There is a lot I do on daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis to keep up with my health and wellness. I make time to workout everyday. I’m conscious of what I’m putting into my body. I see a therapist on a regular basis and so much more. What I don’t do though…take the time to schedule in the necessary doctor visits that I should be doing to keep my health in check.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see a OBGYN annually and my dentist every 6 months. That’s about it though.
As I get farther into my 30s, as the discussions about starting a family become more frequent and as I notice the changes in my body, I become more and more aware of my health. Because of this, I have been wanting to know, what exactly I should be doing, what doctors I should be seeing and what should I be asking those doctors now that I am in my thirties.
As women, our thirties is really a decade where things start to change. Throughout my research on this topic, what I realized/learned is that this decade is all about prevention when it comes to our health.
So, if you are like me and know you should be doing more, but aren’t quite sure where to start, here is a quick list of doctors to see in your 30s.
These are pretty obvious. I’m not saying this list of doctors to see in your 30s is anything groundbreaking. BUT there were a few things I learned about why and how often we should be seeing these doctors, that I was not aware of. So my hope is that there will be something here that maybe you did not as well.
5 Doctors To See In Your 30s
1. Primary Care Physician
I’ve lived in Arizona for 13 years now and have yet to establish a PCP. I kind of had one…the one my aunt used. He was like in his 80s (lol) and recently retired, so we are back to square one.
So the first doctor to see in your 30s, a primary care physician. Honestly I thought you went to your PCP when you were sick and that was about it. I also thought physical exams were just for when you wanted to play a sport in grade school. Turns out neither of those are true.
Besides establishing yourself with a PCP, turns out, you also need to visit them on a regular basis. You know, for that physical exam, among many other things.
Like I said above, our thirties are all about prevention and establishing yourself with a PCP will help immensely in that as you start to build a relationship them.
So what should you be scheduling with your PCP? Well first off, if you haven’t had a physical exam since grade school, schedule that! It is also important to get your blood pressure tested regularly to help decrease your risk of death or disability from heart disease. A cholesterol screening is also important when it comes to keeping an eye on your heart health. It’s recommended that women over 20 have this done once every four to six years or more depending on your family history or past health.
It is also important to talk about your weight with your PCP. Keeping an eye on your weight as well as discussing you diet will help to prevent weight related diseases in the future.
I mentioned above that I’ve been good about my annual pap-smear. It’s the one doctor visit I always make sure to schedule. It’s not fun, it’s uncomfortable, but it is necessary, or so I though.
Turns out, as I was doing my research, I was made aware that an annual pap-smear is not needed IF your pap-smear is normal. For women over the age of 21 a pap-smear is recommended every three years. Good to know!
For those of us who have not yet had children, turning 30 really brings the pressure. So having a relationship established with an OB/GYN is important. When you schedule your next appointment, be sure to bring up fertility, whether or not your are trying, and what you should/shouldn’t be doing to meet your needs.
A pelvic exam should also be done at your OB/GYN appointment. During the pelvic exam, the doctor will check your uterus and ovaries for any pain/swelling, fibroid, and/or cysts.
It’s not something I am proud of, but I can’t even tell you how much time I spent in a tanning bed in high school. Or how many summers I spent at the beach doused in tanning oil and not a bit of sun screen. Then I moved to Arizona, where the sun is even stronger and I STILL didn’t realize the importance of sunscreen. Needless to say, I was not good to my skin.
I’ve since learned my lesson and I am now an avid sunscreen wearer.
So if you were like me, or even if you were nothing like me, we should all add a dermatologist to the list of doctors to see in your 30s. We need to have our skin checked, regularly. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, roughly 3.3 million people are treated for non-melanoma skin cancer each year. It is also important to pay attention to your skin on your own. If you do happen to notice anything new, or something odd, you should make an appointment right away.
I’m not sure when it happened and I’m sure it’s something that happened because I am not in my thirties, but my vision, especially at night, is terrible. Last year I finally made an appointment to have an eye exam and was prescribed glasses. Thank gosh.
In my research, I have found an optometrist should be one of the doctors to see in your 30s. And that we should be having our eyes examined every two to four years until the age of 40 (or more if your eyesight isn’t great). Scheduling an appointment with your Optometrist is more than just getting your eyes fitted for glasses (if necessary). It is also key in prevention and early detection of vision loss or damage caused by glaucoma.
Another one I can say I’ve managed to make a priority. I’m not going to lie, I have horrible teeth. I can’t even imagine the money that has been spent on them. So if there is one thing I want to stay on top of, it is my teeth!
A dentist should definitely be on the list of doctors to see in your 30s. But no matter what age your are you should see a dentist, at least once a year or twice if you are prone to cavities and/or gum disease is recommended. And building a relationship with a dentist will help to stay on top of your dental hygiene as well as stay ahead of any gum diseases or tooth decay.
Establishing these relationships and making these appointments is a major goal for me. If I have to get older, I want to make sure I am doing it the healthiest way I can 🙂
We all have a lot going on in our lives and adding yet another thing to our list may seem a like an annoyance. However if it means preventing things happening, I say set that reminder on your phone and get these doctors to see in your 30s on your to-do list!