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Survey: Menstrual Health, Puberty Most Commonly Taught Health Topics Among Women in Malaysia Growing Up

Less than 50 per cent of Malaysian women surveyed said they were taught about reproductive anatomy (32 per cent), contraception (32 per cent), pregnancy and abortion (45 per cent), and sexually transmitted infections (37 per cent).

SINGAPORE, June 11 – Seventy-three percent of women in Malaysia cited menstrual health among the health topics they were taught growing up, followed by puberty at 59 per cent. Less than 50 per cent of Malaysian women said they were taught about reproductive anatomy (32 per cent), contraception (32 per cent), pregnancy and abortion (45 per cent), and sexually transmitted infections (37 per cent). 

The survey, which was conducted by Millieu Insight, a survey software company in Southeast Asia and FemTech Association Asia, a specialist advisory and industry network with a core focus on improving women’s health through technology solutions, are published in the report Insights into the Femtech Landscape in Southeast Asia (SEA).

The report delves deep into various facets of femtech adoption, awareness, and attitudes across six key countries in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

It highlights that on average, women in Southeast Asia were primarily taught about three key health topics: menstrual health, puberty, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while growing up. 

However, discussing women’s health issues in public is often deemed culturally unacceptable, with 52 per cent of women in SEA expressing concerns about judgement and shame. 

Other key challenges women encounter when trying to openly discuss health issues include societal stigmas and taboo (39 per cent), lack of privacy or safe spaces for discussion (36 per cent), gender bias and inequality (31 per cent) and not knowing how to start such conversations (30 per cent).

The comprehensive study encompasses a wide array of topics including femtech awareness and familiarity, usage and spending habits among current femtech users, future intentions of femtech non-users, women’s health education, openness in discussing women’s health issues, media influence, religious influence, maternal and reproductive health, and hormonal health (menopause). 

As femtech continues to emerge as a pivotal sector in health care, this report serves as a resource for stakeholders, policymakers, and industry players seeking to understand and address the unique consumer perspectives within the Southeast Asian femtech landscape.

Key Findings from the Report Include:

  • Insights into the level of awareness and familiarity with Femtech solutions across different demographics.
  • Analysis of usage patterns and spending habits among current Femtech users, shedding light on preferences and trends.
  • Future intentions of Femtech non-users, providing valuable insights for market expansion and outreach strategies.
  • Evaluation of the state of women’s health education and the impact of societal factors such as media and religion.
  • Examination of maternal & reproductive health issues and the role of technology in addressing them.
  • Understanding hormonal health concerns, particularly menopause, and the demand for innovative solutions.

“We are excited to partner with FemTech Association Asia to unveil these comprehensive insights into the femtech landscape in Southeast Asia,” said Juda Kanaprach, co-founder and CCO at Milieu Insight. 

“This report not only highlights the current state of femtech adoption but also lays the groundwork for future advancements and collaborations in improving women’s health outcomes across the region. Our aim is to prioritise a localised business approach within Southeast Asia, respect cultural sensitivities, and foster strategic partnerships.”

“Empowering women to own their healthcare journey by leveraging technology is at the core of our mission at FemTech Association Asia,” said Lindsay Davis, founder of FemTech Association Asia. 

“The findings of this report will not only inform our advisory and advocacy efforts but also inspire innovation and investment in femtech solutions tailored to the unique needs of this region.”

Findings from this report will be presented by Kanaprach at FemTech Connect Asia, a roundtable event where women’s health and innovation converge.

The event will take place on June 20 to 21, 2024 in Singapore where 100 delegates from across Asia including: founders, government agencies, MNCs, investors, thought leaders, clinicians and enthusiasts are expected to attend.

The Insights into the Femtech Landscape in Southeast Asia report is now available for purchase on the Milieu Insight and FemTech Association Asia websites.

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