Seven Appointments Every Woman Over 45 Needs to Make This Year

Feb 08, 2023

I’ve showered, slipped on my cutest undies, and even shaved my legs . . . nope it’s not date night . . . it’s my yearly lady doctor appointment.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been hating these yearly visits since I turned 18 and wanted to get on birth control. They’re awkward and uncomfortable. I mean seriously, when in your life have you ever just laid back and discussed the weather while someone probes around in your most private areas?

You’d think after having three kiddos the idea of someone poking, scraping, testing, and staring at my vagina would feel normal by now.


Even though I love my doctor and totally feel super comfortable with her, I still hate these appointments, But, ladies, just like cardio we understand the value of adding them to our to-do list!

So if you have not already scheduled your annual pap for the year, today I encourage you to get on the phone and make that appointment. And while you're at it . . . here are 7 appointments you need to book this year:

1 Your Gyno Exam
Because the rate of chronic diseases like breast cancer, cervical cancer, autoimmune diseases, and hypertension are increasing for those in middle age (think 40-60), and it’s important as women, we are getting a regular breast exam and pap smear. PLUS no matter what you do, menopause is going to find you at some point. I’d also encourage you to ask about getting full blood work done, including testing your thyroid (T3 and T4) because that is a common issue women in peri/menopause face.

2 The dreaded Mammogram
It’s recommended that women with normal risk of breast cancer start getting mammograms at age 40. However, if you have a first-degree relative like your mom or sister, with premenopausal breast cancer, it’s encouraged to start earlier. The good news is you probably won't need to have them done after the age of 70-74 depending on health history.

3 A Basic Physical
This is a great idea to get a nice check up on your overall health. Most likely your doctor will assess your heart, lungs, abdomen, eyes, ears, mouth, muscular system, weight, blood pressure, and general blood work, including checking your cholesterol. This is a great time to talk about any vaccines they may recommend.

4 A Dental visit
It’s always great practice to get regular cleanings and exams for your overall health and to keep that beautiful smile for as long as possible. But dental care can also help reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s common for women in midlife to start to experience dental issues like a decrease in saliva production, making it more difficult to fight off bacteria. Your dentist can also look for common issues often related to menopause such as dry mouth or immune issues. Most likely they will recommend a bi-yearly visit to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

5 A visit to your Optometrists (Eye Doctor)
It’s always a good idea to get an eye exam every 2-4 years after the age of 40 and 1-3 years after the age of 55. Your eye doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk or if you have diabetes. However, if you are experiencing issues with your eyes don’t hesitate to make an appointment right away.

Menopause can affect your eyesight. One of the biggest issues I hear from clients is dry eyes. But fluctuating hormones can change the shape of your eye (affect the fit of your contacts) and your overall vision. Other problems of the eyes common after midlife and menopause include cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

6 Your Dermatologist
Whether you are fair-skinned or have a family history of skin cancer, you'll want an annual appointment. Other reasons to see your dermatologist is if you have new skin problems or suspicious moles. It’s important to note that basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are most often seen in people over age 50 and the average diagnosis of melanoma is 65.

Menopause really does have a huge impact on your skin, whether you are experiencing more dryness, thinning skin, increase in age spots, wrinkles, acne, skin sensitivities, rashes, or precancerous skin growth, skin care is very important in middle age and beyond,

7 Colonoscopy
Colorectal cancer is now the third most common cancer diagnoses in women and men in the U.S. [American Cancer Society]. Your risk increases as you age. Recent guidelines suggest screenings beginning at 45.

Other screenings you may want to consider . . . definitely worth talking to your doctor about, include:

  • Bone density scan - Your doctor may suggest this around the time you start menopause unless health history requires it earlier.
  • Hearing Test - As you age your hearing begins to decline, so having a baseline before those changes happen is a good idea.
  • Diabetes Screening - Those in their 40s and 50s have an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Often associated with poor eating habits or certain conditions like PCOS, your doctor may suggest adding this screening to your yearly physical. Visit your primary doctor sooner if you experience heightened thirst or appetite, increased urination, changes in weight, a decrease in vision, or overall fatigue.
  • STD / STI Test. Nope it’s not just for the younger kids, sexually transmitted diseases can happen at any age!! Whether it’s a midlife crisis, newly divorced or widowed, middle aged men and women are out there dating again. If you don’t want to discuss this with your primary care doctor, you can get tested at an urgent care or community health center.
  • Cholesterol screening: You need one every five years if your last test was normal, or more often if you are at an increased risk for heart disease, you’re a smoker, have a family history, are considered obese, or have high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • It’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked at least once every year.

Make sure to bring the following to each appointment:
Basics like your ID and Health insurance card
Medical Records if visiting someone new
Family History Details
List of Medications you are currently taking
Any notes regarding changes/  symptoms (it’s always good practice to track those)
A list of Questions / Discussion points so you don’t forget [Feel free to download my 10 Questions You Need to Be Asking guide] 

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