50s

In Your 50s

Cultivate your vitality in life and in health. Your doctor or nurse will personalize the timing of each test to meet your specific healthcare needs.

50-dancing

General health

  • Full checkup — Including weight and height.
  • Sleep habits — Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test — Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • HIV screening — Get this test if you are at risk for HIV infection (unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease, or used drugs with needles).
  • Hepatitis C (HCV) screening — Get this one-time screening if you were born between 1945 and 1965.

Heart health

  • Blood pressure test — At least every two years.
  • Cholesterol panel — Total, LDL, HDL and triglycerides; discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Bone health

  • Bone density screen — Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Diabetes

  • Blood glucose or A1c test — Get screened if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure, or are at risk for developing diabetes.

Breast health

  • Breast self-exam — Become familiar with your breasts so you can identify any changes and discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Clinical breast exam — Yearly.
  • Mammogram — Every 1-2 years. Official recommendations vary. Discuss the schedule that is right for you with your doctor or nurse.

Reproductive health

  • Pap test — Discuss with your doctor or nurse.
  • Pelvic exam — Yearly.
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests —Both partners should get tested for STIs, including HIV, before initiating sexual intercourse. Get a chlamydia test if you have new or multiple partners.

Mental health screening

  • Discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Colorectal health

  • Fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy — Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Eye and ear health

  • Comprehensive eye exam — Every 1-2 years.
  • Hearing test — Every three years.

Skin health

  • Skin exam — Monthly self-exam of skin and moles and as part of a routine full checkup with your doctor or nurse.

Oral health

  • Dental cleaning and exam— Every 12-24 months; discuss with your dentist.

Immunizations

  • Seasonal influenza vaccine — Yearly.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster vaccine — Every 10 years.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine — One time only.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine — (to prevent shingles) — One time only; discuss with your doctor or nurse.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Download the In Your 50s PDF