Women under 20

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, cholesterol, Pap smear, 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, 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 require to maintain your health.

Heart & cardiovascular health

What Why "Normal" How often
Blood pressure Make sure it's not too high. Less than 130/80mmHG. Every 2 years.
Total Cholesterol Make sure it's not too high. Below 6.0 mmol/L. Every 2 years.
Body mass index Measure the best weight for your health. 20-25. Every 2 years.

Ovaries & uterus health

What Why When How often
Pap smear test Screen for cell changes and cervical cancer if sexually active.

Whichever is the later:

  • Within 2 years of first sexual intercourse
  • Between the ages of 18-20
Every 2 years.
Ovarian cancer screening Screen for cell changes 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 2 years.

Bladder & bowel health

What Why When How often
Bowel cancer test Screening for bowel cancer. 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. Prior to a new partner, or with a change of partner. As required.
Chlamydia test Screening for chlamydia (STI). If you are sexually active. Every year.

Skin health

What Why When How often
Skin examination Screening for skin cancer. From 18 years onwards. Every year.

Eyes, ears & dental health

What Why When How often
Eye examination Testing vision and retina health. If you are under 20. Every 2 years.
Dental examination and cleaning Testing for tooth decay and gum disease. If you are under 20. Every year.

Mental & emotional health

What Why When How often
Mental health check Testing for anxiety, depression.


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

As needed.


What Why When How often
Reproductive health check Looking for factors that may impact on 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 means annual influenza vaccination is needed to provide protection against the most recent virus
  • Cervical cancer vaccination

If you have:

  • asthma
  • a chronic disease
  • are at increased risk of exposure

 Usually offered at school – completion of course is important for full protection.


  • Every year for flu
  • A course of 3 injections in 12 months

Last updated 24 July 2017 — Last reviewed 17 February 2014

** Currently under review **

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 February 2014.

Subscribe To our newsletters