May 8, 2024 A Woman’s Guide to Key Screenings and Other Steps That Can Improve Well-being Throughout Life


In every generation, women often do the work of caring for themselves and their families, raising children, and attending to aging parents. RWJBarnabas Health has long recognized women’s complex role of nurturing others while tending to their own health needs, from reproductive care and breast health to menopause and heart care. RWJBarnabas Health is a leader in the region in women's health, offering a multitude of programs and services tailored to the unique needs of women.

Our women's health programs and services are backed by the largest healthcare network in New Jersey, making sure women have access to the highest level of care, the most state-of-the-art technology and the most experienced doctors and specialists. The breadth of our services for women empowers mothers, daughters and grandmothers to take the crucial preventive steps they need to chart a path of wellness through the life cycle.

Women’s health concerns often focus on milestones such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. But day-to-day and year-to-year health maintenance and preventive measures are also critical to well-being throughout life. “Getting recommended exams, screenings and immunizations are some of the most important things you can do to prevent problems or catch them earlier, and stay healthier longer,” says Suzanne Spernal, DNP, APN-BC, RNCOB, C-ONQS, Senior Vice President of Women’s Services at RWJBarnabas Health. “Maintaining a healthy weight throughout the life span is also key to living healthy.”

Here are vital steps to take—and details on when to take them— throughout a woman’s life.

General Health

  • Full checkup: See a primary care provider yearly.
  • Sleep habits: Discuss at your annual exam.
  • Thyroid (TSH) test: Discuss with your healthcare provider.
  • HIV screening: Get tested if you are at risk for HIV infection (due to, for example, unprotected sex, sexually transmitted disease or use of drugs with needles).

Heart Health

  • Blood pressure test: Get one at least every two years if not at your annual checkup.
  • Cholesterol panel: Establish your total, LDL, HDL and triglycerides in your 20s. Discuss follow-up with your provider in subsequent years.


  • Blood glucose or A1C test: Get screened if you have sustained blood pressure greater than 135/80, take medicine for high blood pressure or are at risk of developing diabetes.

Skin Health

  • Skin exam: Do a self-exam of skin and moles monthly and as part of a routine full checkup.

Oral Health

  • Dental cleaning and exam: See your dentist twice yearly.

Mental Health

  • Behavioral health screening: Talk with your provider about whether this would be helpful.

In each decade working with your healthcare provider to keep on top of regular tests and practices throughout life can have long-term benefits by detecting or monitoring chronic conditions that, left unchecked, often snowball into potentially serious problems. To find an RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group primary care provider right for you, call 855-571-2500.

Let’s be healthy together.

View our "Women's Health By The Decades Breakdown of Women's Health Guidelines.".

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