Today, I’m going to be sharing with you five common women health issues women go through and should know about, as knowing these issues and visiting a women health center in time could make a whole lot of difference.
Here’s a breakdown of what this post will be centered on:
- Introduction To Common Health Issues Women Face
- Why Women Get Sick More Often than Men: The Reasons Explained
- Five Common Women Health Issues Every Woman Should Know About
Why Women Get Sick More Often than Men: The Reasons Explained
A research carried out only recently shows that although women live longer than men by an approximate five years, they tend to get sicker more often. Women live healthier lives on average, which is why its baffling they seem to spend more days sicker than men.
For a long time this fact caused some worries, until this study was carried out.
Here are three findings that were put forward to explain these more frequent sick days;
1. We Spend More Time Around Kids
It is a well known fact that a lot of women are born nurturers. We bring kids into this world (or just take on those around us) and nurture them as best we can.
As mothers especially, we spend more time with these kids: protecting, guiding, being their friend, or confidant, or just generally being around them.
Since we spend this much time with and around these kids, and since its a known fact kids are germ-carriers (which they get by virtue of their contact with other kids or by interacting with their environment), it therefore comes as no surprise that we get exposed to these germs or bacteria which could make us sick.
We could get our kids to clean or wash up more often, but this doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of still picking up these bacteria.
2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Takes Its Toll on Our Body
Even the smoothest of pregnancies and childbirth, still takes its toil and leaves its indelible mark on your body as a woman.
Pregnancy might be a fun time for you as you continue to make and nurture that child inside of you, but this new gift doesn’t come at a small price.
As a woman, you get these effects which turn out to be both short and long terms and while some of these short term effects usually disappear a few months to a year after delivering, the long term effects stay longer, sometimes lasting all your life.
3. Women are Known to Suffer from Autoimmune Diseases More Than Men
Research has made known the fact that 80% – 85% of autoimmune sufferers are women. This is one women health issue that also caused a lot of confusion until the reason was discovered.
Here’s the explanation put forth as to why more women suffer from autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases come about when your body releases antibodies that attack helpful cells, thinking them harmful to your body.
For women, susceptibility to these autoimmune diseases come about due to the presence of very little testosterone in our system.
Although unproven, it is believed men are protected from these autoimmune diseases due to the fact they produce more testosterone (about seven times more than women).
Five Common Women Health Issues that Everyone Should Know
Haven seen why women fall sick more often than men, here are five of the most common women health issues or sickness that plague women.
This is one women health issues that hits women hard. It is also one of the most common cancer types in women, right behind skin cancer.
Here are some important facts about breast cancer:
- Breast cancer claims lives when not detected early and over 40,500 women die from it in the United States yearly.
- There’s a woman somewhere getting diagnosed of breast cancer this minute as one woman gets diagnosed every 120 seconds.
- Just as there are breast cancer fatalities, there are also survivors as over 3.1 million suffered have survived it in the US.
- Death rate has been on the decrease since the ’90s as more and more women are getting aware of this potentially fatal women health issue, and are getting tested early enough.
- Risk factors of breast cancer include having a close relative diagnosed of it, haven started your menstruation before age 12, late menopause, dangerous lifestyle habits like excessive drinking and smoking, and being of Caucasian descent.
The good news in all these though, is that carrying out regular self examinations or visiting a women health center for an examination to be carried out if you do not know how, greatly increases your chances of survival.
Ovarian and Cervical Cancer
Right behind breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancers are two cancer types that affect women.
These are two of the most common women health issues that claim women lives when not detected early.
Ovarian cancer is mostly caused by the human papillomaviruses which is transmitted through sex.
Factors that increases your risk of ovarian cancer include the use of contraceptives, haven had multiple births, having multiple sexual partners, smoking, and being HIV positive.
Ovarian cancer is hard to detect at the early stage and only 1 in 8 women get lucky to detect it early. However, survival rate is quite high with early detection.
Cervical cancer, like ovarian cancer, is yet another women issue caused by the human papilomavirus. Its symptoms include vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, pelvic pain, bloated abdomen, among others.
Again, like ovarian cancer, cervical cancer is not easily detectable, which is why it is recommended women get tested for it at women health centers or hospitals.
When detected early, survival rate for women with cervical cancer goes as high as 92%.
As earlier discussed, autoimmune diseases are very common women health issues.
Common types of autoimmune diseases that affect women are multiple sclerosis, Grave’s disease, celiac disease, Hashimoto thyroidism, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Which never the disease is, most can usually be treated or managed. Visit a women health center to get diagnosed (if at all) and placed on the right treatment.
Everyone wants a healthy pregnancy, yet some go on to develop one pregnancy complication or the other.
Common women health complications that arise in pregnancies include:
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Where the fertilized egg fails to travel to the uterus after it has been fertilized and continues to grow in the fallopian tube, a condition that’s dangerous to the mother.
- Miscarriage An estimated 15- 20% of all pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. A miscarriage occurs before the 20th week and is most times due chromosomal abnormalities.
- Gestational Diabetes This is diabetes that suddenly develops in pregnancy.
Women with gestational diabetes are at risk of having a very large baby and going on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
- Placenta Previa Placenta previa occurs when the placenta blocks the cervix either fully or partially.
In such cases, the baby might need to be born through a caesarian section since a part of the birth canal (cervix) is blocked.
- Preterm Term Labour A pregnancy spans 40 weeks, however, from the 37th week a woman can fall into labour and go on to have a healthy baby.
When labour happens before this time (thirty-seventh week) it is said to be preterm or premature.
Some cases of premature labour can be stopped if you visit your health provider in time.
- Preeclampsia Preeclampsia is one women health problem every pregnant woman dreads. It occurs when your blood pressure is high and there’s also protein in your urine.
Most cases of it are mild, but your doctor would usually place you on strict monitoring if its noticed as it could turn severe at anytime, which is usually dangerous for both mother and child.
Last on the list of common women health issues women go through is depression.
Depression affects both genders., however, women are 50% more likely to be depressed than men.
Depression in women could be caused by a stressful or painful life event, or by an event that’s, though not painful, causes a major change (postpartum depression).
Most cases of depression usually lift after a while, especially if you have well-meaning family and friends by your side. However, if you find your feelings of depression lingering, you should get professional help.
While the above are serious women health issues, they can be guarded against and most times, you can beat them if you contact any.
Winning against any of these though, starts with being aware and educating those around us.
It also helps to visit women health centers regularly; to undergo any (and possibly all) checkup recommended by healthcare practitioners.