Are you a woman who’s looking to be more proactive about your health?
Being a woman means that you’re likely to suffer from certain conditions that are more prevalent in women and some that are unique to women. Despite this, most clinical trials have failed to focus on women health, and some don’t even include women as subjects for examination. That said, there are several things you, as a woman, can do proactively for better health and quality of life.
In this article, we will focus on some of the conditions that should be a top concern health-wise for a woman, and what you can do to avoid them.
What Seniors Need to Know about Coronavirus
With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself. The virus has spread from China and is considered a worldwide pandemic. There are hundreds of reported cases of the infection every day.
This may sound scary, but there are ways […]
While heart disease affects both men and women in equal measure, most of the deaths in women are as a result of heart disease.
Some of the consequences of heart disease include an inability to perform the simplest of tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs or standing for a long time. Heart disease forces one to slow down.
The reason heart disease affects women to a greater extent is because it often goes undetected for a long time. By the time it’s discovered, it’s usually too late to do anything. Heart disease doesn’t have to present as chest pain.
In fact, in most women, it’s shown in the form of lower jaw pain, nausea, vomiting, shoulder pain and shortness of breath. Such symptoms are straightforward to misdiagnose.
Even though the news of pregnancy is good news to most people, it puts the mother at significant risk of developing conditions during childbirth and postpartum.
Pregnant women labor is a tiresome and risky process as women are at risk of developing fistulas which are challenging to manage. Pregnant women labor can also lead to bleeding which is sometimes fatal. In addition, women suffering from conditions such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure are at a greater risk of worsening these conditions if they’re not well managed.
A pregnant woman’s mental health is also at risk of being affected.
Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression associated with giving birth. About 50% of women suffer from postpartum depression even six months after they’ve given birth. This may be due to the responsibility and pressure that comes with being a new mom, or some women may lose their child before the six-month mark thus suffering depression.
Autoimmune diseases are a combination of disorders in the body that cause the body’s immunity to attack itself.
When the body can’t tell the difference between healthy body cells and pathogenic foreign cells, it destroys both healthy and unhealthy cells leading to diseases. Examples of autoimmune diseases are lupus and diabetes type I and about 65% of people who suffer from these diseases are women.
Despite the alarming numbers, there’s still a lot that isn’t known about autoimmune diseases including the cause. Nobody knows why the body begins destroying its own, but it’s suspected that it’s probably due to genetics and hormonal issues. It’s also hard to tell who exactly is more susceptible to developing autoimmune diseases thus making it hard to prevent their occurrence.
Women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases because of chromosome X which is related to numerous immunity genes.
Development and growth of bones take place up the to early thirties or late twenties. After that body cells focus on maintenance of bone strength. As people grow old, these cells become few, and hence the bones become brittle and weak. This combination of soft and brittle bones is known as osteoporosis.
About 8 million of the 10 million people living with osteoporosis are women. Women are more susceptible to developing the condition because their bones are smaller and thinner and because of menopause.
Once a woman gets to menopause, estrogen, usually released by the female ovum, reduces. Estrogen plays a vital role in bone development and maintenance of bone structure in women; hence without it, women’s bones become significantly weak.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women. After lung cancer, it is the leading cause of premature death among women.
Women are more likely to develop this cancer because they have fully developed breasts, unlike men. As women get older, their chances of contracting it increases and the number is even higher for women who have a history of the condition in their family.
It’s a condition that affects many women not only physically but also emotionally. Most women are forced to have mastectomies which lead to low self-esteem and sometimes depression because of stigma from their spouses and even society.
It is easy to detect breast cancer early by regularly feeling your breasts for lumps and inflammation and reporting immediately it occurs.
Reproductive Health Issues
The way the woman’s urogenital system is set up makes it easy for women to contract sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections (UTIs). About 70% of women have had reproductive health issues at one point. It is easier for bacteria to quickly be absorbed by the female genital tract because of its thin epithelium.
STIs in women also often go untreated because symptoms do not present themselves sometimes and thus women are natural carriers of infection. It is also easy to diagnose an STD as a UTI or yeast infection. Some STDs in women quickly turn fatal as bacteria and viruses in the vagina can turn into cancer.
When it comes to reproductive health sexual health counseling is recommended as it empowers and informs many women. One thing women can do is learn about their body and how it functions. You have heard of the menstrual cycle, but have you heard of the uterine cycle? It includes the proliferative phase and the secretory phase. Learning about the functions of your cycles can help with reproductive health.
Women are also at a higher risk of suffering from toxic shock syndrome as a result of using tampons. Toxic shock syndrome is an infection caused by streptococcus and staph bacteria.
These bacteria produce renal failure, shock and eventually death if not treated immediately. Most women don’t know that they are susceptible to developing it as a result of ignorance when it comes to the type of tampons they use. It is essential to read manufacturer details on tampon packs to be safe.
Women have more hormonal fluctuations in their bodies due to menstruation making them more susceptible to mental health issues.
Before menses, about 9 in every ten women suffers from premenstrual syndrome. It presents as mood swings and depression right after menstruation.
Most women never get used to these symptoms even though they occur every month and thus it can quickly turn into clinically diagnosed depression.
After giving birth, many women also suffer from postpartum depression and right after menopause women also suffer from depression known as perimenopause depression.
Women’s Preventive Health
Women’s preventive health looks at the different ways women can reduce their risk of suffering from conditions that are exclusive to women. Women can significantly reduce their chances of suffering from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis by adopting certain practices early in life.
Regular exercise burns fat that would have otherwise been the cause of heart disease, and it also strengthens bones making them more resilient. It is also important to take supplements that aid in bone growth and those that increase the body’s ability to fight diseases.
Some women veterans organizations are at the frontline of promoting women’s health through empowerment and educations. The women veterans organizations also ensure that women’s health in the military is taken seriously and that their issues are acted on promptly.
Regular checkups are also essential to help in the diagnosis of disease during its early stages when it can easily be treated and controlled. Sexual health counseling can go a long way in educating women on sexual health. Women are also advised to take all their symptoms seriously immediately they start as they could be a sign of something serious no matter how insignificant they may seem.