When you get into the swing of everyday life it can seem like a real pain to have to head to the doctor or the dentist when you’re not sick just for a check up. So how often do you actually need to go? It varies based on what part of the body we’re talking about.
For checking the breasts for lumps this can be done at home and should be done once a month. You should be checking for any weird lumps or changes to the breasts, and the best time to check is a few days after your period ends.
To keep up on checking your skin for any changes with things like moles, you should be checking your own skin about once a month as well. If you notice anything that has appeared suddenly or changed it might be worth it to get checked out. Anything with an irregular border, large, uneven color pattern, or asymmetrical should be treated with caution as well.
You should be heading to the dentist for a cleaning about every six months. They will also check for anything more important going on and suggest treatment if necessary. In between your cleanings you should of course call the dentist if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
A general physical from your primary doctor should be scheduled once a year. This will usully check your weight, blood pressure, and breast exam for women. They can also add on tests that check things like your hormone levels and blood count to make sure everything is running smoothly in the body.
You only need to head to the gynecologist for a general pap smear every three years…but only if you have had three in a row that show up normal and are in a monogamous relationship that has no risk factors as far as your sexual health goes. If you are sexually active with multiple people you should still get to gynecologist at least once a year or more if you engage in risky behavior. When you get a general pap smear the doctor will scrape the cervix to test the cells and check for any abnormalities. This can help catch things like HPV and cervical cancer in the off chance that they occur. Even if you don’t go to get a pap smear, you might want to get a general pelvic exam every year. During that procedure the doctor will feel around to check for things like cysts or infection.
You should be getting your eyes checked every two years if you do not currently wear glasses to check for changes in the eyes. If you do you should be heading to the doctor each yera to make sure that your current corrective prescription is still accurate if you wear glasses or contacts.
People over the age of 35 should begin getting their thyroid checked about every five years.
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