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Women's Healthcare Guidelines

Picture of a woman smiling

The National Women's Health Information Center offers the following 10 things you can do to help live longer, live better, and live happier:

  1. Be Informed. Learn about health promotion and disease prevention and ask your physician for specific information regarding your needs.
  2. Be Good To Your Bones. For healthy bones, be sure to replenish your stock of calcium every day with plenty of foods such as milk and dairy products, tofu, leafy, green vegetables, canned salmon or sardines, and calcium-fortified juices or breads. Speak with your physician about calcium supplements.
  3. Avoid Illegal Drugs and Alcohol. For women, the definition of moderate drinking stops at one glass. And, where illicit drugs are concerned, there is no such thing as "moderate" use.
  4. Take Medicine Wisely. Read the labels, follow the instructions carefully, and remind your physician or pharmacist about any other medicines or supplements you might be taking that could interact with your medication. If you have any questions about possible side effects, call your physician or pharmacist.
  5. Play It Safe. Avoid injuries. Buckle up. Wear a bike helmet. Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Wear sunscreen and UV protected sunglasses. Use street smarts and common sense. Practice safe sex.
  6. Get Checked. Get regular checkups, preventive examinations, and immunizations. Do not forget self-examinations, too.
  7. Do Not Smoke. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in our country.
  8. Eat Smart. It is the secret to good health. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Enjoy a variety of foods, balance foods from each food group, and exercise moderation.
  9. Get Moving. The other secret to good health: just 30 minutes of physical activity, accumulated over the course of each day, can radically improve the way you look and feel, both physically and mentally.
  10. Be Happy. Take time for yourself. Get connected with family, friends, and community. Do things you enjoy!

Routine activities for women to ensure good health:

These charts provide general healthcare guidelines for women, but are not meant to replace any advice and guidance given by your physician. Please use them as a reminder to take care of your personal healthcare needs, and also as a list of topics you may want to discuss with your physician.

Each Day Each Month Each Year Other
Exercise 30 minutes a day. Perform a breast self-examination. Have a dental checkup once or twice a year. Have vision and hearing checked annually. After age 20: every 5 years have a full lipid profile test for cholesterol and triglycerides.

Protect yourself from the sun - use sunscreen and dress appropriately.

Perform an oral cavity self-examination - gums, teeth, lips, tongue. After age 50:
have a physical examination by your physician.
Every 3 years
after age 30:
have a physical examination by your physician.
Watch your fat intake - no more than 25 to 35 percent of your calorie intake. Most fats should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Perform a full-body self examination for unusual moles or other skin conditions. Have your physician examine moles annually, or immediately for suspicious growths. After age 50: have a DRE (digital rectal examination). Every 2 years
after age 40:
have a physical examination by your physician.
Eat sources of protein such as lean or low-fat meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. Be aware of your weight - check your BMI (body mass index). Have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. After age 50:
have a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or as recommended by your physician.

Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

At least half of all of the grains eaten should be whole grains.

Consume 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products per day.

  Beginning at age 55, get a flu shot. After age 50: have a colonoscopy every 10 years, or as recommended by your physician.
Be aware of your alcohol intake.   After age 40: have
a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
After age 50: have a double contrast barium enema every 5 to 10 years, or as recommended by your physician.
Be aware of your stress level.   After age 50: have
a fecal occult
blood test.
Get a tetanus/diphtheria (td) booster every 10 years
    Have a pelvic examination and Pap test every 1 to 3 years. After age 65: get the pneumococcal vaccine; also recommended for those younger than 65 who have medical problems such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disorders, sickle cell anemia, and other chronic conditions, or for those who work or live in high-risk areas.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Women's Health

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