Women’s Health

Doc Talk Women's Health

During the month of October there is a lot of discussion around breast cancer awareness. Keeping up to date on checkups and knowing how to do self-exams at home are very important for women of all ages.

Midtown’s women’s health provider, Mary Smith, APRN, said it is difficult to pinpoint a specific age range or recommendation for when mammograms are needed.

“Mammograms are complicated as there are multiple agencies that make (different) recommendations,” Smith said.

Smith states that the general rule should be talking with your provider around the age of 40 about when to start getting mammograms and how often.

“I would say the take home message with mammograms is to discuss it with your provider to see what the best route for each woman to take,” Smith said.

October is also a good month to think about other routine preventative checkups for females. Typically breast exams and pap smears go hand in hand during a well women exam. Smith said pap smears have a more definitive recommendation when it comes to what age to start and how often.

“Pap smears start at the age of 21 regardless of sexual activity, and should be done every three years if normal and ages 30 to 65 every three years or five with HPV testing,” Smith said. “Pap smears are not recommended after the age of 65 or if you have had a hysterectomy for reasons other than cervical cancer.”

Smith mentioned one way to decrease risk of cervical cancer or HPV is by limiting the number of lifetime sexual partners and by getting the HPV vaccination.


Midtown Health Center’s DocTalk is a collaborative effort of Dr. Emily Vuchetich, Chief Medical Officer; Dr. David Seger, Chief Dental Officer; Dr. Josh Turek, Chief Behavioral Health Officer as well as Midtown’s other providers. For a full list of Midtown’s providers, as well as more information about Midtown please visit Midtownhealthne.org.