It’s no secret that the human body undergoes changes from your first moments spent outside the womb to your golden years. From sexual development to weight fluctuations, your body is continually evolving, which rings especially true during your 30s. The third decade of a woman’s life is packed full of pivotal–and sometimes unanticipated–changes, not all of which are necessarily pleasant for those working to fight the clock and age gracefully.
Some common issues characteristic of your 30s consist of bone loss, rising stress levels, and pregnancy-related complications, while potential benefits include increased confidence and enhanced sexual satisfaction.
During your 30s, your doctor will draw close attention to a few specific aspects of your health. For instance, primary care physicians tend to focus on monitoring blood pressure, checking body mass index, and observing the patient for signs of anxiety and depression. He or she will also screen women entering this new phase of life for cervical cancer, along with any potential sexually transmitted infections.
While your 30s may feel like a spitting image of your late 20s, lifestyle adjustments are essential during this period in time. You’ll need to eat more nutritiously, make exercise a priority, and stay on top of your health game by scheduling regular checkups. Gone are the days of mooching off your parents’ insurance.
Many employers provide comprehensive coverage, but some don’t offer medical benefits. If you are still uninsured, it’s time to learn how to buy health insurance. Keep in mind that the following routine doctor appointments and screenings are essential during your thirty-flirty-and-thriving era.
Annual physical exam
While it may seem harmless to put off, your annual checkup is an opportunity for vital preventative screenings. Your primary care physician will use this visit to assess your general health and address whatever concerns you have. He or she will also ask questions about your family medical history, order any necessary tests, and encourage you to develop healthy eating and exercise habits.
Dental and optometry appointments
According to experts’ findings, you should visit the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. This appointment will help you sustain optimal oral health and ensure your hygiene efforts are up to par. Don’t let your 30s dim your smile’s sparkle. Book your appointment and resist the urge to cancel last-minute.
As for optometry appointments, try to schedule visits every one to two years. You may have to increase appointment frequency if you have existing vision problems or a family history of diabetes, eye disease, or high blood pressure.
Women in their 30s should generally receive a pelvic exam and Pap test every three years. If you have a family history of gynecological issues, however, you may need more frequent visits. Use this appointment to ask your OB/GYN about any problems you might be experiencing. You can also ask questions about reproductive health and contraception options.
Skin check and breast exam
It’s in your best interest to visit a dermatologist about once each year in addition to performing self-exams. Early detection is imperative in preventing potential cancers from spreading. You can also utilize this time with your dermatologist to address any other skin-related concerns you have.
Mental health screening
Being aware of your mood levels and overall mental state is crucial during this emotionally-trying decade. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, it may be beneficial to make an appointment with a therapist. This licensed professional can help you learn to reduce unnecessary stress in your life and cope with any problems weighing heavily on your mind.
Other specialty appointments
An endocrinologist can help treat hormonal conditions like thyroid disease and diabetes. If you seek specific treatment for fertility issues, your physician might refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist or fertility doctor.
A radiologist uses medical imaging techniques to diagnose diseases and conditions. Your doctor might suggest a referral for a CT scan, MRI, or x-ray. He or she may also refer you for a mammogram if you have a history of breast cancer in your family.
If you are experiencing symptoms caused by an underlying heart condition, your primary care physician may direct you to a cardiologist. Be proactive about requesting a referral if you have a family history of heart disease. As is the case for many health conditions, prevention is vital.
Don’t allow this decade to rob you of your youthful glow. Heal your body from the inside out by carving out time in your schedule for the appointments mentioned above. While preventative care is a non-negotiable for women of all ages, it’s all the more essential for thirty-somethings.