As a woman, it’s natural to want to look and feel your best at all times.
However, life can often be stressful and overwhelming. Health and wellness aren’t topics that weigh heavily on your mind, unless a disease strikes. Regardless of your stage in life, there are issues that you should pay attention to, in order to best optimise your overall health and wellbeing.
Find out about the 2 essential health checks you should be getting at every age.
If you’re a Teenager, think about…
This is the time of major change in your body. Your body is transforming, you’re growing breasts and hips, and you’ve started menstruating.
Menstruation starts anytime between 10-14 years old, and irregularities with menstruation can occur in the first few years of commencing your periods.
However, if your periods continue to be highly erratic, this may be a symptom of something more serious.
Also monitor for excessively heavy bleeds, as this can eventually lead to a low blood count.
If you have any of these issues, seek your doctor’s advice to have this investigated and managed.
Read about irregular or missed periods here.
Read about heavy periods here.
Another item to tick off your checklist is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine.
The Singapore Health Promotion Board advocates it’s use in females as early as 9 years old, and ideally, all females should receive this vaccine before becoming sexually active.
There are 2 vaccinations available in Singapore. Both guard against cervical cancer while the former also confers protection against genital warts.
Want more info? Learn more about HPV vaccines here.
If you’re in your 20s, think about…
General Health Screening
You’re young and healthy, but don’t take good health for granted!
Getting regular health screens for blood pressure, weight and body mass index (BMI) should be part of your regular routine, along with basic investigations.
Thyroid and autoimmune conditions are also far more common in females, particularly those with a positive family history. Simple blood investigations can be performed to help monitor these conditions.
If you’re planning to, or have already become sexually active, ensure that both you and your partner get full testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Many STD carriers don’t have symptoms, but if left undetected and untreated, can cause problems with your fertility in the future. A quick and easy STD screen will help to keep both you and your partner in good sexual health.
If you’re in your 30s, think about…
If there was ever a time to invest in your health, its now.
Your 20s were a breeze for your body, but now’s the time to really start taking care of yourself. Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are all ways that you can stave off disease.
In addition to your regular health screening, remember to get a regular Pap Smear done every 2 years – this quick and simple test is used in the early detection of cervical cancer.
Along with the Pap, HPV DNA testing is also useful for detecting high risk (cancer-causing) strains of the virus; if you test positive for a high risk strain, this will prompt your doctor to perform your Pap more frequently.
Read more about cervical cancer here.
It’s around this time as well that women start childbearing. Your health will affect your baby’s too, so getting a comprehensive health and STD screen pre-conception is essential.
In addition, speak to your doctor about the correct diet and necessary supplements you should be taking when trying to conceive. Some foods can actually be harmful for your baby if eaten during pregnancy.
If you’re having trouble falling pregnant, your doctor can help to recommend further investigations to help assess your and your partner’s fertility.
Read more about fertility testing here.
If you’re in your 40s, think about…
Heart disease is affecting more and more women, and at earlier ages than ever before.
High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, alcohol and nicotine use, and obesity all contribute to your risk of heart disease.
If you haven’t been screened for these conditions, start now. Strict control of these risk factors is the only way to safeguard your heart!
Read more about women’s heart health here.
Breast cancer is the # 1 cancer amongst Singaporean women, so your breasts warrant some attention once in a while!
Learn how to perform a breast self-examination, and make a routine of it every month. In addition, add on a yearly mammogram if you’re in your 40s, and 2-yearly once you reach 50.
If you’re 50 and above, think about…
Bone density starts to decline from age 30, but is most rapid following menopause. Low bone density, or osteoporosis, can be dangerous in your older age, as it can lead to serious and debilitating fractures.
Getting regular exercise promotes strong and healthy bones, along with adequate levels of calcium and Vitamin D. These can easily be assessed with blood investigations.
Colon cancer comes in a close 2nd in the commonest cancers that affect Singaporean women. Want to learn how to screen for it? It’s simple.
All it requires from you is a stool sample, which will be analysed for the presence of hidden (occult) blood.
If this test is positive, the source of the blood could be a colon cancer, and you’ll be advised to undergo further investigations.
So, ladies, no matter what your age, you deserve to look and feel your best.
Invest in your health early, and have these issues checked out by your doctor.
Need a Female Doctor?
1.) Dr Tan and Partners @Bencoolen
Main Doctor: Dr Benjamin Loh
180 Bencoolen Street,
#02-20, The Bencoolen
Telephone: +65 6884 4119
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm
9.00 am – 1.00 pm
Selected Public Holiday – Closed
2.) Dr Tan and Partners@ Robertson
(Anonymous HIV Testing is available daily too)
11 Unity Street,
#02-06/07, Robertson Walk
Telephone: +65 6238 7810
Monday – Friday
8.00am – 9.00pm
Saturday and Sunday
9.00 am – 2.00 pm
Public Holiday – Closed
3.) Dr Tan and Partners @Scotts
9 Scotts Road,
#06-06 Scotts Medical Centre,
Telephone: +65 6694 2348
Monday – Friday
9.00am – 5.00pm
8.00 am – 1.00 pm
Sunday & Public Holiday – Closed
Click to read about other Health Tips:
- Dash Diet (Women’s Wellness) – here
- Women’s Heart Health – here
- Foods to Avoid for Pregnant Women – here
- 4 Secrets to Your Heart Health – here