Do women face more challenging health issues compared to men? Find out how they are same same but different!

By Joanne Poh, 14 August 2017 1161


The modern woman knows she is just as capable as the man next to her, and fights so that society will recognize it. She is unafraid of being compared because she knows that she can do the job just as well.

However, when it comes to health issues, turns out, there are some differences between men and women - That does not necessarily put women at a disadvantage. 

1. Women face some unique health issues that men don't have to worry as much about.

Did you know?

Osteoporosis: Women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis (Source) due to their smaller, thinner bones and the fact that estrogen production decreases dramatically at menopause.

Breast cancer: While men can also get breast cancer, more than 99% of breast cancer sufferers are women (Source). Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Singapore.

Uterus, ovary and cervical cancer: These common female cancers in Singapore (Source) preclude men.

Maternal health: As women are the ones who give birth, they are at risk of maternal health issues ranging from the physical to the mental, such as in the case of postnatal depression.

2. Women face greater stress which affects their mental health

In 2017, the labour force participation rate for women in Singapore was around 60% (Source). Women often play a dual-role, having to take on the job of both a mother and an employee. Women are expected to be the "superwoman" in the family, juggling work in the day and taking care of children at night.

Unsurprisingly, this added stress can affect one's mental health adversely. In fact, women are 40% more likely than men to develop mental health conditions (Source). 

3. Women live longer and are thus more susceptible to age-related illnesses

Women tend to live longer than men (Source). In Singapore, the life expectancy as of 2016 is 85.1 years for women, as opposed to 80.6 years for men (Source).

Despite the blessing that comes with a longer lifespan, it also leaves them more vulnerable to a greater range of age-related ailments such as the following:
  • Dementia and Alzheimer's
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Eye-related disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration
  • Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, cancer and hearing loss
Although women face more health issues than men, it does not mean that you have to be at a disadvantage. 

Tips to protect your health and shape your future

1. Active living to take care of yourself

The importance of eating right and getting enough exercise, which applies to both men and women, can never be underestimated. Many diseases are preventable with the right lifestyle.

For women, it is also important to ensure you get enough calcium to ward off osteoporosis. The best way to get calcium is through consuming food high in calcium like milk and fish. You can also do weight-bearing exercises and strength training to strengthen your bones.

2. Body checkups such as regular health screenings

Prevention is always better than cure. Regular health screenings help to identify preventable conditions before they get out of hand. It is recommended that women go for mammograms yearly after the age of 45 (Source). Women should also take care to get regular PAP smears, and screening for other ailments like osteoporosis when they reach the appropriate age.

Be aware of your body at all times. You do not have to be at a clinic to do a check-up. You can even give yourself regular breast self-examinations at home. If you feel that something is amiss, seek medical attention immediately.

3. Coverage that is sufficient for your needs

Last but not least, don't underestimate the importance of getting sufficient health insurance. By making sure you are properly insured, you are giving yourself the best shot at receiving good medical care.

A protection insurance plan tailored to women is an excellent way to ensure you get the protection that you really, really need. #TimesHaveChanged and so should insurance. Evolving with the needs of today's women, Income has updated our product offerings to better support strong, amazing ladies like you.

As a commitment towards your health, Income's Lady 360 plan provides you with a tailored health screening every two years from your second policy anniversary onwards.

Income's Lady 360 plan also offers you protection if you get diagnosed with a range of female-specific illnesses and/or have to go for surgery arising from female illnesses. The plan also offers a generous raft of post-diagnosis support benefits, including a molecular gene expression profiling test to guide breast cancer treatment.

You only have one life. When you prioritise your health, you're giving yourself the chance to live it well. 

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.