In Your 30s
The 30s are a prime time for many women. You're building up important parts of your life—career, relationship and family—and creating a foundation for decades to come.
Meanwhile, your body is going through some subtle changes that show you're not a kid anymore. You may find your first gray hair or gain a few pounds, while quietly losing bone density and muscle tone.
As your life fills up with new priorities, it's important to take care of yourself—and that includes regular medical screenings and good lifestyle choices.
Making time for your health now is a smart investment in your future.
Important Stats for Women Your Age
Here are some facts you need to know for a healthier life.
10 Steps to Better Healthcare
Not sure where to start? Here are healthy steps you can take today:
- Consult a doctor about fertility and family planning.
- Find a primary care physician, obstetrician or gynecologist.
- Share pregnancy history with your doctors to monitor for future medical conditions.
- Schedule an annual physical or well-woman visit.
- Get help for stress, depression and other mental health conditions.
- Ask if your birth control could cause health issues.
- Ask your doctor about preventing bone loss.
- Continue monthly breast self-exams.
- Check your skin monthly for moles or other changes.
- Get help for dependence on alcohol or drugs.
Screenings & Vaccinations
Getting the right medical screenings and vaccinations is an important part of staying healthy. Here are the ones you need:
- Flu shot: every year, before flu season
- Clinical breast exam: every year, if you have high risk factors
- Cervical cancer screening: pap test every 3 years
- Pelvic exam: every year
- STD and HIV screening: every year, or as needed
- Blood pressure screening: every 2 years
- Blood pressure screening: every 2 years
- Cholesterol blood panel: every 5 years; annually if yours is high
- Diabetes screening (A1c test): at 35, or at doctor’s suggestion
- Thyroid function: once at 35, then ask your doctor
- Full skin exam: every 5-10 years
- Tdap vaccine booster: every 10 years
Personalized Care in Your 30s
Cedars-Sinai is available to answer questions or help you get started with the care you need in these important areas:
13 Tips for Healthy Living
How you treat your body in your 30s affects your future wellbeing. Follow these tips to protect your health:
- Eat a healthy diet of whole foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, including some strength training.
- Don’t delay medical checkups because you’re too busy.
- Get recommended tests and vaccinations.
- Do regular breast and skin self-exams.
- Use sunscreen or SPF-coated clothing to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Don’t smoke or abuse substances.
- Maintain an active and enjoyable social life.
- Get plenty of sleep every night.
- Manage your stress.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself, even if you’re busy taking care others.
- Wear a seat belt, and don't drink, use drugs or text while driving.
- Wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, bike or skiing, and wear protective gear for other sports.
Understanding Your Body's Changes
You may have questions as you experience physical and emotional changes in your 30s. Browse these frequently asked questions:
Every woman in her 30s should have skin cancer screenings, including dermatologist visits and self-checks for suspicious or changing lesions or moles. Early exposure can increase your risk, even if you're careful now. Women who had 5 bad sunburns in their teenage years have an increased chance of developing the 3 main types of skin cancer, especially the deadliest one, melanoma. And those who were consistently exposed to high levels of UV rays have double the chance of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma.
Your metabolism may be slowing down, so you're burning fewer calories each day. Meanwhile, job and family can keep you from being physically active or eating right all the time. First, see your doctor to make sure there are no medical reasons for the weight gain. Then, start squeezing exercise into your daily schedule, and revise your diet to include whole foods. Avoid junky snacks and overeating when you're tired or stressed.
Taking care of an infant can be exhausting and difficult—but it's also possible you're experiencing postpartum depression. Visit your obstetrician, general practitioner or a psychiatrist to find out if you need treatment for this common but potentially serious mood disorder. (If you're having a medical emergency or feel as if you might harm yourself or your baby, call 911.) If it turns out that you're just fatigued, that's normal. Ask your partner, a family member or a hired hand to help around the house.
Disclaimer: These are general guidelines for people in your age group, but every individual is different. Talk to your doctor about your personal medical needs.
Life in Your 30s
If you have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors such as adverse pregnancy or diabetes, you should be getting screenings and taking precautions, advises Chrisandra Shufelt, MD, associate director of the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center. Find out what you need to do to prevent heart disease in your 30s.
About 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. What should you do if you're among them? Margaret Pisarska, MD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Fertility and Reproductive Medical Center, explains the basics.