When it comes to healthcare, women have unique needs and experiences. From reproductive health to mental health and physical wellness. Unfortunately, healthcare for women is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves. This article will cover everything you need to know about female healthcare needs; from understanding and addressing specific risks to improving overall health and wellbeing. ☺️
What are the basic female healthcare needs?
Women are often prone to certain health conditions that men typically don’t have to deal with. From reproductive organs to hormonal imbalances, many things can go wrong and cause pain or discomfort. Here are some of the most common female healthcare conditions:
Breast Cancer: This is currently one of the most prevalent and developing health issues facing women in India. There are several risk factors for breast cancer, including family history, age, personal health history, and lifestyle choices.
Women with a family history of breast cancer are at higher risk of developing the disease. Age is also a risk factor; Personal health history can also affect your risk for breast cancer. Women with certain non-cancerous breast conditions are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. And lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, and being overweight can also increase your risk.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight are two critical ways to reduce risk. You should also talk to your doctor about getting regular mammograms starting at age 40 (or earlier if you have a family history of breast cancer).
Cervical Cancer: A report shows that 16.5% of women in India suffer from cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina, and cervical cancer usually starts in the cells lining the cervix. Cervical cancer is typically slow-growing and may not have symptoms in its early stages. However, some women with cervical cancer may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain during sex, or pelvic pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to see your doctor so that they can rule out other possible causes and begin the treatment necessary.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent female health issue that may result in irregular periods, increased body and facial hair, acne, and weight gain. Testosterone and insulin hormones are typically out of balance when PCOS is present. Consequently, treatment for this disorder may involve birth control pills or other hormone-regulating medication along with modifying lifestyle components, including diet and physical activity.
If you suspect you have PCOS, it's critical to confer with your healthcare professional. Testing such as blood tests and ultrasounds might be required for confirmation of the diagnosis. Upon diagnosis, your healthcare provider can design a care plan for you.
Fibroids: Many women don't realize they have fibroids since they often don't show any symptoms. Fibroids are common and non-cancerous growths of muscle and fibrous tissue that develop in the uterus. Depending on their size, they can range from very small to fill up the entire abdomen. Sometimes, they may cause heavy bleeding, pain, or pelvic pressure. Additionally, fibroids may result in fertility problems.
If you suspect you might have fibroids, talk to your doctor about it. A physical exam and imaging tests can be used to diagnose and decide on the best treatment plan - medication, surgery, or watchful waiting.
Ovarian Cancer: There are many different types of ovarian cancer, but the most common is epithelial ovarian cancer. This type of cancer begins in the cells that line the ovaries and is usually diagnosed at an early stage. However, it can also spread to other body parts and become more difficult to treat. Most women with ovarian cancer will experience symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in their bathroom habits.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you must see your doctor immediately. Early detection is key to successful treatment. Ovarian cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. The type of treatment will depend on the cancer stage and the patient's overall health.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): PMS is a typical health issue that affects women during the reproductive age (15 to 49 years). It refers to the mood swings and physical problems a woman has during her period that is severe enough to impair her quality of life. If signs such as discomfort and depression are neglected, it may develop into another significant problem known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PDD).
Osteoporosis (a painful bone condition): Women frequently experience this health issue, particularly after menopause. This issue is when the bones become thin and fragile due to low calcium levels and Vitamin D deficiency in the body; this can lead to fractures if you fall over or have a sudden injury (for example, breaking your ankle).
Depression: Depression is one of the most common health conditions in women. Various factors, including hormonal changes, stress, and genetics can cause it. Women with depression may experience multiple symptoms, including sadness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns. Depression can negatively impact every aspect of a woman’s life, from her relationships to work performance. If you are depressed, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
To keep track of and prevent these issues, below are some of the tips that can be followed 😄
1. Annual Pap Smears: All women over 21 should have an annual Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.
2. Mammograms: Women over 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years to screen for breast cancer.
3. Bone Density Testing: Women over 65 should have a bone density test to screen for osteoporosis.
4. Cholesterol Screening: Women of all ages should have their cholesterol checked at least once every five years.
5. Blood Pressure Screening: Women of all ages should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years.
6. Diabetes Screening: Women who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes should be screened for diabetes starting at age 45.
7. Getting adequate nutrition: Every Woman should eat healthy food and exercise regularly and be advised to stop Smoking and alcohol consumption as it can cause a wide range of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases such as osteoporosis which affect the bones' structure
Women's Health is a complex and diverse field, with many common health conditions that can affect women of all ages. While some of these conditions are more serious than others, it is essential to stay informed and be aware of the most common female health issues so that you can take steps to prevent them or seek treatment as soon as possible. With these tips in mind and understanding the female healthcare needs, you can take charge of your Health today and live a healthier life.