No matter how old you are, it’s important to make your mental and physical health top priorities. These women’s health tips will help to guide you through some key points you should be considering at each stage of your life.
In Your 20s
Look after your skin. Avoid direct sun exposure during the most high-risk times (between 10am and 4pm), and always apply sunblock before going out in the sun. This will prevent sun damage and premature ageing. Say no to tanning beds, which can dramatically increase your odds of developing melanoma.
Take care of your reproductive health. Get a pap smear and HPV test every 3 to 5 years until the age of 65. If you are sexually active, practice safe sex and get screened for common sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) regularly.
Perform self-checks on your breasts regularly, to check for lumps and other irregularities.
Start supplementing the following essential nutrients: calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to support bone health, and iron to prevent anaemia.
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, a folic acid supplement is important to keep you and your growing baby healthy.
In Your 30s
Most women start to lose muscle mass and bone density after age 30. Strength training exercises (i.e. lifting weights) can help to prevent muscle loss and build healthy bone density. Don’t forget to keep supplementing bone-building nutrients like calcium.
Look after your mental health. Juggling multiple responsibilities typically increases stress levels, and it’s important to make time to relax and unwind, to prevent chronic stress.
In Your 40s
Women aged 40 to 44 should start getting annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms.
As you get older, your metabolism will slow down, and this makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. To prevent unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol, stay active and eat a balanced, healthy diet. Regular exercise and smart food choices will also benefit your bones and your heart.
In Your 50s and Beyond
Many women enter menopause during this stage of life, so speak to your doctor about the best ways to manage the symptoms of menopause.
Women aged 55 and older can switch to mammograms every 2 years, instead of annually.
It’s important to have screening tests for colorectal cancer between the ages of 50 and 75.
Smokers and those who have quit smoking in the past 15 years should also get screened for lung cancer between the ages of 55 and 80.
Women aged 60 or older may need to get a shot to prevent shingles and one to prevent pneumonia.
Women aged 65 (and younger women with a high risk of bone fractures) should be screened for osteoporosis.
At Every Age
Get your annual physical check-up every year, to make sure you are healthy and catch any potential problems early.
Women’s health needs change and evolve with age, so speak to your health care provider to make sure you’re getting the right support.
Women’s Health Topics You Should Know about at Each Stage of Life. Retrieved from: https://www.crispregional.org/womens-health-topics-you-should-know-about-at-each-stage-of-life/
American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html