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Healthcare For Her: A Look at Filipino Women’s Top Health Concerns


Healthcare For Her: A Look at Filipino Women’s Top Health Concerns

Throughout their lives, women face unique health challenges. From hormonal fluctuations during menstruation and pregnancy to specific conditions like endometriosis, their bodies go through a lot. Yet, juggling work, family, and countless other commitments often leads them to prioritize other needs, pushing their health concerns aside.


But what if we reframed the conversation around women and their well-being? Instead of viewing self-care as a luxury, what if prioritizing health became an act of empowerment?


This powerful shift in perspective was the driving force behind a recent initiative. Doctor Anywhere and Bayer For Her Conversations of Care. partnered to organize a women's health quiz during Women's Month in March 2024. The quiz aimed to empower women to understand their health better, and it reached over 2,000 Filipinas across a wide age range, from under 18 to 45 and older. Interestingly, the 25-34 age group had the highest participation, making up over half of the respondents. In terms of location, more than 50% of the respondents came from the National Capital Region, followed by CALABARZON (24.13%), Central Luzon (9.72%), and Central Visayas (5.70%).[1]  


While these findings may not be generalizable to the entire population, the data provides compelling insights into women's health priorities and preferred methods for addressing concerns.



Exploring Women’s Top Health Concerns

Exploring Women’s Top Health Concerns

The overall results revealed a clear trend: menstrual health concerns were the top issue for many respondents. Over 4 in 10 Filipino women who responded to the quiz identified irregular periods or cycle control as their primary concern. This was followed by concerns about painful, persistent acne, affecting around a quarter of respondents at 24.62%, and severe menstrual pain (close to 20%). It is worth noting that while contraception remained a concern for a significant portion of respondents (around 15%), it was less prevalent compared to menstrual health issues.[1]



Top Health Concerns Across Age Groups

Top Health Concerns Across Age Groups

Diving deeper into the data, we explored how health concerns shifted across age groups. Irregular periods or cycle control emerged as a top concern for all ages, underlining its importance throughout a woman's life.[1]


Painful, persistent acne was a common worry, especially for those between 18-34 years old.[1] This suggests a potential link to hormonal fluctuations that may be more prominent in younger women. Dr. Crystal Retuya, a dermatologist at Doctor Anywhere, explained that acne affects around 80% of the female population.[2][3][9] “Recent studies have shown that acne still affects females up to the age of 49,” she noted.[2]


Finally, the data shows severe menstrual pain is becoming a more notable concern for women aged 35 and older.[1] This progression reflects how Filipino women's health needs evolve throughout different stages of life.



Hormonal Imbalances and Acne

Hormonal Imbalances and Acne

For women struggling with painful, persistent acne, the majority aged 25 and above experienced breakouts around their menstrual period (79.53%). This aligns with hormonal influences on acne. Estrogen, which typically decreases sebum formation and counteracts testosterone, drops right before menstruation.[2][3] Dr. Crystal Retuya explains, "Just before the menstrual period, estrogen levels are at their lowest, leading to a flare-up of acne for many individuals."[2]


The jawline and chin area were also commonly affected by these breakouts. Additionally, nearly half of these women reported experiencing other symptoms like irregular periods and unwanted hair growth, suggesting a potential hormonal connection between these issues.[1]



Severe Period Pain and Endometriosis

Severe Period Pain and Endometriosis

Filipino women with severe menstrual pain often feel the impact in their daily lives. The pain intensity varied significantly, with a large portion (over 60%) experiencing severe pain[6][7] or rating their pain as 7 to 10.[1] 


A recent interview with Dr. Joan Mangubat, an OB-GYN from Doctor Anywhere, sheds light on these findings.[8] Dr. Joan explains that severe menstrual pain can be caused by a medical condition called endometriosis.[4] In simpler terms, Dr. Joan says, "Endometriosis is the implantation of the endometrial lining of the uterus outside the uterus. It could grow in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, peritoneum, and even in the lungs. While the exact cause is unknown, genetics are thought to play a role."[5]


