While diseases such as cardiovascular conditions and diabetes are fairly common for people of all genders, women must take even more care as there are health issues that are more common to them. This is due to their specific anatomy, which makes them prone to certain medical conditions.
As such, a lot of care must be done undertaken to ensure proper health for females, as many of these conditions can drastically alter your way of life. Aside from a healthy lifestyle, regular checkups with a doctor specializing in women’s health is also a must.
Here are just some of the top health issues that affect women. Knowing about these conditions can go a long way towards helping prevent these serious health issues from ever occurring.
The American Cancer Society estimated that over a quarter of a million women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. This is discomforting especially as trends indicate slight increases in cases year by year.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for women, although death rates have also been steadily declining. This has been attributed to increases awareness about the disease as well as regular screenings that are able to detect the condition before treatment becomes too difficult.
Estimates also show that there is a 1 in 8 chance that a woman will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. The earlier it can be found, the better. All women are susceptible, but chances increase as they reach middle age. As such, regular screening of every year up to every six months is recommended once you reach your thirties.
Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues are very prevalent among women, especially those living in at-risk locations. Those who are victims of psychological trauma, abuse, and crimes are highly susceptible to mental health problems such as PTSD or anxiety disorders.
Depression is also very common among women, at rates that are twice as many as those involving men. Risk factors include those who tend to abuse alcohol or other illicit substances or those who work in very stressful jobs. However, there is evidence that some mental problems can be due to genetics as well.
The good news, though, is that some mental health issues are less common to women when compared to males. Mental conditions such as substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, and ADHD are much more common to men rather than women.
Osteoporosis causes the bone to be porous and less dense. Osteoporosis is caused by poor diet and, in some cases, hormonal changes caused by menopause or pregnancy. Osteoporosis occurs when the bones do not absorb enough calcium to strengthen it. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease.
Osteoporosis typically affects the bones that are most in use, such as the spine or hips. Those with this condition are much more prone to fractures due to the bones’ weakness. Another common and noticeable symptom of those suffering from osteoporosis are hunched backs and difficulty walking.
Women are twice more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Those who are 50 years old and above are the most susceptible. A diet rich in calcium as well as regular exercise are the main things that you can do to minimize the chances of getting this condition.
Reproductive Health Issues
The female body is specially designed to carry and deliver children. These organs, though, are very susceptible to many health issues, which is why regular checkups by an OB/GYN is recommended, especially during teenage years and beyond.
Fertility issues are one of the most common problems faced by women. This can be a very serious problem especially for women who are trying to get pregnant. Ovarian or cervical cancers are also fairly common, although these are highly treatable when detected early.
Other reproductive health issues that women should be tested for regularly include:
- Uterine Fibroids
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Interstitial Cystitis
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
- Ectopic Pregnancies
Those who are sexually active with multiple partners should also take care as infectious diseases such as HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis are fairly common among women as well.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only appears during pregnancy. It is estimated that 2 to 10 percent of women suffer from gestational diabetes, according to the Centre for Disease Control. This appears even for those who have had no history of diabetes before getting pregnant.
Hormonal changes and weight gain are the typical factors associated with gestational diabetes. Those with this type of condition will also have a high chance of getting Type 2 diabetes later in life. Other complications may include difficult deliveries which may lead to increased risk of delivery through C-section procedures.
Gestational diabetes typically appears around the second trimester of pregnancy. Regular blood sugar testing must also be done at least a few years after birth to ensure that you have not developed Type 2 diabetes.
Autoimmune diseases are more likely to appear in women than men. These types of diseases are usually triggered by hormonal changes such as when menstruation starts, during pregnancy, or during menopause.
Examples of autoimmune disease include diabetes, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease. However, early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent these diseases from getting worse and compromising your long term health.
Women should get regularly checked in order to help detect and treat many health issues before they do some real damage. Aside from this, getting regular exercise as well as eating a healthy diet are musts.
You can also help your body fight disease by taking supplements such as those rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron.
While there are some diseases that women get more than men, they can take comfort in the fact that most of these diseases can be treated, or at least have their progression halted. Women, on average, also live longer than men, but it would all depend on how well you treat your body so that it can be free of health issues that can be a detriment to your quality of life.