at what age can i stop my pelvic exam

At What Age Can I Stop My Pelvic Exam?

At age 65 when your childbearing years and hot flashes are over, you may wonder, “At What Age Can I Stop My Pelvic Exam?”

While routine gynecological exams are necessary for women even when they don’t intend to become pregnant, at some point, you may be able to stop your pelvic exams altogether. Keep reading to learn more.

What Routine Tests Do I Need?

Women need regular health screenings to detect abnormalities or conditions that may impact their lives. Many of these take place with your primary care physician. Some of the most common health screenings for women over 65 are:

  • Blood pressure check annually, more often if you have hypertension or prehypertension.
  • Cholesterol screening. Heart disease is a leading health concern for women.
  • Colorectal cancer screening, certain tests vary according to frequency.
  • Dental exams and cleaning twice a year.
  • Eye exams every 1-2 years.
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years.
  • Physical exam for abnormalities.
  • Receive vaccinations as needed, including: shingles or herpes zoster, flu and pneumococcal vaccines. Additionally, some boosters will need to be updated, such as your Tetanus-diphtheria every 10 years.

Based on your medical history, current health, and your family history, your physician may recommend more or fewer screenings. These are intended to help treat issues before they become serious or life-threatening.

What Screenings Do Women Need?

In spite of their age, women over 65 continue to need attend to the health of their reproductive organs. Screenings we recommend include:

  • Breast exams. Women may still develop breast cancer post-menopause, so an annual exam is usually warranted. In some cases, your provider may choose not to perform a breast exam and instead rely on the results of an annual or every-two-years mammogram.
  • Bone Density Test. Women 65 and older should have a bone density test. Consider an exercise regimen that can help prevent osteoporosis. Your provider may recommend a bone density management what age can i stop my pelvic exam
  • Pelvic Exam/Pap Smear. Women over 65 who have no history of cancer or pre-cancer of the cervix may stop their pelvic exam if they have three negative tests over a period of ten years. Your gynecologist will be able to make the most prudent recommendations based on your medical history.
  • Lung Cancer Screening. If you’re a smoker, you should have a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening to look for lung cancer. This is recommended for those who have a 30 pack/year smoking history AND who currently smoke or quit within the last 15 years.

At What Age Can I Stop My Pelvic Exam?

While not the highlight of anyone’s day, a pelvic exam can give your gynecologist important information about the health of your reproductive organs—even once you’ve passed the age of reproduction.

For women 65 and older, a pelvic exam may not be necessary. This is definitely something that you should discuss at your annual exam with your provider.

To schedule an appointment to learn what health screenings are appropriate for your age and situation, click here.

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