In Your 50s & 60s
Welcome to the wise-woman decades. By your 50s, you've accomplished a lot and gained some wisdom on the way.
Then, along comes menopause—and fluctuating hormones that can shake your wellbeing. You may gain weight or find your sleep interrupted by hot flashes. You might also experience vaginal dryness that can affect your sex life.
Now’s the time to have a heart-to-heart talk with your doctor about self-care, prevention, menopause management and screening for heart disease and colon and breast cancers.
Important Stats for Women Your Age
Here are some facts you need to know for a healthier life.
9 Steps to Better Healthcare
Not sure where to start? Here are healthy steps you can take today:
- Talk to your doctor about menopause symptoms and therapies.
- Share pregnancy history with your doctors to monitor for future medical conditions.
- Ask your doctor about osteoporosis and whether you need a bone-density exam.
- Follow your recommended mammogram schedule.
- Manage weight gain after menopause.
- Meet with a urogynecologist if you have pelvic floor disorders.
- Schedule your annual well-woman visit and physical.
- Don’t ignore possible symptoms of depression or memory loss.
- Limit alcohol intake (1 drink per day).
Screenings & Vaccinations
Having the right medical tests and vaccinations is an important part of staying healthy. Here are the ones you need:
- Flu shot: every year, before flu season
- Colonoscopy: initial screening at 50; discuss follow-ups with your doctor
- Hepatitis C screening: one test, follow-ups if necessary
- Bone-density screening: once at age 65; discuss with your doctor
- Cervical cancer screening: Pap test every 3 years in 50s; discuss with doctor after that
- Mammogram: discuss schedule with your doctor
- Clinical breast exam: every year
- Pelvic exam: every year
- Blood pressure screening: every 2 years
- Blood glucose screening: every 3 years
- Cholesterol blood panel: every 5 years
- Eye exam: every 2 years
- Dental exam: every year; cleaning twice a year
- Depression screening: as needed
- Shingles vaccine: once at age 60
- Pneumonia vaccine: one dose of PCV13 (Prevnar) at 65, one dose of PPSV23 (Pneumovax) a year later
Personalized Care in Your 50s & 60s
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
As a woman, you need to focus on staying well, so you'll have many years ahead of you. Follow these tips to stay active and healthy in the decades to come.
- Eat a healthy diet that's high in nutrients but not too high in calories.
- Get regular medical checkups.
- Get the tests and vaccinations your doctor recommends.
- Do regular self-exams of breasts and skin.
- Use sunscreen or SPF-coated clothing to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Don't smoke, vape or abuse substances.
- Commit to at least 30 minutes of daily walking and weight-bearing exercise.
- Wear a seat belt, and don't drink, use drugs or text while driving.
- Maintain an active and enjoyable social life.
- Use protection during sexual activity.
- Get plenty of sleep every night.
- Manage your stress.
- Don't forget to take care of yourself, even if you’re taking care of others.
Understanding Your Body's Changes
You may have questions as your body changes over time, especially during perimenopause and menopause. Browse these frequently asked questions.
There are a number of options, ranging from exercise to drug therapy, for maintaining bone strength or even reversing bone-mass loss. Talk to your doctor—it's important to take action as soon as you're aware of the condition, to reduce the risk of a life-changing fracture.
Mammography is still considered the gold standard for breast exams. The good news is that even though breast compression is necessary, the newer digital X-ray equipment produces images that are easier for the radiologist to examine—meaning it can be read more quickly, with more accurate results.
It can be—because during perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause), your hormone levels rise and fall, which can trigger heavy menstrual bleeding. But other serious conditions can also cause vaginal bleeding, so consult your gynecologist or family doctor if you’re having symptoms.
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 50s & 60s
Women's heart attack symptoms don't look the same as men's—but if a serious cardiac event goes undiagnosed, it can have fatal consequences. Learn about the signs of heart disease in women and how to get the proper care for yourself or a loved one.
Lori thought her bloating and weight gain were just normal signs of menopause—but they were actually caused by a cancerous tumor growing in her colon. Find out how to avoid making a similar mistake by getting the health screenings you need.