Staying healthy in your 20s: What to do, who to see, and when
Your 20s are a big deal. You go from your teens to your thirties—when shiz really starts getting real. And if you didn’t feel like an adult when you started, you probably will when age 29 rolls around. Here’s a list to keep you healthy every step of the way. Print it out or bookmark it and use it. Make this decade wonderful.
- Find a primary care provider and medical specialists including a gynecologist, optometrist, dermatologist, and dentist for ongoing health care. (BTW, we can help you find a great local gyno.)
Need something from your insurance company or have questions? Here’s how to talk to them and get results.
Need health coverage? Find out about open enrollment. Having health insurance makes preventive care more affordable, even when you see multiple providers—and it’s mandatory now.
Your Routine Exams
Have a general, head-to-toe medical checkup at least once every 2 years or on a schedule set by your primary care provider.
Discuss your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, mood, and stress levels with your primary care provider. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not at risk for any complications.
Have a well-woman visit once a year. Here are 6 things you should know about this important, preventive health appointment.
Discuss your birth control options and get on a method that feels good and works well with your body.
If you’re between 21 and 30 years old, have a Pap smear every 3 years unless there are other factors that would require more frequent Paps.
Have a clinical breast exam every 3 years unless you require more frequent breast checks. Make sure you know how your breasts normally look and feel and tell your provider if you notice changes. You can also do monthly breast self-exams.
Book a dental exam and cleaning every 6 to 12 months, or as recommended.
Get a baseline eye exam and then regular, comprehensive eye exams every 1 to 2 years or as recommended by your vision specialist.
Get a baseline skin exam and then regular skin cancer screenings as recommended by your dermatologist. Check for new moles or changes in existing ones about once a month.
If you smoke, consider quitting.
Bring your immunization records to your primary care provider to determine if you need booster shots or new vaccinations as they become available. Keep in mind: If you plan on traveling abroad, you may need certain shots based on your destination.
Talk to relatives about your family’s health history. Even if it feels a little scary, it’s good to know if you have any genetic risks for certain medical conditions. That way, you can work with your health care providers on the best prevention strategy, if you need to.
Hey, did you know that this is National Women’s Health Week? It’s true and there are a ton of interesting and useful things happening, so check it out if you want even more resources to keep you healthy and happy.
P.S. IUDs are getting more and more popular. If you’re considering one, here’s a step-by-step guide on what to expect.
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