Preventive medicine can be just as important to your health as diet and exercise – and may even save your life. But with all the different things floating around out there, how’s a girl to know when she needs to go to the doctor?

Here are a few reasons to schedule a check-up, even if you’re feeling healthy as can be:

Do you know your blood pressure?

Starting at age 18, women should begin getting their blood pressure checked at least once every two years if their blood pressure runs normally.

Have you been screened for cervical cancer?

At age 21, you should begin getting screened for cervical cancer every three years until age 30. After age 30, women should get screened every five years.

Do you need to get screened for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)?

All women who are sexually active – especially those who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant – should be screened yearly for all STDs.

When do you need to get a mammogram?

When a woman needs to begin getting mammograms depends on her specific situation. Typically women begin discussing it with their doctor at age 40, and get the test sometime in their 50s, but talk to your physician about your genetic makeup/family history to determine when the best time to begin testing would be.

Do you know your cholesterol?

You should start getting your cholesterol checked around age 40. Unless you have an increased risk of heart disease due to family history, in which case you would start getting checked at age 20. How often your cholesterol needs to be checked is another thing you and your doctor should discuss.

How strong are your bones?

Women are naturally more susceptible to bone loss, so it is important to begin discussing your risks and getting bone mineral density tests at age 50.

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