What You Need to Understand About Women’s Health
Men and women both are at risk of getting health issues. However, women are more at risk of experiencing some health issues compared to men. Similarly, some illnesses affect both genders in different ways. Familiarizing yourself with some of the health problems women are more prone to can help women prevent such diseases and live more healthily. Some of the common illnesses affecting women’s health include:
1. Cardiovascular Disease
Health issues of the heart are the leading cause of death in women across the world. At least one in three women dies of cardiovascular disease yearly. The prevalence of heart diseases is similar in both men and women. However, women are at a higher risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke compared to men. This is because heart disease affects women differently. Symptoms in women are more subtle, making it difficult for them to recognize heart problems. Women with the disease will present with unexplained fatigue, back pain, short breath with no chest pain, and clamminess.
Additionally, menopausal women are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease because of the changes in the circulating levels of reproductive hormones in the blood. Furthermore, a majority of women start using birth control pills as soon as they become sexually active. Birth control pills interfere with levels of estrogen and progesterone in women. Depending on the type and amount of hormone, the pills can make women susceptible to blood clotting. The blood clots can travel in the blood to organs like the brain and heart to cause stroke and heart attack, respectively.
Some health problems like certain types of cancers solely affect women. These include cancers of the cervix, breast, uterine, and ovaries. These cancers account for the second leading cause of women’s death worldwide. Cervical and breast cancers are more prevalent than other types of cancers in women. Due to this, there is increased awareness of cervical and breast cancer all over the world. Health physicians recommend that women should receive screening of these cancers as soon as the age of 21. A cervical cancer screen is done through a pap smear, while breast cancer screening through a mammogram.
Women aged above 45 years enter into a reproductive phase known as menopause. Menopause is a phase where menstrual cycles in women come to an end. One of the significant and life-deteriorating symptoms of menopause is osteoporosis. This is a condition in which the bones of women decrease in density and become weak. The weak bones make menopausal women susceptible to fractures.
Estrogen hormone is responsible for maintaining the density and mass of bones in women. During menopause, ovaries produce insufficient estrogen levels. The low estrogen levels are unable to maintain bone density and mass, thus weakening the bones. Due to this, specialists of women’s health advise that women should receive hormonal or non-hormonal treatment solutions for menopause symptoms like insomnia and hot flashes.
4. Reproductive System Issues
According to women’s health specialists, issues of the reproductive system significantly impact women’s health. Heavy menstrual bleeding is one health issue that affects one in every five women. Heavy menstruation is menstrual bleeding that lasts more than a week. Roughly 10 million American women suffer from heavy bleeding each year. It can cause complications like anemia in the long run. Infertility is also a reproductive health problem that affects 6% of women in the United States.
Having unprotected sex for more than a year without conception is referred to as infertility. It can be caused by sexually transmitted infections that are left untreated, smoking, alcoholism, and old age. A further 12% of women have challenges getting pregnant when they are ready to have a family. The 12% also comprises women who can get pregnant but have problems safely carrying the pregnancy throughout the three semesters.
Several conditions affect women and increase their mortality rates. However, these conditions are preventable through the appropriate lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet, hydrating, exercising, and the use of vitamin supplements can ensure that you age with few health complications and maintain good overall health. Women can also go for regular screening for serious illnesses like cancer. This will help detect such diseases early, and therefore, improve the efficacy of treatment.
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