You should visit your health care provider from time to time, even if you are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for women ages 18 to 39.
Ask your provider about the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine if you are between ages 18 to 26 and you have:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee opinion no. 641: human papillomavirus vaccination. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(3):e38-e43. PMID: 26287792 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26287792.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice bulletin no. 157: cervical cancer screening and prevention. Obstet Gynecol. 2016;127(1):e1-e20. PMID: 26695583 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26695583.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice bulletin no. 131: screening for cervical cancer. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;120(5):1222-1238. PMID: 23090560 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23090560.
American Dental Association. Questions about going to the dentist. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/questions-about-going-to-the-dentist. Accessed July 24, 2015.
American Optometric Association. Comprehensive adult eye and vision examination. Updated February 6, 2015. www.aoa.org/Documents/EBO/Adult%20Eye%20and%20Vision%20Examination%20Guideline%20Peer-Public%20Review%20Document.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.
Atkins D, Barton M. The periodic health examination. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 15.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Assessing immunity to varicella. Updated August 22, 2013. www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/hcp/immunity.html. Accessed July 24, 2015.
Chamberlain JJ, Rhinehart AS, Shaefer CF Jr, Neuman A. Diagnosis and management of diabetes: synopsis of the 2016 American Diabetes Association standards of medical care in diabetes. Ann Intern Med. 2016;164(8):542-552. PMID: 26928912 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26928912.
Committee on Adolescent Health Care of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Immunization Expert Work Group of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee opinion no. 588: human papillomavirus vaccination. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123(3):712-718. PMID: 24553168 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24553168.
Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician's guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381. PMID: 25182228 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25182228.
De Paula FJA, Black DM, Rosen CJ. Osteoporosis and bone biology. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 29.
James PA, Oparil S, Carter BL, et al. 2014 evidence-based guideline for the management of high blood pressure in adults: report from the panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 2014;311(5):507-520. PMID: 24352797 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352797.
Kim DK, Bridges CB, Harriman KH; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), ACIP Adult Immunization Work Group. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older -- United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(4):88-90. PMID: 26845417 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26845417.
Meschia JF, Bushnell C; American Heart Association Stroke Council; et al. Guidelines for the primary prevention of stroke: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2014;45(12):3754-3832. PMID: 25355838 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355838.
Moyer VA; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for cervical cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(12):880-891. PMID: 22711081 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22711081.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology (NCCN guidelines): breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Version 3.2015 www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/breast.pdf. Accessed July 24, 2015.
Peterson ED, Gaziano JM, Greenland P. Recommendations for treating hypertension: what are the right goals and purposes? JAMA. 2014;311(5):474-476. PMID: 24352710 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24352710.
Ridker PM, Libby P, Buring JE. Risk markers and the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 42.
Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, et al; ACS-ASCCP-ASCP Cervical Cancer Guideline Committee. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(3):147-172. PMID: 22422631 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22422631.
Siu AL; US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for high blood pressure in adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(10):778-786. PMID: 26458123 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26458123.
Smith RA, Brooks D, Cokkinides V, Saslow D, Brawley OW. Cancer screening in the United States, 2013: a review of current American Cancer Society guidelines, current issues in cancer screening, and new guidance on cervical cancer screening and lung cancer screening. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013;63(2):88-105. PMID: 23378235 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23378235.
Stone NJ, Robinson J, Lichtenstein AH, et al; American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129(25 Suppl 2):S46-S48. PMID: 24222016 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24222016.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Cervical cancer: screening. Updated March 2012. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/cervical-cancer-screening?ds=1&s=cervical%20cancer. Accessed July 24, 2015.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Draft recommendation statement: statin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults: preventive medication. Updated December 2015. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-recommendation-statement175/statin-use-in-adults-preventive-medication1. Accessed April 19, 2016.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Final recommendation statement: cervical cancer: screening. Updated October 2014. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/cervical-cancer-screening. Accessed April 19, 2016.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Final update summary: breast cancer: screening. Updated January 2016. www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/breast-cancer-screening1. Accessed March 9, 2016.