Some women stop seeing their gynecologist as regularly after their childbearing years, but regular health checkups continue to be necessary after age 40. Physical exams are still important to help diagnose and address gynecological issues. You may also need to discuss birth control options, as many methods of birth control may not be recommended after age 40. Your doctor should also check your blood pressure, which should be checked at least every two years after age 40.
Recently guidelines from the American Cancer Society were changed from 40 to 45 for starting annual mammograms, but most women ages 40 to 44 still have the option to begin mammogram screening. Speak with your doctor about your own personal risk factors and what screening might be most appropriate for you.
Cervical Cancer Screening
After age 30, doctors recommend a Pap test combined with an HPV test every five years to screen for cervical cancer. (Mayo Clinic) Make sure you continue to have this testing again after you turn 40, even if you’ve been vaccinated against HPV. If you are at high risk for cervical cancer, you may need to be screened more often.
Perimenopause can start after age 40 (sometimes even sooner), so be sure to discuss any issues or changes such as irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, or trouble sleeping with your doctor. Hormonal changes can also cause changes in your skin, like dryness and decreased collagen production. Christie’s Bio-Clock Activation System can be especially helpful to improve many of the issues your skin may experience during this time!