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Health Screenings You May Need

Learn What Health Screenings You May Want to Talk to Your Doctor About
Learn What Health Screenings You May Want to Talk to Your Doctor About

Screenings may help detect medical problems sooner; in many cases early detection is the key to successful treatment. It’s important to know what screenings are available, and when the best time is to receive them.

Use the tool below to find out some of the common screenings you should talk to your doctor about. This may not be a complete list of recommended screenings.

Legal Disclaimer: The information provided in this resource is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should always discuss your health care needs with your doctor to understand which screenings are appropriate for you. This will help you and your doctor make the best health care decisions for you based on your unique situation.

What gender are you?

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How old are you?

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have a full checkup every 2 years.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should have your blood pressure checked every 3 to 5 years. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should have your cholesterol tested starting at age 35, then every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you should start earlier and may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Reproductive

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners. If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least yearly, and should get tested for HIV every 3 to 6 months. If you are a man who has sex with men, and you have multiple or anonymous partners, you should be screened frequently for STDs (eg, at 3- to 6-month intervals).

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

If you have glaucoma or if you have a risk factor for developing it, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of glaucoma, you should see an ophthalmologist even if you are younger than 40. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked yearly.

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 5 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should see your doctor for regular checkups.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should get your cholesterol checked every 5 years. If you have high cholesterol levels or other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should have a glucose test starting at age 45, then every 3 years.

Prostate

Prostate screening

If you have a high chance of getting prostate cancer, start screening at age 45 and repeat every 1–2 years depending on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. High risk is defined as African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65). If you have a very high chance of getting prostate cancer, start at age 40. Very high risk is defined as men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age.

Digital rectal exam (DRE)

If your doctor recommends a PSA test, he or she may recommend a DRE as well.

Reproductive

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners. If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least yearly, and should get tested for HIV every 3 to 6 months. If you are a man who has sex with men, and you have multiple or anonymous partners, you should be screened frequently for STDs (eg, at 3- to 6-month intervals).

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

You should get a baseline eye exam at age 40. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are an African American (which puts you at higher risk for glaucoma), get checked every 2 years.

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 5 years until age 45. Starting at age 45, get tested every 3 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should see your doctor for regular checkups.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should get your cholesterol checked every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should get a blood glucose test every 3 years.

Prostate

Prostate screening

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of screening, starting at age 50. If you decide to do prostate screening, you should repeat the screening every 1–2 years depending on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.

Digital rectal exam (DRE)

If your doctor recommends a PSA test, he or she may recommend a DRE as well.

Reproductive

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners. If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least yearly, and should get tested for HIV every 3 to 6 months. If you are a man who has sex with men, and you have multiple or anonymous partners, you should be screened frequently for STDs (eg, at 3- to 6-month intervals).

COLORECTAL (USE 1 OF THESE 3 METHODS)

Fecal occult blood test

If this is the screening you use, it should be done yearly.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test)

If this is the screening you use, it should be done every 5 years if you’re not having a colonoscopy. Talk with your doctor to decide if this is the right screening for you and how often you should have it.

Colonoscopy

If this is the screening you use, it should be done every 10 years.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year. If you are over age 60, are an African American over 40, or have a family history of glaucoma, get checked every 2 years. (People in these categories have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.)

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 3 years from ages 45–60; at age 60 and above, you should get your hearing tested every 2 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have a full checkup every year.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

Your cholesterol should get checked every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should get a blood glucose test every 3 years.

Prostate

Prostate screening

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of screening, starting at age 50. If you decide to do prostate screening, you should repeat the screening every 1–2 years, depending on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, until you reach age 70. Doctors should not screen using PSA in average-risk men older than 69, or any man with a life expectancy less than 10–15 years.

Digital rectal exam (DRE)

If your doctor recommends a PSA test, he or she may recommend a DRE as well.

Reproductive

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners. If you are a man who has sex with men, you should get tested for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea at least yearly, and should get tested for HIV every 3 to 6 months. If you are a man who has sex with men, and you have multiple or anonymous partners, you should be screened frequently for STDs (eg, at 3- to 6-month intervals).

COLORECTAL (USE 1 OF THESE 3 METHODS)

Fecal occult blood test

If this is the screening you use, it should be done yearly. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test)

If this is the screening you use, it should be done every 10 years. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Colonoscopy

If this is the screening you use, it should be done every 10 years. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

You should have a complete eye exam every year or 2 to check for glaucoma. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year.

Hearing test

You should have your hearing tested every 2 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have 2 checkups in your 20s and 2 in your 30s.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should have your blood pressure checked every 3 to 5 years. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should get a cholesterol test starting at age 20, then every 5 years. If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.

Breast

Clinical breast exam

You should get a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting in your 20s.

Reproductive

Pap test

Most women should have a Pap test starting at age 21 and repeat the screening every 3 years. At age 30, you can continue having the Pap test every 3 years or you can have the Pap combined with HPV (human papillomavirus) testing every 5 years.

