Women 20-40


Regular health checks and screenings, in combination with a healthy diet and regular physical activity, can assist in the prevention of disease or illness. Recommendations are made for how often you should have a blood pressure, Cervical Screening Test, blood sugar, breast, skin and immunisation review.

Below is a list of the tests you should consider having. We have briefly listed what you are testing for, why you need to test and when to test and, for heart and cardiovascular health, the healthy limits for women.

The complete range of medical checks and screening procedures required throughout life will vary for every person, depending on individual risks, medical background and family history. Talk to your doctor about what tests you need to maintain your health.

Heart & cardiovascular health

What Why "Normal" How often
Blood pressure (BP) Make sure it's not too high 120/80mmHG Every 2 years
Body mass index (BMI) Measure the best weight for your health 20-25 Every 2 years

Ovaries & uterus health

What Why When How often
Cervical Screening Test The Cervical Screening Test looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can cause changes to cells in your cervix, which in rare cases can develop into cervical cancer Between the ages of 25 and 74 Your first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will need to have the test only every five years if your results are normal
Ovarian cancer screening Screen for changes in the ovary indicating ovarian cancer If you are at risk due to family history As your doctor advises

Blood sugar

What Why When How often
Glucose (sugar) check Testing for  diabetes If you are overweight or at risk of diabetes Every year if at high risk, otherwise every three years

Breast health

What Why When How often
Breast self-check To check for changes that may indicate breast cancer

From your 20s onwards

Every month

Bladder & bowel health

What Why When How often
Bowel cancer test Screening for bowel cancer As advised, if you have a family history of bowel cancer As your doctor advises

Sexual health

What Why When How often
Sexually transmissible infection (STI) check Screening for STIs Before a new relationship, or if a recent change in partner As required
Chlamydia test Screening for chlamydia (STI) If you are sexually active

Every year

Ages 15-29

Skin health

What Why When How often
Skin examination Screening for skin cancer If you are 20-40 Every year

Eyes, ears & dental health

What Why When How often
Eye examination To test vision and retina health

If you are 20-40

Every 2 years
Examination and cleaning To look for tooth decay and gum disease If you are 20-40 Every year

Mental & emotional health

What Why When How often
Mental health check To test for anxiety, depression

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability or sadness

As needed

Fertility

What Why When How often
Reproductive health check To look for factors that may affect the health of mother or baby If you are looking to become pregnant When you are thinking of/beginning to try to conceive

Immunisation review

What Why When How often
Checking your immunity
  • Frequent changes to the influenza virus mean annual influenza vaccination is needed to provide protection against the most recent virus
  • Whooping cough, rubella and tetanus vaccinations can wear off, so you may need booster shots

At risk of chest infection and prior to pregnancy

  • Every year for influenza
  • For other vaccinations, discuss with your doctor

References

  1. RACGP, Guidelines for Preventive Activities in General Practice, 9th Edition (May 2018)

  2. Australian Government, Department of Health, The National Immunisation Program

Last updated 08 November 2018 — Last reviewed 11 October 2018

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at October 2018.

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