to have mammograms and colon cancer screening. For some women, it might make sense to stop these tests.

***The timeline above are based on average-risk women. If you are at higher risk for certain problems your provider may recommend that you start testing at an earlier age, or that you repeat a test more frequently. A primary care provider, may also recommend screening for high cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid disease or other health issues.

***The vaccine can be administered from ages 9 through 45, so talk to your provider if you have not received it.

***Mammogram recommendations vary among medical organizations.


Talk to your provider about screening for sexually transmitted infection and family planning options if your are sexually active.

Talk to your provider about your mental and emotional health. Hormone changes associated with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum period, and perimenopausal can affect you mood.

You are not alone.

Taking a folic acid supplement or prenatal vitamins with 400mcg to 800mcg or folate will help protect against birth defects.

Eat a healthy diet, exercise and maintain a health weight. A healthy lifestyle helps reduce your risk of many health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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