Although men and women encounter many of the same health challenges throughout their lives, women face certain health issues that men do not. As a woman, it is important to learn about the most frequent health concerns that women have and how they evolve over the course of a woman’s lifetime. In addition to physical health, certain mental health issues are more prevalent in women. Women are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety – as much as 3 times higher than men. Hormonal factors and additional stressors are some of the reasons for this increased rate.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, and it doesn’t account for family medical history or preexisting conditions (experts strongly advise consulting with your primary-care physician to figure out what additional appointments to schedule and when), but we hope it serves as a starting point for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Knowing what to do in terms of prevention and what signs to look out for in your health will go a long way in preventing illness, staying well and flourishing.
1. In Your Teens
A girl typically experiences puberty between the ages of 10 and 13. The average age of the first menstrual bleeding is 11-12 years old. It is considered delayed if it does not occur by the age of 16 years. In the first few years of menstruation, the time between menstrual cycles may not be regular. However, a teenage girl should see the doctor in the event of constant painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Symptoms include cramps, back pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating.
2. In Your 20s
Sexual health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the top health concerns for women in their 20s as they become more sexually active. It can be an exciting time but it is important that women are knowledgeable about STI and pregnancy prevention methods. Types of birth control and emergency contraceptives are some of the things a woman in her 20s should be educated about.
Want to learn more about birth control? Zoey’s guide on birth control pills in Singapore is the best place to start.
Additionally, a woman should be getting pap smears (a test that screens for cervical cancer) beginning at age 21 regardless of sexual history. It is also advised that women keep track of their menstrual cycles throughout their reproductive years as any changes could indicate health problems.
3. In Your 30s
Fertility issues and difficulties from pregnancy and delivery are common health issues for women in their 30s. According to the CDC, one in every five women between the ages of 30 and 39 will have difficulty conceiving, and fertility diminishes between the ages of 30 and 45.
If you’re struggling with fertility issues or would like advice and support during your journey to become a mother, Zoey’s fertility coaches are trained to specifically help couples and individuals manage the emotions that come with their fertility journey.
And if you are considered high risk, you may want your doctor to start performing more screenings for cancer such as a BRCA gene test. Other health concerns that your doctor should check for include anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.
4. In Your 40s
In your 40s, your health concerns and issues would center around perimenopause which can last between 2 to 10 years. On top of that, every woman over the age of 40 should begin getting an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. At 45, you should start having an annual colonoscopy examination to screen for colon cancer. Health disorders including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, and infertility may become more evident at this time.
Eating well-balanced meals and exercising are key to staying healthy and energetic in your 40s. This is also a crucial moment for a woman to begin doing regular weight-bearing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis later in life.
5. 50s And Beyond
The average woman reaches menopause at the age of 51. Menopause is defined as 12 months without a period. You should anticipate having hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other physical changes. Cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes are among health challenges that women face at this age. As you become older, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can help you live a longer and happier life. It is also important to keep up with regular medical appointments and health screenings.
Introducing Zoey – Your shortcut to better health
The average Singaporean woman has a lot on her plate at any given time. Between career, home, family, and everything else on your to-do list, self-care and health probably aren’t at the top of your priorities. This is where Zoey comes in.
Launched in March 2021, Zoey is a telemedicine platform that specializes in women’s health. Inspired by the difficulty in procuring birth control pills during the pandemic, Ethel Tan together with co-founder Sean Low launched Zoey (they have previously founded Noah – a digital clinic for men) to help other women who faced similar problems. By promising a 4-hour delivery that is free of charge, they have helped many Singaporean women in getting their prescription filled discretely and without any hassle.
But Zoey is more than a platform that caters to a woman’s sexual healh. They also provide personalized, affordable healthcare that encompases mental health, fertility and wellbeing such as acne, hair loss, weight loss and smoking cessation.
How does it work?
Head to their website and register for an account. Through this account, you can buy products, schedule doctor appointments and view personalized content. Licensed medical practitioners such as OBGYNs, fertility coaches and psychologists are available for you to consult on any health concerns.