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Recommended Health Screenings And Prevention Steps For Women Ages 19-39

It's easy to get distracted from a healthy lifestyle as work and family responsibilities become more time consuming.

If you have gained weight, work with your health care professionals to develop a weight-loss program. If your blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar is high, review the many options for improving your health. Take advantage of community resources that offer health and fitness programs for women.

If you are thinking about pregnancy, partner with your health care professional to learn the best way to manage any likely problems, such as gestational diabetes. Your risk of birth defects increases with a pregnancy after age 35. Begin drinking orange juice or find other sources of folic acid, which has been linked to lower birth defects. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that you take a supplement with 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams (400 to 800 micrograms) of folic acid daily If you are planning or capable of getting pregnant. You should see your doctor for prenatal care as soon as you know or think that you are pregnant, even if you are not a first time mom.

It's also important to keep aware of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, which can affect not only your fertility but your and your partner's health.

If you smoke, this is the time to quit. Smoking can lead to lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend aspirin for stroke prevention in women younger than 55 years or for preventing heart attacks (myocardial infarction).

The following screening and preventive steps should be followed in consultation with your health care professional:

Test/Vaccine*

How Often

Blood Pressure

Every two years — 18 years of age and older

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Periodically — 18 years of age and older

Cervical

Every 3 years — Pap smear for women 21-65 years of age. Women 30-65 years of age may have a Pap smear AND human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every 5 years. Talk with your doctor to discuss the method of screening that is right for you.

Chlamydia

Routinely — 24 years of age and younger and sexually active

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

Once — 15-65 years of age. Talk with your doctor about when screening should be repeated.

Depression

Routinely — 18 years of age and older

Alcohol Misuse

Routinely — 18 years of age and older

Tobacco Use

Routinely — 18 years of age and older

Intimate partner violence

Routinely — women of childbearing age

Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Td/Tdap)

1 Dose Td every 10 years; substitute a single dose of Td with Tdap vaccine — 19 years of age and older

Influenza

Every flu season

Perinatal Screening Tests**

Recommendation

Bacteriuria

Urine culture 12-16 weeks' gestation or first prenatal visit, whichever is first

Gestational diabetes mellitus

In asymptomatic pregnant women after 24 weeks of gestation

Hepatitis B virus (HBV)

First prenatal visit

Rh (D) antibody

First prenatal visit repeat at 24-28 weeks' gestation for all unsensitized Rh (D)-negative women, unless the biological father is known to be Rh (D)-negative

HIV

During pregnancy

Syphilis

During pregnancy

Iron deficiency anemia

During pregnancy

Breastfeeding

During and after pregnancy promote and support breastfeeding

Tobacco Use

During pregnancy provide augmented pregnancy-tailored counseling for those who smoke

Perinatal Vaccines***

Recommendation

Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap)

1 dose during each pregnancy

*The preventive health screenings are based on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) as of 6/21/13.

**The vaccine recommendations are based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of 2/18/13. Recommendations change often. A full list of the most current recommendations may be accessed at these websites.

***This information is a summary of perinatal services recommendations from the USPSTF and the CDC for healthy pregnant women with normal risk. Talk with your doctor to find out what services are right for you and when you should have them. Your doctor may have additional recommendations. The material has been prepared for your general information only. Aetna does not warrant or guarantee, and shall not be liable for any deficiencies in, the information contained herein, or for the accuracy or appropriateness of any services provided by independent third parties. Aetna does not recommend the self management of health or related issues, nor does Aetna offer medical advice. You should consult your physician or appropriate professional for advice and care appropriate for your needs.

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