Gynaecological cancers, menstrual issues among top concerns by Singaporean women according to study

The study also found that female health remains a taboo workplace conversation topic.

Farhana Subuhan
Farhana Subuhan

Published: 28 October 2022, 12:49 PM

A study has revealed that Singaporean women are most concerned about gynaecological cancers and menstrual issues.

The findings saw 86 per cent of respondents concerned with gynaecological cancer and 72 per cent of the respondents concerned with menstrual issues.

Doctor Anywhere, an omni-channel healthcare provider in Asia, unveiled the findings from a study with Bayer, highlighting the top health concerns of women, information and awareness gaps in addressing these issues, and the resulting impact on their quality of life.

The local study surveyed 1,212 women in Singapore between the ages of 20 and 49 to “drive conversations and boost awareness on Singaporean women’s health”.

Dr Chen Lin, Anchor Doctor at Doctor Anywhere, said that cervical, uterine, ovarian cancers, and painful menstruation are women’s health issues that are often raised during consultations.

She added that these issues often pose significant physical discomfort and inconvenience for women, hindering their productivity and performance at work and school.

The findings also revealed that while many women recognise that it isn’t the norm to experience painful menstruation and heavy bleeding, they still hesitate to seek medical help.

Respondents cited medical costs (87 per cent), fear of diagnosis and outcome (47 per cent), and fear of medical procedures (37 per cent) as the biggest barriers in seeking professional help.

Dr Lin said: “GPs are an effective first port of call for any women’s health-related concerns, where they can advise, share details about treatment options, and follow up with a specialist referral if necessary.”

Additionally, female health remains a taboo workplace conversation topic as respondents singled out co-workers and colleagues as the least understanding of concerns centering female health as compared to their family, friends, and healthcare professionals.

Fifty-five per cent of the women who were surveyed expressed their discomfort talking to their co-workers and colleagues about female health, citing that it is a “personal/sensitive matter” and worried that they would be “judgemental”.

Dr Lin emphasised that co-workers, family and friends play a crucial role as the first support network to facilitate and encourage open discussions about such concerns and diagnosis.

The study also identified a lack of awareness on birth control options and contraceptive use despite a large majority of respondents (64 per cent) being in the younger age band (25 to 39 years old) and highly educated (70 per cent have at least a university degree).

A significant number of respondents have not heard of common contraception options such as IUD copper (40 per cent), vaginal rings (35 per cent), IUD hormonal (33 per cent), birth control injections (31 per cent), and birth control patches (31 per cent).

Following the study, Bayer and Doctor Anywhere have announced a collaboration to educate women on common concerns, screening procedures and costs related to gynaecological cancers and menstrual issues, as well as on common contraception.

Doctor Anywhere has also placed educational information on birth control, common women health issues, and periods through a dedicated microsite for women.

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