Gender-related and biological differences between men and women can have a notable impact on health. However, women's health is particularly important considering the discrimination and disadvantages rooted in our culture. Additionally, the lower economic status that most women are subject to universally also contributes to their poor health.
Fertility concerns, production of estrogen, sexual health, and mental health are some of the most common gender-distinct issues related to women's health. There's very little doubt that women undergo drastic mental and physical health changes throughout their lives, leading to growing health concerns.
Just because our society is negligent towards women's health does not mean women cannot take charge of their own health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve the health of a woman.
In this article, we have listed a variety of health challenges that women have to deal with and how they can fight the same. Read on to find out more about it.
Also read: Ways to Maintain Blood Pressure
Common Challenges Concerning Women's Health
The traditional mindset and values that society still nourishes have always put women in the poor limelight. As a result of this, women lack access to education and healthcare in many parts of the world to date. Yes, there have been recent improvements, but that does not entirely rule out that men are relatively more advantaged.
A woman is the most susceptible to mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, when she undergoes a physiological change. Other issues involve sexual health diseases like STD/HIV, post-menopause issues, chronic diseases, eating disorders, and the list goes on. The good news is that most of the issues could be treated if detected early.
Hence, biological factors combined with societal factors contribute significantly to women's deteriorating health. Some of the most common health problems faced by women are:
1. Cardiovascular Problems
Cardiovascular problems like heart attacks, valve problems, the abnormal beating of the heart, and strokes are some of the top killers of women. However, not much attention is paid to women's cardiovascular diseases, especially because they are perceived as "man's disease".
According to stats, 42% of women die within a year of their heart attack, while 64% of women who die from a heart attack have been reported to feel no symptoms at all. This overwhelming data is enough evidence to show gross neglect of their health.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak, and this condition is the most common amongst older women. Excess consumption of alcohol and eating disorders are other causes that can lead to osteoporosis, causing the bones, especially in the hips and waist, to break easily. A nutritious diet followed by living a healthy lifestyle can minimize the chances of osteoporosis to some extent.
Also read: About Social Anxiety Disorder
Cancer is a life-threatening disease that kills millions of women every year. The risks are more often individualized. While some are linked to their families' medical history, others fall prey to it because of their unhealthy lifestyle habits.
But if a woman can always take precautions to lower the chances of being diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes, simple things are what one needs to take care of. For instance, not smoking to avoid lung cancer, putting on sunscreen to avoid skin cancer, and so on.
And then, we have the usual solution wherein a healthy diet and regular physical activities are always the keys to a disease-free lifestyle.
Depression is a disease. The severity of this disease is such that it can interfere in a woman's day-to-day life, causing her to dissociate from the rest of the world, sometimes for a couple of weeks and sometimes for a couple of months.
Depression is not the same for everyone, and it varies from person to person, depending on the cause. Fortunately, it is very much treatable. There are women's health groups that are meant to address mental health issues. Other than that, consulting a therapist is also recommended.
Also read: Signs of Stress
5. Eating Disorders
Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa are more common in women than in men. Genes, family history, and stress are common causes of this disorder. Learning about the symptoms can help a woman recognize her disorder and consult a doctor.
The treatment programs can go on for months, sometimes even years, varying from person to person.
Ways to Improve Women’s Health
To improve women's health, different issues need to be addressed. Women should also take steps personally to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the measures that could be adopted:
- More health centers- there is a shortage of women's health centers in many parts of the world. Efforts should be made to establish more such clinics to provide women with timely treatment.
- Essential health services: health benefits and services that are particularly meant for women should be provided. This includes arranging for immediate hospitalization in case of an emergency, more rehabilitation centers, habilitative services, and so on.
- Educating women about the various health problems: sometimes, unawareness about the prevailing health disorders could also cause women to neglect themselves. Women's health magazines that are centered on sex, fitness, health, lifestyle, etc. should be made available to women.
- Dedicate healthcare groups to addressing different issues faced by women: more women's health associate groups should be formed to provide women with the highest healthcare standards. Steps should also be taken to address the health issues faced by underprivileged women.
Also read: Lifestyle Changes to Take Care of Your Mental Health
Today women's health is gaining priority as more people recognize that they experience the same diseases as men. But, there's a lot that still needs to be done.
Women represent the mainspring of the overall health of a family. Having access to quality care improves the standard of living.
Policymakers should encourage building more policies that would explore different opportunities to address women's health issues. Preventing chronic disorders, getting better access to health care, practicing safe sex, educating women of all age groups about different health-related matters, and encouraging the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle are some of the steps that women can personally take to live a healthy lifestyle.
So, are you ready to say yes to a healthy lifestyle today?