Dr. Joan then discusses the potential causes and key signs to watch out for. These signs may include:

  • Chronic abdominal and/or pelvic pain

  • Severe cramps or dysmenorrhea

  • Painful sex

  • Heavy periods

  • Problems using the bathroom, like pain, urgency, or frequent urination or bowel movements

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding

  • Lower back pain

  • Feeling tired all the time

  • Trouble getting pregnant


“The pain can feel dull, throbbing, or sharp and might happen on its own or with other symptoms,” Dr. Joan explains. She continues, “Having more symptoms increases the likelihood of having endometriosis compared to experiencing regular menstrual cramps.”[5]


Furthermore, our data showed that almost a quarter of the respondents with severe menstrual pain had a family history of endometriosis, and over 31% who were trying to conceive faced challenges. Although symptoms such as pain during intercourse, defecation, and urination are common in endometriosis, the majority of quiz respondents reported not experiencing these symptoms.[1]



Taking Control of Your Cycle

Taking Control of Your Cycle

The quiz offered further insights into women’s preferences for managing their health. For those with irregular periods, a clear preference emerged: nearly 90% desired a method to regulate their menstrual cycles. While over 77% were comfortable taking daily medication, a sizable portion (almost 23%) preferred alternative options.


Additionally, a significant portion of over 83% expressed interest in a solution that could also address acne and menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea. The data also revealed that a substantial number of women were interested in using contraception as a solution that addresses not just acne and menstrual cramps, but also bloating.[1]



Empowering Women Through Open Conversations


These findings emphasize the importance of open and honest conversations about women's health. While this data is specific to our quiz respondents and may not represent the entire Philippine population, it offers valuable insights that can empower women to take charge of their well-being.


If you're experiencing any of the issues mentioned in this article, we encourage you to talk to a healthcare professional. Discussing your concerns with a doctor can help you understand your unique health needs, and explore personalized treatment options.


Doctor Anywhere makes seeking professional guidance easier than ever. Access 24/7 video consultations with women's health general practitioners via the Doctor Anywhere app. Consultations are available on-demand or by appointment, offering flexibility to suit your schedule. *Use promo code DACONSULT30 to enjoy ₱30 off your first GP video consultation.


Doctor Anywhere also offers consultations with a wide range of specialists, including OB-GYNs and dermatologists, to address various women's health concerns. These consultations are available daily by appointment, ensuring you receive timely and personalized care. Rest assured that all video consultations are confidential and secure, providing a comfortable space to discuss your health. **Use promo code DAEXPERTCARE to enjoy ₱30 off your first video consultation with a specialist.



About Doctor Anywhere

Doctor Anywhere is a tech-led healthcare company committed to providing comprehensive care that encompasses primary care, specialist care, telehealth, preventive health, and wellness solutions. Its focus is on enhancing healthcare accessibility, improving health outcomes, and delivering a personalized, borderless, and inclusive healthcare experience.


Founded as a telemedicine platform in 2017 and one of Singapore’s Fastest Growing Companies today, Doctor Anywhere has expanded to become a regional healthcare provider, serving more than 2.5 million users in six Southeast Asian countries. For further details, please visit https://www.doctoranywhere.ph



About Bayer

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.



About Bayer for Her Conversations of Care Campaign

Bayer For Her: Conversations of Care aims to raise awareness on women’s health especially in taboo topics such as contraception, period pain and severe hormonal acne to help more women make informed choices about their own bodies and to encourage consultations with the experts for proper counseling and individualized care.



*Promo is valid until December 31, 2024. Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-182380 Series of 2023.

**Promo is valid from May 1, 2024, to April 30, 2025. Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-192282 Series of 2024.

Bayer supports only educational and scientific contents in all posts.

Bayer approval code: PP-UN-WHC-PH-0025-1


Sources:

1. Women's Health Quiz March 2024 by Doctor Anywhere and Bayer For Her Conversations of Care.

2. Retuya, Crystal Karen Go. Interviewed on 15 February 2024.

5. Dr. Mangubat, Joan Manaloto. Interviewed on 2 March 2024.


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