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In Your 20s: Women's Health at UPMC in Central Pa.

Life in your 20s is an exciting time. You may be finishing up college, beginning a career or even looking forward to getting married and starting a family. While you may be “all grown up,” your body is still working just as hard as it did in your adolescent years. It is now producing the hormones estrogen, progesterone and androgen at peak levels, which add both fat and muscle.

If you’ve been living a moderately healthy lifestyle, you most likely have strong bones and good flexibility. Regular exercise is important – now more than ever.

Health Challenges in Your 20s

UPMC wants to help you live a healthy and vibrant life. As a 20-something, keep in mind there are some health risks you should be aware of:

  • Immune system disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes and other chronic conditions due to a lack of exercise and poor diet
  • Infectious and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Issues with birth control, pregnancy and infertility
  • Lack of sleep

Getting regular checkups and health screenings will help you develop and maintain the best health possible. Below is a list of six tests you should get when you are in your 20s:

  • Blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked at least every two years if your reading is normal and at least every year if it’s abnormal.
  • Cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol can be checked with a blood test.
  • Skin checks. Melanoma is one of the most common cancers among women in their 20s. Schedule an annual body scan with your dermatologist.
  • Pap smear. All women 21 and older should have a regular Pap test for cervical cancer, whether or not you are sexually active.
  • Clinical breast exam. Have your physician perform this as part of your yearly exam (and don’t forget your monthly self-exams).
  • STD screenings. If you’re under 25 and sexually active, or older with multiple partners or a new partner, get tested annually for chlamydia and gonorrhea, both of which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.

UPMC Pinnacle services that can help you stay healthy through your 20s:

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