Women’s health is of incredible importance. By being aware of all the common health problems women face during their lives, they can make informed decisions about their well-being. Women can seek medical care and adopt a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle by actively caring for themselves.
Women bear exclusive health problems like cervical cancer, breast cancer, pregnancy, and menopause. Due to their biological makeup, they are often at greater risk of suffering from certain diseases than men. This includes heart attacks (according to health.com), UTIs, and depression (according to WebMD), amongst others.
In this blog, we discuss the top five health problems that every woman should know about.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Cardiovascular Diseases (Heart Problems)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 33 seconds from cardiovascular diseases in the United States! Heart diseases can be diagnosed in women of any age, and more than 60 million women suffer from them in the United States. In 2021, it was the cause of every 1 in 5 female deaths. Sadly, only 56 percent of U.S. women recognize heart problems as a number 1 killer.
Many people in the U.S. engage in lifestyle and behavior patterns that can cause cardiovascular problems in them. The contributors to health diseases include smoking, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, stress, etc.
Chest pain, shortness of breath, and arm weakness are all common heart attack symptoms. Women must know about these heart disease risk factors and symptoms. They should also know about preventive measures like exercising, eating healthy, and avoiding smoking.
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2. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common health issue among women. These infections occur when bacteria enter the urethra and multiply, causing infection. Women are more prone to UTIs than men due to their shorter urethra, which provides a shorter path for bacteria to reach the bladder. Common symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, pain or burning during urination, and cloudy urine.
While some UTIs may resolve on their own, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A physician can prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and alleviate symptoms. If UTIs recur frequently, further tests may be necessary to evaluate the urinary tract’s health and identify any underlying issues.
You must maintain good hygiene practices to prevent UTIs, such as urinating before and after sexual intercourse, wiping from front to back after using the restroom, and staying hydrated. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements may also help reduce the risk of UTIs.
3. Ovarian and Cervical Cancer
Ovarian and cervical cancer are distinct cancers affecting women’s reproductive organs. Cervical cancer originates in the lower uterus, specifically the cervix, while ovarian cancer begins in the fallopian tubes. While both cancers can cause pain, cervical cancer is also characterized by abnormal discharge and pain during sexual intercourse.
It is important to note that the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and easily overlooked, making early detection challenging. On the other hand, cervical cancer can be detected through regular Pap smears, which help identify abnormal cervical cells that may indicate precancerous or cancerous changes.
Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and a feeling of fullness even after eating small amounts. These symptoms may be subtle and easily mistaken for other conditions, underscoring the significance of regular medical check-ups and awareness of changes in one’s body.
To minimize the risk of ovarian and cervical cancer, women should consider routine screenings, such as Pap smears and HPV vaccinations, which can help detect precancerous changes or prevent certain types of cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding behaviors such as smoking that can increase cancer risk.
Diabetes is another common health problem prevalent in both men and women. However, it poses specific complications and risks for women. If you have diabetes, then you have greater chances of developing cardiovascular problems as compared to those that don’t have diabetes.
Women are also susceptible to diabetes-related complications like kidney diseases, blindness, and mental health problems. Some common symptoms include increased thirst and hunger, fluctuations in weight, fatigue, and frequent urination.
Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy; while rare, it is still a great risk factor. Gestational diabetes leads to elevated blood sugar levels.
It can lead to life-threatening complications for the mother and the baby. The treatment of gestational diabetes involves consuming a balanced diet, monitoring blood sugar levels, exercising regularly, taking oral medication, and in dire cases, insulin injections as well.
5. Gynecological Health Problems
Ensuring good gynecological health is crucial for women’s overall well-being. Bleeding and discharge are very normal during the menstrual cycle. However, attention to any change in them can indicate underlying health issues.
Bleeding between periods, frequent urination, pain, irritation, or changes in vaginal discharge should not be ignored. They can be signs of various health conditions. Hence, consulting a gynecologist every few months is essential.
Other gynecological issues, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or reproductive tract cancer, can be diagnosed through vaginal symptoms. Minor infections can be easily treated by healthcare providers through oral medication. However, if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications, including infertility, cervical problems, or kidney failure.
Healthcare providers advise women to practice safe sex, undergo regular screenings for STDs, and seek medical attention if any concerning symptoms arise. Semi-annual or annual check-ups and discussions with healthcare professionals about any changes or concerns can help detect potential issues early and prevent complications later in life.
Awareness of common health problems women face is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. Women must understand the risks, symptoms, and preventive measures associated with cardiovascular diseases and gynecological health issues.
Regular check-ups, screenings, and adopting a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in promoting women’s health. Remember, your health matters, so take care of yourself and make informed decisions about your well-being!