May 13, 2024

Empowering Women's Health: The Vital Role of Screening Tests

The Importance of Screening Tests

Maintaining optimal health is paramount, and proactive measures are key to achieving this goal. For women, participating in regular health screenings is not just a practice but a necessity.

Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups and preventative healthcare.

Regular screenings can not only help you avoid problems in the future, but they can also detect potential health issues in the earliest, most treatable stages. Regular medical screening can:

  • Diagnosis current medical conditions
  • Assess risks for future medical conditions
  • Encourage a healthier lifestyle
  • Update vaccinations and other preventive care services

There are specific times when you should receive health screenings. Below are screening guidelines recommended by The US Preventive Services Task Force.


Screening for heart conditions

Your blood pressure should be checked at least once every 3 to 5 years, though certain health conditions could mean more frequent checks.

After 40, it should be checked at least once a year. Cholesterol screening should begin at age 45, though it may be recommended more frequently depending on your personal risk factors.

This test should be repeated at least once every 5 years.


Wellness screening

You should be screened for diabetes starting at age 35. This test should be repeated every 3 years. Screening may need to start earlier and be repeated more often if you have other risk factors for diabetes.

Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for all women beginning at age 65. However, certain risk factors, like medication use, diet, and lifestyle, may cause your provider to recommend osteoporosis screening at a younger age.


Infectious disease screening

All women 24 and younger who are sexually active should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Women 25 years and older should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea if at increased risk for infection.

Clinicians should screen for HIV infection in adolescents and adults aged 15 to 65 years. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk of infection should also be screened.

Similarly, all adults 18 to 79 years old should be screened for hepatitis C. These tests should be repeated during each pregnancy. Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may also need to be screened for other infections, such as syphilis.


Cancer screening

Your provider may discuss and recommend mammograms, MRI scans, or ultrasounds if you have an increased risk for breast cancer. After age 40, a mammogram every 1-2 years until age 75 is generally recommended for most women.

Cervical cancer screening should begin at age 21 years, or sooner if recommended by your provider. This test should be repeated every 3 years.

After age 30, either a Pap test every 3 years, or an HPV test every 5 years is recommended. Generally, these tests are performed until age 65.

Your provider may recommend colon cancer screening if you are at an increased risk for colon cancer. Regular screening is usually recommended for all women after age 45, with the frequency depending on the type of screening. This should be repeated until age 75.

Depending on your age and risk factors, your provider may also recommend screenings for skin cancer and lung cancer. Lung cancer screenings usually begin at age 50 if you have certain risk factors.


Visit your provider

These recommended screening tests save lives every year. Don’t wait until a health condition occurs to schedule an appointment with your provider. Screening tests and preventative healthcare can catch problems in their most treatable stages or even before they arise.

Contact your provider today! And remember- choose a trusted laboratory like HNL Lab Medicine for your recommended lab work. We have many convenient and easily accessible locations or, for a nominal fee, HNL @Home – Concierge can even bring the lab to you!  

HNL Lab Tests Direct offers a variety of drug screening options that can be ordered through our platform, testing can be done at any HNL Lab Medicine Patient Service Center.


¹ National Library of Medicine. (2023, August 01). Health screenings for women ages 18 to 39. National Institutes of Health.
² National Library of Medicine. (2022, April 30). Health screenings for women ages 40 to 64. National Institutes of Health.
³ National Library of Medicine. (2023, August 01). Health screenings for women age 65 and older. National Institutes of Health. .