Now that you’re more in control of your own health care decisions, you’re probably wondering what’s necessary to keep you healthy. Your questions might include: How often do I need to go for a check up? Which tests should I have? What health problems are most common for my age? What kind of birth control do I need?
Finding a health care provider with whom you can frankly discuss your health care questions and concerns is perhaps the most important thing you can do for your health in your teens and 20’s. These are prime reproductive years for women. Menstrual issues, sexually transmitted infections, contraception and pregnancy are among your biggest health concerns right now.
When you turn 21 you should start getting a pelvic exam with a Pap test every other year until you are 30. Try to pick a time of year that you can easily remember, like your birthday or your half birthday.
Getting routine gynecological care will help you:
- understand your body and how it works
- establish what is normal for you
- find problems early so they can be treated or kept from getting worse
- learn how to protect yourself if you do have sex
- prepare for healthy relationships and future pregnancies
For more information on your sexual health, please visit the Center for Young Women’s