The 6 Appointments Women Need to Make Every Year

Woman scheduling appointments

Every January, countless women compile a list of lofty New Year’s resolutions. While many are centered around healthy living (like eating better, losing weight, exercising more, etc.), these goals often get pushed aside by busy schedules and commitments. However, setting goals is an important party of living a healthy lifestyle, and there is a better way to get started right now, before January 1st.

Setting up your physicians’ appointments now means that all your work is already done! All you have to do is show up to your appointments on time with the proper paperwork. That is one huge step towards healthy living in the new year!

What Appointments to Schedule This Year:

  • Primary Care Physician

How often? Once a year; more often if you are pregnant.

For what? You should see your primary care physician once a year for your annual checkup. They will check your blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, and update your vaccinations and your medical history. If you have noticed any changes to your health, your yearly checkup is the perfect time to talk to your doctor about them. Depending on your medical history and health, your doctor may order blood tests to check your blood sugar levels, cholesterol, kidney function, liver function, and other levels. Some blood tests require fasting beforehand, so your physician may have you schedule a follow-up appointment.

  • Optometrist

How often? Once a year or every other year.

For what? Depending on your eye health, you may need to see an optometrist once a year or once every two years. At your routine eye exam, the doctor will check for signs of eye disease, including glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. If you wear glasses or contacts, your annual appointment is the perfect time to have your prescription updated. Early prevention is key in eye-related disease, so regular eye appointments are crucial to your overall health.

  • Dentist

How often? Once every six months.

For what? Twice a year, you should visit your dentist for a routine cleaning appointment. During this appointment, the dental hygienist will clear plaque and stains from your teeth by cleaning and polishing them. If you have been experiencing any issues or pain with your teeth or mouth, you will also have the opportunity to discuss it with your dentist. Once a year, the dentist will also take X-rays of your teeth to screen for tooth or gum decay.

  • Dermatologist

How often? Once a year.

For what? At a regular dermatological visit, the doctor will perform a skin cancer screening and examine any moles, spots, or lesions. If you have a family history of skin cancer or you spend a lot of time in the sun, your dermatologist may recommend visiting more often than once a year. Additionally, if you notice a significant change to your skin or have a specific concern, do not wait until your next check-up; you should immediately schedule an appointment.

  • Gynecologist

How often? Once a year; more often if you are pregnant.

For what? Every year, you should receive a pelvic exam. At this exam, the physician will examine your uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and rectum. The doctor will look for any abnormalities or changes to your pelvic health. If you are between the ages of 21 and 29, you will also receive a pap smear every one to three years. If you are 30 to 65, you will receive a pap smear every five years. Women older than 65 don’t need to receive a pap smear. If your pap smear yields abnormal results, your provider may recommend HPV testing.

If you are sexually active, you should also be tested yearly for STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and syphilis. Every woman should be tested at least once during her lifetime for HIV, as well.

  • Radiologist

How often? Once a year, or every other year.

For what? Women can begin receiving mammograms at age 40. If you decide to wait to start receiving mammograms, you should wait no longer than age 50 to begin. Depending on what you prefer and your doctor recommends, you can receive a mammogram every year or every other year. You should continue with regular mammograms until you are 75. Mammograms are crucial in screening for breast cancer.

Other Appointments

One of your doctors may recommend follow up with another physician or a specialist based on the results of your visit with them. Many other things may prompt providers to recommend follow up, including family and personal medical history; habits such as smoking, drinking, or drug use; and age. If you have any questions about seeing another provider or any symptoms you are experiencing, do not hesitate to ask your primary care physician about it.

Ready to schedule all of your appointments for the new year? The team at your local Capital Women’s Care is ready – call our office to get started!

Our Mission

The providers of Capital Women's Care seek the highest quality medical and ethical standard in an environment that nurtures the spirit of caring for every woman.

 

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