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Health Screening Guidelines for Women 18 to 39

Screening tests and health counseling are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes and checkups can reduce the risk of disease. Or the goal may be to find it early to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not used to diagnose a disease. But they are used to see if more testing is needed. Below are guidelines for these, for women ages 18 to 39. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.

Gender words are used here to talk about anatomy and health risk. Please use this information in a way that works best for you and your provider as you talk about your care.

Screening

Who needs it

How often

Alcohol misuse

All adults

At routine exams

Blood pressure

All adults

Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal*

Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg*

If your blood pressure is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

Breast cancer

All women in this age group should talk with their healthcare providers about breast self-awareness

At routine exams 

Cervical cancer

Women ages 21 and older

Women between ages 21 and 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years. HPV testing is not advised.

Women between ages 30 and 65 should have a Pap test plus a high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) test every 5 years or a Pap test alone every 3 years, or every 5 years with hrHPV testing in combination with cytology (cotesting).

Chlamydia

Sexually active women, including those who are pregnant and who are:

  • 24 years and younger

  • 25 years and older at increased risk for infection

 

At routine yearly exams or as advised during pregnancy

Depression

All women in this age group

At routine exams, including during and after pregnancy

Diabetes mellitus, type 2

Adults with no symptoms who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more extra risk factors for diabetes (such as having a close relative with diabetes or having had diabetes in a previous pregnancy)

At least every 3 years (annual testing if blood sugar has begun to rise) Blood sugar should be tested for gestational diabetes around week 24 of pregnancy.

Gonorrhea

Sexually active women, including those who are pregnant and who are:

  • 24 years and younger

  • 25 years and older at increased risk for infection

 

At routine yearly exams or as advised during pregnancy

Hepatitis C

Anyone at increased risk for infection

At routine exams (once between age 18 and 79)

HIV

All women

At routine exams, including during pregnancy. Preexposure prophylaxis should be offered to those at high risk of HIV infection.

Obesity

All adults

At routine exams

Syphilis

Women at increased risk for infection

At routine exams if at risk

Tuberculosis

Anyone at increased risk for infection

Check with your healthcare provider

Vision

Women in this age group 1

Every 5 to 10 years if no risk factors for eye disease

Health Counseling

Who needs it

How often

Breast cancer, chemoprevention

Women at high risk

When risk is noted. Chemoprevention may be recommended after age 35.

BRCA mutation testing for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility

Women with increased risk

When risk is noted. Genetic counseling is recommended and genetic testing if indicated.

Diet and exercise

Women who are overweight or obese

When diagnosed and at routine exams

Domestic violence

Women at the age in which they are able to have children

At routine exams

Sexually transmitted infection prevention

Women who are sexually active

At routine exams

Skin cancer

Prevention of skin cancer in fair-skinned adults through age 24

At routine exams

Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease

All adults

Every exam

* American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines

1 From the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Other guidelines are from the USPSTF.

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Robert Hurd MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2021
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