Pelvic exam

You should get a pelvic exam yearly at age 21 and older.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners. If you are younger than 25 and sexually active (or are over 26 and have new or multiple sexual partners, or have a sex partner with an STI), you should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea yearly.


If you are pregnant, you should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B. You may also need chlamydia and gonorrhea screening starting early in pregnancy if you’re at-risk. Whether or not you are pregnant, talk to your doctor to understand what tests are most appropriate for you based on your individual situation.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

If you have glaucoma or if you have a risk factor for developing it, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of glaucoma, you should see an ophthalmologist even if you are younger than 40. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked yearly.

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 5 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have a full checkup every year.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

Your cholesterol should get checked every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should get a blood glucose test starting at age 45, then every 3 years.

Breast

Mammogram (X-ray of breast)

You should get a mammogram every 1–2 years.

Clinical breast exam

You should have a clinical breast exam yearly.

Reproductive

Pap test

Most women in this age group should have a Pap test every 3 years OR have a Pap combined with HPV testing every 5 years.

Pelvic exam

You should have a pelvic exam yearly.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners.


If you have new or multiple sexual partners, or have a sex partner with an STI, you should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea yearly.


If you are pregnant, you should be tested for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B. You may also need chlamydia and gonorrhea screening starting early in pregnancy if you’re at-risk. Whether or not you are pregnant, talk to your doctor to understand what tests are most appropriate for you based on your individual situation.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

You should get a baseline eye exam at age 40. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are an African American (which puts you at higher risk for glaucoma), get checked every 2 years.

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 5 years until age 45. Then get tested every 3 years at age 45 and older.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Dental

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have a full checkup every year.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should get your cholesterol checked every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should get a blood glucose test every 3 years.

Breast

Mammogram (X-ray of breast)

You should get a mammogram every 1–2 years.

Clinical breast exam

You should have a clinical breast exam yearly.

Reproductive

Pap test

Most women in this age group should have a Pap test every 3 years OR have a Pap combined with HPV testing every 5 years.

Pelvic exam

You should have a pelvic exam yearly.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners.


If you have new or multiple sexual partners, or have a sex partner with an STI, you should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea yearly. Talk to your doctor to understand what tests are most appropriate for you based on your individual situation.

COLORECTAL (USE 1 OF THESE 3 METHODS)

Fecal occult blood test

If this is the screening you use, you should get it done yearly.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test)

If this is the screening you use, you should get it every 10 years.

Colonoscopy

If this is the screening you use, you should get it every 10 years.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year. If you are over age 60, are an African American over 40, or have a family history of glaucoma, get checked every 2 years. (People in these categories have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.)

Hearing test

You should get your hearing tested every 3 years until age 60. At age 60 and above, you should get tested every 2 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.

General

Full checkup, including weight and height

You should have a full checkup every year.

Heart

Blood pressure test

You should get your blood pressure checked every year. If your blood pressure numbers are high, or if you have other health problems, you may need to get it checked more often.

Cholesterol test

You should get your cholesterol checked every 5 years. If you have other health problems, you may need to have your cholesterol checked more often.

Bone

Bone mineral density (BMD) test

You should have a BMD test by age 65.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test

You should get a blood glucose test every 3 years.

Breast

Mammogram (X-ray of breast)

You should have a mammogram every 1–2 years. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Clinical breast exam

You should have a clinical breast exam yearly.

Reproductive

Pap test

The Pap test is not recommended if previous screenings have been normal.

Pelvic exam

You should get a pelvic exam yearly.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) and infection (STI) tests

You and your partner should get tested for STDs and STIs, including HIV, before entering a sexual relationship with each other. You should also get tested for STDs and STIs if you decide to have sexual intercourse with new or multiple partners.


If you have new or multiple sexual partners, or have a sex partner with an STI, you should get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea yearly. Talk to your doctor to understand what tests are most appropriate for you based on your individual situation.

COLORECTAL (USE 1 OF THESE 3 METHODS)

Fecal occult blood test

If this is the screening you use, you should get it yearly. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy (with fecal occult blood test)

If this is the screening you use, you should get it every 10 years. If you’re over 75, you should get it every 5 years.

Colonoscopy

If this is the screening you use, you should get it every 10 years. If you’re over 75, ask your doctor if it’s still necessary.

Eye and Ear

Complete eye exam

You should have a complete eye exam every year or 2 to check for glaucoma. If you have diabetes, you should get your eyes checked every year.

Hearing test

You should have your hearing tested every 2 years.

Skin

Skin exam

You should have your doctor check your skin as part of a routine full checkup, however, you should also perform monthly self-exams. Be sure to check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes.

Oral

Dental exam

You should go to the dentist once or twice a year for an exam and cleaning. Ask your dentist about any dental X-rays you may need.

Mental Health

Mental health screening

Talk with your doctor if you have been feeling sad or hopeless, or have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.