Unless your doctor advises that you require a different checkup schedule, the National Institutes of Health recommends the following:

Screen for high blood pressure

  • Check every 2 years.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.

Screen for high cholesterol

  • Men over age 34 should be checked every five years.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.

Immunizations

  • After age 19, you should have a one-time tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. This is also called the Tdap vaccine.
  • You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • Your doctor may recommend other immunizations if you are at high risk for conditions such as pneumonia.

Physical exam

  • You should have two physical exams in your 20s.
  • During the first exam, ask to have your cholesterol checked.

Men

  • Men should do a monthly testicular self-exam. If you are not sure what you should be looking for, contact your health care provider for instruction.

Women

  • You may decide to do a monthly breast self-exam. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice a change in your breasts.
  • A primary care provider should do a complete breast exam every 3 years for women age 20-40.
  • Women should have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every one to two years to check for cervical cancer. Screening should start within three years after first having vaginal intercourse or by age 21.
  • If you are over age 30 or your Pap smears have been negative for three years in a row, your doctor may tell you that you only need a Pap smear every two to three years.
  • If you have had a total hysterectomy (uterus and cervix removed) you may choose not to have Pap smears.
  • If you are sexually active you should be screened for a chlamydia infection. This can be done during a pelvic exam.