Medical Checkup Guidelines for Women

For mothers, and the mothers in their lives, routine medical checkups are important. The National Women's Health Information Center, part of the federal Department of Health & Human Services' Office on Women's Health, recommends the following screenings:

Beginning at age 18:

  • Pap test and pelvic exam every one to three years if you are sexually active or over 21.
  • Hearing test every 10 years.
  • Dental exam one to two times per year.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine every 10 years.

Beginning at age 20:

  • Cholesterol tests as ordered by your doctor.
  • Skin mole exam every three years.

Beginning at age 40:

  • Mammogram every one to two years.
  • Eye exam every two to four years.
  • Skin mole exam every year.

Beginning at age 45:

  • Blood sugar test for diabetes every three years.

Beginning at age 50:

  • Fecal occult blood test for colon cancer yearly.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colon cancer every five years.
  • Colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer every 10 years.
  • Flu shot yearly.

Beginning at age 65

  • Bone mineral density test as ordered by your doctor.
  • Eye exam every one to two years.

For more information on women's health and health screenings, visit the National Women's Health Information Center online at

©, used with permission.

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