Proactive Care at Every Age

A healthy body and mind can require different care at each stage of your life. At Cheshire Medical Center, we empower you to cultivate your own good health through frequent wellness checks. Whether you need proactive health and wellness strategies, a screening, or a personalized plan of care for a more complex diagnosis, our team of experts is here to support your health with compassion and kindness.

Here’s what you should know at each stage of your journey

First decade

From pelvic pain to differences in sex development, many children face health issues addressed through pediatric gynecology and urology. Your medical team’s ability to collaborate with specialists here at Cheshire and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) allows us to provide our youngest generation with a seamless continuum of care when they need it.

Teens

Times are changing, and so is your body. You should have your first gynecologic visit either when you first get your period or by the time you are 15. The first visit may be just a talk between you, your parents, and your doctor. Your doctor will also give you the opportunity to speak to her without your parent if you would like more privacy. We are here to help YOU be the healthiest person you can be.

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Acne
  • Alcohol, drugs, and smoking
  • Birth control
  • Cramps, irregularities, or problems with menstrual periods
  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Gender identity
  • Pelvic pain
  • Sex and sexuality
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • Your weight

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Chlamydia testing once sexually active
  • Immunization to prevent cervical cancer
  • Immunization to prevent genital warts (HPV) starting between ages 9 and 14
  • Meningococcal vaccine (if you’re in college or the military)

Age 20 to 34

From college and career to relationships and family planning, you are facing some major life decisions. Whether or not you plan to become a parent, your care team can help you establish good health habits that will benefit you for your lifetime.

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Birth control
  • Cramps, irregularities, or problems with menstrual periods 
  • Family planning and fertility
  • How to practice breast self-awareness at home
  • Pelvic pain or pain during sex
  • Preventing bone loss
  • Sexual health and sexuality
  • Sexually transmitted infection

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Blood pressure screening: every two years
  • Breast self-exam: monthly
  • Cervical cancer screening: Pap test every three to five years depending on risks
  • Clinical breast exam: every three years
  • HIV testing: At least once, maybe annually depending on your risks
  • HPV vaccine: if you’re under 26 and haven’t received it yet
  • Pelvic and breast exam: every year
  • STI screening: every year if you’re under 25, or as needed
  • Tdap vaccine booster: every 10 years
  • Varicella vaccine: two doses if born after 1980 or if you've never had chickenpox

Age 35 to 44

Making time to take care of your health along with your career, relationship, and family is a smart investment in your future. Prioritizing sleep, stress-reduction, healthy eating, and exercise will help prevent disease in older years and combat the loss of bone density and muscle tone that starts to occur in mid-life.

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Pelvic pain
  • Perimenopause
  • Preventing bone loss
  • Self-care
  • Sexual health and sexuality

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Blood pressure screening: every two years
  • Breast self-exam: monthly
  • Cervical cancer screening: Pap test every three to five years depending on risks
  • Cholesterol blood panel: every five years; annually if yours is high
  • Diabetes screening (A1c test): at 35, or at doctor’s suggestion
  • Mammogram: in your early 40s
  • Pelvic and breast exams: every year
  • Tdap vaccine booster: every 10 years
  • Thyroid function: test once at 35, then ask your doctor 
  • STI and HIV screenings: as needed

Age 45 to 54

You may find yourself responsible for the needs of the older and younger generations at the same time while struggling to prioritize your own health. Meanwhile, your body is going through hormonal changes that interrupt your sleep with hot flashes, cause extra weight gain, and may put you at higher risk for chronic disease without careful monitoring. 

Talk to your doctor about: 

  • Memory loss and possible symptoms
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis and whether you need a bone-density exam
  • Pelvic floor disorders and incontinence
  • Pregnancy history–share this to monitor for future medical conditions
  • Self-care
  • Sexual health and vaginal dryness
  • Your individual risk for colon and breast cancers

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Blood pressure screening: every two years
  • Breast self-exam: monthly
  • Cervical cancer screening: Pap test every three to five years
  • Cholesterol blood panel: every two years, starting at 45
  • Colonoscopy: initial screening at 50; discuss follow-ups with your doctor
  • Hepatitis C screening: one test, follow-ups if necessary
  • Pelvic and breast exams: every year
  • Mammogram: every year depending on your risk
  • STI and HIV screening: as needed
  • Tdap vaccine booster: every 10 years

Age 55 to 64

You have accomplished much and gained wisdom on your journey. Now is the time to pay very close attention to building your bone strength, protecting your heart health, and being vigilant about possible memory loss. 

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in this age range
  • Osteoporosis: One in two women suffer osteoporosis-caused bone breaks
  • Pelvic floor disorders like incontinence and prolapse
  • Postmenopause
  • Weight gain after menopause
  • Your individual risk for colon, breast, and other cancers

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Blood glucose screening: every three years
  • Blood pressure screening: every two years
  • Breast self-exam: monthly 
  • Cholesterol blood panel: every five years
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Depression screening
  • Discuss with your doctor your schedule for: 
    • Mammograms
    • Cervical cancer screening
  • Hepatitis C screening: one test, follow-ups if necessary
  • Pelvic and breast exams: every year
  • Shingles vaccine: once at age 60 

Age 65 and beyond

You may be working, looking after grandkids, going back to school, picking up new hobbies, and traveling the world. More than ever, you need to watch out for serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and memory deficits. That means following medical advice, living a healthy lifestyle, and taking good care of yourself.

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Chronic or new symptoms you’re experiencing
  • Fall prevention
  • Heart disease and common heart attack symptoms in women
  • Medications you're taking and if they’re causing side effects
  • Pelvic floor disorders like incontinence and prolapse
  • Prediabetes
  • Preventing and reversing osteoporosis 
  • Your individual risk for colon, breast, and other cancers

Recommended tests and immunizations:

  • Pneumonia vaccine: one dose of PCV13 (Prevnar) at 65, one dose of PPSV23 (Pneumovax) a year later
  • While some routine tests can be stopped after age 75, your physician may advise continuing these: 
    • Bone-density screening: every two to three years
    • Blood-pressure screening: every two years
    • Cholesterol blood panel: every three to five years
    • Mammograms
    • STI and HIV screening: if you’re sexually active