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While you can’t control your genetics, taking charge of your overall health can help lower your risk of developing many conditions down the line.

Some men have the misconception that if they seem healthy, they don’t need to visit a doctor. But getting regular checkups and health screenings can catch many diseases in the early stages or before they develop.

This guide gives you the rundown on the types of preventive care you can receive to keep you healthy at each stage of your life.

Generally speaking, men in their 20s and 30s have fewer health issues than older men. Building healthy habits when you’re young can help you decrease your risk of developing health problems as you age.

Healthy habits to add to your regimen may include:

  • using a condom or other barrier method during sex
  • minimizing stress and getting plenty of rest
  • wearing sunscreen and minimizing sun exposure
  • limiting alcohol to no more than two drinks per day
  • avoiding smoking, secondhand smoke, and tobacco
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • avoiding activities with a high risk of injury, such as extreme sports
  • always wearing a seat belt when in a vehicle

Even if you don’t have any known health concerns, it’s still a good idea to visit a doctor for regular checkups. Most people under 50 years old should get a medical checkup at least once every 3 years.

During a checkup, the doctor will check things like your:

Many young men are living with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, you can also bring that up during the appointment. Your doctor can refer you to a mental health professional if needed.

Many men become sexually active during their teen years or in their 20s. Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if you’ve had sex without a condom or other barrier method, especially with a new partner.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everybody between 13 and 64 years old get at least one routine HIV test. People with frequent partner changes are encouraged to get tested more often.

Questions you might ask your doctor

  • Do I have a moderate weight for my height?
  • Do I have a high chance of developing any future health issues?
  • Is there anything I can do to improve my overall health?
  • Are there any specific screening tests or vaccines I should get?

Screening tests

  • Eye exam: The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends people with healthy vision get a complete eye exam once in their 20s and twice in their 30s. Visit an eye doctor more often if you’re having problems with your eyesight.
  • High blood pressure screening: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends adults ages 18 to 39 years get screened for high blood pressure every 3 to 5 years.
  • Dental checkup: Get a complete dental checkup at least every 2 years, recommends a 2020 study.
  • Testicular cancer screening: No standard screening guidelines exist for testicular cancer, but the National Cancer Institute says it’s the most common cancer diagnosed in men 15 to 34 years old. It’s important to make an appointment with a doctor if you have testicles and notice any changes in their size or shape.
  • Cholesterol screening: The CDC recommends that most adults get checked every 4 to 6 years. If you have a high risk of heart disease, get tested more often.
  • Hepatitis C screening: The CDC recommends that adults over age 18 years get screened for hepatitis C at least once in their lives.

Your doctor may recommend additional screening for certain conditions depending on your family history or other risk factors.


  • HPV vaccine: The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can protect you against genital warts and certain cancers caused by HPV. The CDC recommends that everybody under age 26 years get vaccinated for HPV, ideally before having sex for the first time.
  • Tdap vaccine: The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). The CDC recommends the Tdap vaccine for adults who didn’t receive it as adolescents. The CDC also recommends getting a booster dose every 10 years, or 5 years if you have a severe wound.
  • Influenza vaccine: The CDC recommends that all people over 6 months old get an annual flu shot, with a few exceptions.
  • COVID-19 vaccine: COVID-19 vaccines significantly decrease your chances of getting COVID-19 or developing severe disease.
  • Varicella vaccine: According to the CDC, people who are 13 years old or older and never had chickenpox should get two doses of the varicella vaccine at least 28 days apart.
  • MMR vaccine: The CDC recommends that all teenagers without evidence of immunity against measles, mumps, or rubella get the MMR vaccine.
Preventive health screenings in your 20s and 30sShare on Pinterest
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When you take advantage of regular checkups, a doctor can help you assess your risk of future medical problems. They can also screen for medical issues you may not know you have.

With weight gain being more common in your 40s, you may be more likely to develop health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Continuing healthy habits, like exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, can help prevent these conditions.

Questions you might ask your doctor

  • Is my blood pressure within a healthy range?
  • Are my blood glucose and lipid levels typical?
  • Is my heart healthy?
  • Do I need any additional screening tests based on family history or other factors?

Screening tests

  • Colon cancer screening: The CDC recommends regular screening for colorectal cancer starting at 45 years old. If you have a heightened risk, like a family history, get tested earlier.
  • Diabetes screening: The USPSTF recommends screening for type 2 diabetes in adults 35 to 70 years old with overweight or obesity and repeating the test every 3 years if blood glucose levels are healthy.
  • Blood pressure screening: The USPSTF recommends that adults over age 40 years get screened annually for high blood pressure.
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Most people need to connect with a healthcare professional more often in their 50s than when they were younger. Generally, visit a doctor at least once per year for a routine checkup, even if you don’t have any specific health concerns.

When you’re in your 50s, many types of cancer become more common, and your immune system may not work as well as it used to. Getting all your necessary vaccines and taking steps to avoid infection can help you stay healthier longer.

Questions you might ask your doctor

Screening tests and vaccines

  • Shingles vaccine: The CDC recommends that adults over 50 years old take two doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 to 6 months apart to prevent shingles.
  • Prostate cancer: The USPSTF recommends that men 55 to 69 years old talk with a doctor about being screened for prostate cancer with a PSA test.
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It’s common for men to have trouble maintaining a moderate weight as they get older. Continuing with healthy exercise and dietary habits is still necessary. But a slower metabolism might make attaining your weight goals harder.

Many men over 60 years old also have some degree of hearing or sight loss. If you have trouble hearing or seeing, visit an ear or eye doctor for an exam.

The CDC currently lists heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Your risk of heart disease increases with age, but keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure in check can help reduce your chances of developing it.

Questions you might ask your doctor

  • Am I at risk of developing heart disease, and what can I do to lower my chances of developing it?
  • Are there any medications I should take to lower my risk of heart disease?
  • What dietary changes can I make to improve my overall health?

Screening tests and vaccines

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Men 70 years old and over tend to have weaker immune systems than younger men, so it becomes even more important to get your annual flu shot.

While men typically have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis than women, the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that men over age 70 years get a bone density test.

Questions you might ask your doctor

  • What can I do to lower my chances of infection?
  • What can I do to increase my bone mineral density?
  • How much should I be exercising?
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The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance companies to cover preventive health services recommended by the USPSTF without a deductible or copayment unless your plan is grandfathered in.

If you don’t have insurance, you can find low cost healthcare at community health clinics in your area. You can search for community health clinics here.

While you can’t control your genetics, you can reduce your risk of developing many diseases by getting all your recommended health screenings and vaccines. Even if you don’t have any health concerns, it can be beneficial to regularly meet with a healthcare professional for checkups.

Men under 50 years old with no particular health issues may only need to get a checkup once every 2 to 3 years. Older men should generally visit a doctor at least once each year for routine tests.