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Top 5 women’s health issues and how to prevent them

Though men and women share some common health risks, women are more at risk of certain illnesses and injuries, as well as specific types of female cancers, such as those of the reproductive system and maternal issues. Some of the most common women’s health issues are a result of the fast-paced modern lifestyle, or simply because of women’s body specific build.

For the 2020 International Women’s Day, Pacific Prime Singapore wants to remind our readers about the 5 most common women’s health issues, and ways to decrease the chances of their occurrence. 

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Top 5 women’s health concerns

Yes, women have their own set of health risks, but the good news is that many of the leading threats to women’s health issues are preventable. Find out which conditions to be aware of and what are the things you can do to minimize the risk. 

1. Cancer

Specific cancers are among the top health risks women should look out for. The most common women cancers include breast cancer, which is currently the most common type of cancer among women in Singapore, and ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers. 

What can you do?

Age is one of the main risk factors in breast cancer, it is not the case with the other three. The risk for breast cancer increases with age; most breast cancers are diagnosed after age 50. Regular screenings as well as getting an HPV vaccination can help you minimize the risk. 

2. Depression

Women are more prone to develop depression, and to develop it earlier in life than men. Depression and anxiety can also be more common in women due to the possibility of developing postpartum depression and depression tied to menstruation.

What can you do?

Taking care of one’s mental health is important, therefore the best thing you can do if you feel like you’re suffering from depression, is to seek help; both from family and friends, but more importantly, from a professional. Many people in Singapore seek mental help, in fact, in 2019, almost 1/5th of all healthcare costs were spent on stress-related issues. Don’t be ashamed, and get help. 

3. Heart disease

Many of you might think men are more prone to health disease, but in reality, this is a very common issue among women too. Being overweight, smoking tobacco, and living a sedentary lifestyle are factors that increase their risk of developing heart disease. 

What you can do? 

Your genetics contribute to your risk of heart disease, however, making healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco, eating a balanced diet, and exercising daily, can help reduce your risk of developing many of the heart-related non-communicable diseases.

4.Fertility issues

One in six couples worldwide has issues conceiving a baby, and that rate is also high in Singapore, making many women ask “Why am I not getting pregnant?”. Believe it or not, three out of the five most common fertility issues in Singapore affect women, meaning women trying to conceive must pay special attention to their health.  

What can you do? 

Since some fertility issues occur with age, it is best to think about having the first baby before the age of 30. Obesity and other underlying health conditions can also make conceiving harder, so paying attention to your diet, exercising and getting regular health check-ups, and a visit to an Ob-gyn before trying to conceive can help. 

5. Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which the immune system attacks the body and destroys or alters tissues. According to The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), 75 percent of the people diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, such as diabetes, lupus, or multiple sclerosis are women.

It is not known what causes the body to turn on itself, but genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors might play a role.

What can you do? 

Since symptoms of autoimmune diseases are sometimes hard to describe, the proper diagnosis can be difficult. If you feel like you’re not receiving a proper answer to your symptoms, it is okay to ask for a second, or even third medical opinion to find out what is causing your health to deteriorate.  

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Prevention of the most common women’s health issues

With the WHO declaring non-communicable diseases as one of ten biggest threats to human health, factoring for almost 85% of premature deaths every year. The rise of these diseases, which includes cancer, heart diseases, and also mental health issues like depression, has been driven by five major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, overuse of alcohol, unhealthy diets, and air pollution. 

A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing health issues for women

Since we can’t control air or the fact we age, are there things we have the power to perform to prevent or at least minimize the chances of developing the most common health issues facing women nowadays? 

Yes, and the answer is found in  self-care on many levels, including but not limited to:

  1. Maintaining the right body weight through a well-balanced diet.
  2. Regular exercise, ideally a minimum of 30 minutes of movement daily.
  3. Responsible drinking (1 alcoholic drink per day for women). 
  4. Stress management by relaxation techniques, or even improving work-life balance.
  5. Regular health check-ups can help detect any “silent” diseases earlier on.

The importance of outpatient health coverage

Just as maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important for your general wellbeing, the ability to see a general practitioner, or a specialist medical professional to monitor your health is equally important. 

Expat individual health insurance can cover you for both hospital visits, as well as for all of your outpatient needs, such as medical screenings, doctor visits, and so on. While of course, hospital costs are the highest, initial consultation with a private doctor in Singapore can cost as much as SG $146, excluding any medical tests, or medications. 

Talk to a renowned private health insurance company in Singapore

While we can only bring certain medical topics to your attention, we would encourage you to seek the advice of medical professionals if you are worried, or even just curious about your health. What we, as a leading health insurance broker in the Lion City, can do is to help you choose and compare health insurance plans in Singapore, so that you can find your perfect medical plan within your budget, and specific needs. 

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Singapore
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!