In spite of genetics, taking charge of your overall health can help lower your risk of certain conditions later in life.

The myth among some men is that they don’t need to visit the doctor if they appear healthy. Check-ups and health screenings, however, can help identify many diseases in the early stages or even prevent them from developing.

In this guide, you will learn what types of preventive care you can receive at each stage of your life to stay healthy.

Preventive care in your 20s and 30s

In general, young men have fewer health issues than older men. You can decrease your chances of developing health problems as you age by adopting healthy habits when you’re young.

The following habits may help improve your health:

  • Using a condom or another barrier method during sex
  • minimise stress and get enough rest
  • wearing sunscreen and limiting your exposure to the sun
  • limiting your daily alcohol intake to two drinks
  • avoiding tobacco, second-hand smoke, and all forms of smoking
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • keeping away from activities that may result in injury, such as extreme sports
  • Wear a seatbelt at all times when in a vehicle

Even if you don’t have any known health concerns, a regular check-up with a doctor is still a good idea. A medical checkup is recommended for most people under the age of 50 once every three years.

During your checkup, the doctor will look at things like:

  • BMI (body mass index)
  • health of your skin
  • your blood pressure
  • cholesterol levels

It is common for young men to suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. You should also consult a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health conditions.

During their teenage years or their 20s, many men become sexually active. Consider getting tested for sexually transmitted infections if you have had sex without a barrier method or condom, especially if you are with a new partner.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone aged 13 to 64 should get a routine HIV test. A more frequent test is recommended for people who change partners frequently.

Here are some questions you might ask your doctor

  • In relation to my height, am I a moderate weight?
  • Am I at risk of developing any future health problems?
  • Are there any steps I can take to improve my overall health?
  • Do I need to get any specific screening tests or vaccinations?

Screening tests

  • Eye exam. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people with healthy eyes undergo an eye exam once in their 20s and twice in their 30s. If you have problems with your vision, see an ophthalmologist more frequently.
  • Screen for high blood pressure. Adults aged 18 to 39 should be screened for high blood pressure every three to five years, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).
  • Dental checkup. According to a 2020 study, you should get a complete dental checkup every two years.
  • Testicular cancer screening. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men ages 15 to 34, but there are no standard screening guidelines. It’s crucial that you schedule an appointment with your doctor if you notice any changes in the size or shape of your testicles.
  • Cholesterol screening. If you are over 20 years old and at low risk for cardiovascular disease, the CDC recommends checking your cholesterol every five years. If you are at higher risk, get your cholesterol checked more often.
  • Hepatitis C screening. Adults over the age of 18 should be screened for hepatitis C at least once in their lives.


  • HPV vaccine. Vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) can protect you against genital warts and certain types of cancer. Everyone under the age of 26 should get vaccinated against HPV before having sex for the first time, according to the CDC.
  • Tdap vaccine. Tdap vaccines protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Adults who were not vaccinated as adolescents are recommended to receive the Tdap vaccine.      In addition, a booster dose is recommended every 10 years or every 5 years if you have severe wounds.
  • Influenza vaccine. With few exceptions, the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get an annual flu shot.
  • Varicella vaccine. People who are 13 years or older and have never had chickenpox should receive two doses of varicella vaccine at least 28 days apart, according to the CDC.
  • MMR vaccine. CDC recommends that teenagers without proof of immunity should get vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella.

Preventive care during your 40s

You can assess whether you are at risk of medical problems in the future by getting regular check-ups. You’ll also be screened for medical issues you may not be aware of.

During your 40s, you may be more likely to develop health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol due to weight gain. By maintaining healthy habits like regular exercise and a balanced diet, these conditions can be prevented.

Questions you may want to ask your doctor

  • Is my blood pressure within normal, healthy ranges?
  • Are my blood sugar and cholesterol levels normal?
  • Do I have a healthy heart?
  • Are there any additional tests I should have done?

Screening tests

  • Colon cancer screening. Colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 according to the CDC. Getting tested earlier is especially important if you have heightened risk factors, such as a family history.
  • Diabetes screening. According to the USPSTF, overweight and obese adults aged 35 to 70 should be tested for diabetes type 2 every three years if their blood glucose levels are healthy.
  • Blood pressure screening. Adults over age 40 should get screened for hypertension annually, according to the USPSTF.

Preventive care when you are in your 50s

Over the course of their 50s, most people require more contact with healthcare professionals than when they were younger. Even if you don’t have any specific health concerns, you should see your doctor for a routine examination at least once a year.

Cancer is more common in your 50s, and your immune system may not work as well as it used to. By taking the necessary steps to prevent infection and getting your vaccines, you can stay healthy for longer.

Here are several questions you might ask your doctor.

  • Are there any pros and cons to taking medications to control high blood pressure?
  • Should I do a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) to screen for prostate cancer?
  • How can I manage my weight better?

Screening tests and vaccines

  • Shingles vaccine. In order to prevent shingles, the CDC recommends adults over 50 take two doses of the Shingrix vaccine two to six months apart.
  • Prostate cancer. Men ages 55 to 69 should talk to their doctor about being screened for prostate cancer with a PSA test, suggests the USPSTFT.

Preventive care in your 60s

Men often find it difficult to maintain a moderate weight as they age. A healthy diet and exercise routine are still essential. However, a slower metabolism makes it challenging to achieve your weight goals.

A lot of older men also suffer from hearing or vision loss. A visit to an ear or eye doctor is a good idea if you find that you have trouble hearing or seeing.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. When you age, your chances of developing heart disease increase, but you can reduce your risk by controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Here are some questions you might ask your doctor

  • Would I be at risk of developing heart disease, and what can I do to lower my chances of developing it?
  • Do I need to take any medications in order to reduce my risk of developing heart disease?
  • Are there any dietary changes I can make to improve my health?

Screening tests and vaccines

  • Pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for all adults over 65 to prevent infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. For men aged 65-75 who have smoked, the USPSTF recommends that they get screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Fall risk screening. Both the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatrics Society recommend that all adults over 65 be screened for fall risk every year.

Preventive care in your 70s and beyond

As we age, our immune systems become weaker, which makes annual flu shots even more important.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all men over the age of 70 get a bone density test, even though they are typically less likely to develop osteoporosis than women are.

You may want to ask your doctor the following questions

  • How can I reduce my risk of infection?
  • Is there anything I can do to increase my bone mineral density?
  • How much should I be exercising?

In summary

Genetics can’t be controlled, but getting your recommended health screenings and vaccines can reduce your risk of developing many diseases. A regular check-up with a healthcare professional is a good idea even if you’re in good health.

If you are under the age of 50 and do not have any health problems, you may only need to go for a check-up every 2 to 3 years. For older men, routine testing at least once per year is a good idea.

Last medically reviewed on October 31, 2021