Common Health Issues That Affect Women
Several health conditions are specific to women, such as menopause, pregnancy, and breast and cervical cancers. Others, such as cardiovascular or autoimmune diseases, affect them differently than men. Understanding these issues and making lifestyle changes will help your risk management. This guide only provides basic knowledge, so it’s best to visit a women’s clinic to get advice from a health care professional.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
When germs enter the urethra, they can spread and infect the urinary tract. As women have a shorter urethra than men, there’s less distance for germs to travel before reaching the bladder, increasing the chances of urinary tract infections.
If you have a UTI, you may experience the following symptoms: frequent urination, cloudy urine, and a painful or burning feeling when urinating. Typically, a urinary tract infection resolves itself over time, though you may take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Should your case persist, you may have to check your urinary tract’s condition, so undergoing tests may be necessary.
Maternal Health Issues
Every woman experiences an onset of health conditions during and after getting pregnant. These medical issues include high blood pressure and iron deficiency anemia, both of which require meticulous observation and care for stability throughout pregnancy.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, strict management of your health conditions is crucial before conceiving. In case of high-risk medical conditions like cardiac and neurological issues, talk to your physician and develop a comprehensive plan for your preconception care.
There are two vital components for a healthy pregnancy: adequate nutritional intake and appropriate medical treatment. Exercise also has many benefits, though you may want to consult your physician first to learn proper guidelines.
Around 80% of sexually active men and women have contracted the human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This virus has over a hundred variations, two of which are proven directly linked to the precancer of the cervix. As cervical cancer ranks high among the common causes of death in women, getting prevention and treatment should be of utmost concern.
Getting vaccinated against HPV can protect you from the sexually transmitted virus. Undergoing a pap smear procedure reduces your risk of cervical cancer, as the test detects precancerous cells and eliminates them through treatment.
Based on studies, 12% of women across the country are at risk of breast cancer at some point in their lives. Keep track of any changes in your breasts by performing monthly self-examinations. Implementing healthy changes in your lifestyle, such as exercising and quitting smoking, helps with risk management.
Annual mammograms are pivotal and should be part of your regular medical tests starting at age 40. 3D mammography, which develops more detailed images, may be recommended for women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, as they are at a higher risk of breast cancer.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women across the country. Specific health changes after menopause, such as lower estrogen and higher cholesterol and blood pressure, contribute to the risk for cardiovascular conditions. Some common symptoms include chest pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and weakness in the arms.
For heart disease maintenance, talk to your physician about medications and treatment. Making lifestyle adjustments for the better also helps, so eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and cut tobacco use.
Several health problems linked to diabetes, such as blindness, kidney disease, and depression, affect women more than men. Aside from these problems, diabetes can also cause complications during pregnancy, leading to possible miscarriages and congenital disabilities. Observing strict glucose monitoring, medication intake, and proper diet can curb your risk for diabetes-related troubles.
Women suffer a stroke each year more than men. Symptoms of stroke vary depending on the variation of the condition (hemorrhagic or ischemic), though two indicators are synonymous: speech difficulties and numbness of the extremities.
Stroke also has an impact on pregnant women. Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy, results in an increased risk of stroke. Hypercoagulation or excessive blood clotting in pregnant women can also hinder blood flow to the brain.
To manage your risk for stroke, shifting to a healthier lifestyle is essential. Practice better choices by eating a nutrient-rich diet, cutting alcohol intake, abstaining from smoking, and exercising frequently.
Visit Your Local Women’s Clinic for Medical Treatment
If you notice symptoms of the health issues discussed, don’t hesitate to call a women’s clinic in your area. Talk to a certified physician to get an early diagnosis and treatment or prevention advice to manage your risk. Being proactive when it comes to your body goes a long way in maintaining your health.