Skip to content

Women's Health

Select An Article

Simple Health Steps for Women in Their 40s & 50s

Font Size

1. Revisit your contraceptive method.

"If you've been on oral contraceptives, as you get older you may want to consider switching to an IUD or other method, due to cardiovascular risk factors," says JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. Birth control pills may increase some women's risk of heart disease.

2. Manage menopause.

One day, it's birth control; the next, hot flashes. Welcome to midlife. Talk to your medical provider before menopausal symptoms kick in and discuss what you might want to do to decrease discomfort. "If you have moderate to severe menopausal symptoms and are at low risk for breast cancer and heart disease, short-term hormonal therapy (HRT) might be right for you," Manson says.


3. Keep an eye on your calcium.

As you're moving into menopause, it's a critical time for women to preserve bone health and stave off osteoporosis. If you don't get enough dairy in your diet, take a twice-daily supplement with calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D is the key that unlocks the calcium so your body can use it. Ask your doctor whether you should have a bone density scan to screen for early osteoporosis.

4. Don't forget key screening tests.

Make sure you get regular mammograms starting at age 40, diabetes screening starting at 45, and a colonoscopy at age 50 (earlier if you're at high risk). Also, because thyroid disease is common in older women, ask your doctor whether you should consider a thyroid screening.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Mikio A. Nihira, MD on August 20, 2012
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
Doctor discussing screening with patient
bp app on smartwatch and phone
ovaries in body model

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror