Women's Health In Your 20s
Learn about healthy habits for sex, relationships, your body and more.
Life in your 20s can be exciting—overwhelming, too. You're juggling education, a job, friends and relationships, and maybe planning a family.
Your body's hormones are peaking, and sexual activity can sometimes take center stage. To avoid overdoing things and becoming exhausted, it's important to get plenty of rest and watch your stress levels. Remember to eat well and exercise. And don't put off finding a doctor for regular checkups, reproductive health screenings, skin exams and immunizations.
How you care for your body now can affect how well you feel in the future.
Important Stats for Women Your Age
Here are some facts you need to know for a healthier life.
1 in 4
WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH AN STD
ARE SINGLE, NEVER MARRIED
HAVE A DIAGNOSABLE MENTAL DISORDER
7 Steps to Better Healthcare
Not sure where to start? Here are healthy steps to take today:
- Find a primary care physician or gynecologist.
- Schedule an annual well-woman visit and physical.
- Ask about contraception options.
- Discuss fertility and sexual health with your doctor.
- Start or continue monthly breast self-exams.
- Check your skin regularly for moles or other changes.
- Get help for depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions.
Screenings & Vaccinations
Having the right medical tests and vaccinations—at the right time—is an important part of staying healthy. Here are the ones you need.
- Flu shot: every year, before flu season
- Cervical cancer screening: Pap test every 3 years
- STD Screening: every year if you're under 25, or as needed
- Pelvic exam: every year
- Blood pressure screening: every 2 years
- Breast self-exam: monthly
- Clinical breast exam: every 3 years
- Eye exam: every 2 years
- Dental exam: every year; cleaning twice a year
- Flu shot: every year, before flu season
- HPV vaccine: if you're under 26 and haven't received it yet
- Meningococcal vaccine: if you're in college or the military
- Tdap vaccine booster: every 10 years
- Varicella vaccine: 2 doses if born after 1980 or never had chicken pox
13 Tips for Healthy Living
How you treat yourself affects your future wellbeing. Follow these tips to stay healthier in your 20s and beyond:
- Eat a healthy diet of whole foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Get regular medical checkups, tests and vaccinations.
- Do regular breast and skin self-exams.
- If you have a family history of diabetes, check your A1c blood sugar levels regularly.
- Don’t smoke, vape or abuse substances.
- Use sunscreen or SPF-coated clothing to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
- Use protection during sexual activity.
- Manage your stress.
- Wear a seatbelt and never drink, use drugs or text and drive.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle or skiing, and wear protective gear for other sports.
Understanding Your Body's Changes
You may have questions as your body is going through subtle hormonal changes. Browse these frequently asked questions.
One in 4 sexually active women will get an STD. The symptoms are generally mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or yeast infection. Talk to your doctor about getting tested so you can find out what you have and receive the right treatment.
Sadness is a normal reaction to stress and social pressures you may face in your 20s. It goes away with time. Depression is different—it's a medical condition with severe and persistent symptoms that affect your ability to enjoy life. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. If you think you have signs of depression or a related condition, discuss treatment options with your doctor.
You got through your teens without a zit, then suddenly in your 20s they're popping out all over. Adult acne is one of the most common skin conditions among women at this age—more than half will deal with it at some time during their 20s. Hormonal changes that occur due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy, perimenopause or birth control use are major factors. Chronic stress, certain ingredients in hair and skin products, and some medications can also cause adult acne. Consult your dermatologist about treatments.
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 20s
When Josefina Rodriguez suddenly felt fatigued and short of breath in her 20s, she chalked it up to working out after pregnancy. Little did she know it was something more serious. Find out how this young mom coped with a condition that changed her life.
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases among women. It’s undetectable but can lead to cervical cancer. Find out why you should consider getting protection against this disease in your 20s.