Women’s Health Checklist


Breast health check
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in New Zealand. You are entitled to a free diagnostic mammogram if you are a New Zealand citizen or resident (at any age) at a District Health Board (DHB) provided mammography service; if you have significant signs and/or symptoms of breast cancer; or if you have no symptoms of breast cancer, but are considered at high-risk for the development of breast cancer. A GP referral is required.

Cervical health check
A woman’s best protection against developing cervical cancer is having regular cervical smear tests. The National Cervical Screening Programme aims to reduce the number of women who get cervical cancer. Women in New Zealand can take part in the programme from the time they turn 20 years until they turn 70 years.

Bone health check
Osteoporosis is a condition where the honeycomb structure of bone becomes thin and brittle over time. If you are aged 50+ years or have reached menopause it is important to discuss your bone health with your doctor – if you have any risk factors you may need a bone density test.

Heart health check
Although you can’t do much about some of the risk factors such as getting older or your ethnicity, there are plenty of measures you can take at any age to reduce your risk of heart disease. There are a number of accurate ways (computerised) to assess your risk of heart disease. Your doctor can ensure that you have the appropriate risk assessment and diagnostic tests.

Oral health check
Prevent problems in your mouth by keeping teeth and gums in good shape and recognising and responding to problems as soon as they happen.Visit your dentist regularly for a dental check up. If you have any symptoms of gum or periodontal disease, visit your dentist in between regular check-up times and don’t ignore symptoms.

Eye health and vision check
Eye health and vision can deteriorate as we age – women aged 40+ years should visit an optometrist every 2 years, especially if you have a family history of glaucoma, diabetes or macular degeneration.

Skin health check
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Most skin cancers are preventable – the main cause of them being over-exposure to sunlight, especially sunburn. Check your skin regularly for any changes.


  • Don’t smoke
  • Cut back on alcohol intake
  • Eat a healthy, balanced, low-fat diet
  • Make sure your weight is in the correct range for your height
  • Do some exercise every day…30 minutes a day of brisk walking.

For regular health checks visit your doctor or medical professional.