Ladies, Are You Keeping Your Health in Check?

In this modern era, the average lifespan of a woman is 85.9 years old (Singapore) / 78.5 years old (Malaysia), which is strikingly different from about a century ago, when a woman’s average lifespan was only 50 years!

With improved technological advances and increased health awareness, women are expected to live longer and have a better quality of life. This may be attributed to early health screening and timely detection of important health issues. Diseases may be terrifying, but most are preventable and curable. Therefore, in order to live well into your later years, it is imperative that you take charge of your own health and fitness.

Did you know that some health issues may affect women differently than men?

  1. Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women.

  2. Sexually transmitted diseases are also more serious in women, where, if untreated, may lead to infertility.

  3. Women are more prone to have osteoporosis and urinary tract problems.

  4. Women who suffer from a heart attack are also more likely to die compared to men.

In addition, ladies have unique health issues of the female organs such as menstruation, pregnancy, and cervical cancer.

1. Breast cancer

One of the most important women’s health issues is breast cancer. It is the most common cancer among women and a leading cause of premature deaths. Some signs of breast cancer that can be found during breast examination are:

  • Painless lump in the breast or armpit

  • Bleeding or abnormal discharge from the nipple

  • Changes of the skin on the breast, e.g., dimpling, puckering

  • Retracted nipple

Breast cancer can be detected early with breast examination and some health screening tests:

  • Breast self-examination (BSE) - Breast self-examination can help to detect breast cancer early. You can examine your own breasts monthly to feel for any changes, bleeding or nipple discharge.

  • Clinical breast examination (CBE) - A clinical breast examination can help to detect breast cancer and other breast problems. This is done by your doctor or trained healthcare providers and you are advised to get a clinical breast examination annually.

  • Mammogram - This test uses low-dose x-ray to look for changes in your breast tissue by compressing the breast between two plates. A mammogram is good for screening breast cancer because it can measure the size and spread of cancer.

  • Ultrasound - A breast ultrasound is usually done for younger women below 40 years old to screen for breast cancer.

2. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease where the body loses bone density and becomes weak and brittle. This commonly affects post-menopausal women due to reduced oestrogen in the body. A DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) scanning can measure bone density and screen for osteoporosis.

3. Urinary tract problems

Women have a short urethra of about 4cm and are more prone to urinary tract infection (UTI) as bacteria have a smaller distance to travel to the bladder to cause infection.

4. Sexually-transmitted diseases (STD)

Sexually-transmitted disease tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea should be done for sexually active women. Depending on lifestyle and medical history, you may also need to be screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis.

5. Pregnancy and family planning

Family planning is deciding the right time to get pregnant, spacing pregnancies and the number of children to have. Some methods of contraception are:

  • Hormonal - These consist of birth control pills, Depo-Provera injection, hormonal implants, patch or ring and emergency contraception or morning-after pills.

  • Non-hormonal - Some methods include abstinence, withdrawal, barrier methods such as condoms or diaphragms and intrauterine contraceptive devices.

6. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the cancer of the lower end of a woman’s uterus. It is associated with risk factors like Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, early sexual activity and smoking. To prevent cervical cancer, HPV vaccines are given to 13 year old girls.

Screening for cervical cancer can be done with:

  • Pap smear (also known as a Papanicolaou test) - It is recommended for sexually active women between 20 and 65 years old yearly for the first 2 consecutive years. If the results come back as negative, a 3-yearly Pap smear will do. The test can identify abnormal cells from the cervix and is a good screening test to detect cervical cancer and pre-cancerous conditions.

  • HPV testing - HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and there are 14 types of HPV that may cause cervical cancer. The test will detect the type of virus and is recommended for sexually active women between 30 and 49 years old.

How can you prevent illnesses?

Practicing healthy habits and establishing routine check-ups are the best ways to keep health issues at bay.

1. Exercising

Want a healthier and stronger heart? You should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least four days a week. Aerobic or cardio exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging and dancing are great additions to your exercise routine. Better yet, you can combine these with some strength training workouts, which help to boost your metabolism, build muscle and strengthen your bones.

2. Eating a balanced diet

Eating a nourishing diet is crucial in maintaining good health. A balanced diet provides all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need that are essential for wellbeing and growth. Avoid eating highly processed food that is loaded with sugar, fat and salt contents. A balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish and fibre-rich food can also help you to shed some weight, which can reduce your risk of having diabetes, cancer and heart diseases.

3. Attending regular health screening

Breast examination and visits to the gynecology clinic are important, and you should also go for regular check-ups and health screening for other health issues. Some health issues that can be detected early during your check-ups are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cervical cancer, breast cancer and osteoporosis. There is no better way to nip potential health issues in the bud than to screen for these issues early.

This brings us to the burning question:

When was the last time you went for a health check-up?

As much as we’d like to believe that eating clean and exercising regularly is enough to ensure good health, these steps might not be adequate. Regular women's health screenings are imperative to detect health issues and abnormal conditions early to start treatment as soon as possible.

What health issues should your women’s health screening package screen for?

  • Measuring height and weight to calculate body mass index (BMI) for obesity

  • Measuring blood pressure for hypertension

  • Blood tests for sugar level and cholesterol level for diabetes and high cholesterol

  • Bone density scan for osteoporosis

  • Breast examination and ultrasound or mammogram for breast cancer

  • Pap smear for cervical cancer

Where should you get your health screening done?

Gone are the days when health screenings can only be done at government health clinics, private clinics or hospitals. You can now get your women’s health screening done in the comfort and privacy of your own home, with Speedoc Women’s Health Screening packages.

Speedoc Women’s Health Packages

1. Get Yourself Test Package (STD Screening)

Ideal for sexually active women, Speedoc’s Get Yourself Tested Package is a comprehensive women’s sexual health screening package for sexually-transmitted diseases.

What is included:

  • Test for syphilis

  • Test for chlamydia

  • Test for herpes

  • Test for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)

  • Female nurse home visit

  • Female doctor video consult for discussing results

2. AMH (Fertility) Screening Package

Planning to start a family? Speedoc’s AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) Screening Package helps to detect the level of AMH, which reflects a woman’s ovarian reserve.

What is included:

  • Anti-mullerian hormone test

  • Female nurse home visit

  • Female doctor video consult for discussing results

3. Love Your Cervix (Pap smear) Screening Package

Cervical cancer is a much-feared health issue among women. A Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer is one of the routine women’s health screening tests every woman should undergo.

What is included:

  • Specimen swab test (Pap smear)

  • Female nurse home visit

  • Female doctor video consult for discussing results

What’s more? Any Women’s Health Screening Package purchase is entitled for:

  • Discount RM50 off for tag on COVID-19 Neutralizing Antibody Test. Promo price at RM140 (Normal price RM190).

Complimentary services during the same house visit:

  • Breast cancer physical examination by female healthcare professional

  • BMI and obesity assessment

  • Blood pressure, oxygen and vital signs assessment

  • COVID-19 Ag RTK (Nasopharyngeal) *not applicable for Love Your Cervix (Pap smear) Screening Package.

Depending on which stage of life you are at and risk factors, certain women’s health screenings and tests are recommended as part of your healthcare routine. To take charge of your own health, ladies, check out our new and improved Women’s Health Packages. Alternatively, you can email us at, call us at +60 11 4166 1178 or download the Speedoc mobile app.