What Does Women’s Health Include?
When I talk to most women about women’s health they usually think about their yearly mammogram and GYN exam. Women’s health encompasses a wide range of diverse specialties.
You might be surprised to learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women. We usually think of heart disease being more common for men, but only 54% of women realize that heart disease is such a concern. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and obesity are all factors that contribute to heart disease. These same factors also contribute to the high number of women having stokes in this country. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death for U.S. women.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Monthly breast self -examination and yearly mammogram (check with your doctor regarding how often) can detect breast cancer before it potentially spreads. Not all breast cancers will present symptoms, that is why early detection is crucial to survival.
Women are also at a high risk of diabetes. Some potential complications from diabetes include blindness, kidney disease and depression. Diabetes also raises the risk of heart disease. Having a yearly physical and blood tests to access your A1C (blood sugar) level are important tools in catching this disease early enough to control and prevent serious complications.
Depression and Mental Health
Women experience depression almost twice as often as men. Depression is not a “normal” part of being a woman. Struggling with depression can make the challenges of motherhood and family life challenging and can add additional strains on relationships. Working with a therapist, and/or doctor are key to combatting this underdiagnosed disorder. The medications available for treating depression have only been getting better over time.
This is a big topic that covers diverse issues such as pregnancy, ovarian and cervical cancer, pelvic infections, infertility, pelvic pain, reproductive issues, sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, and urological issues such as incontinence, menopause and sexual health, and more. Sexual health is a topic that is finally getting the attention it deserves. Many, women suffer from dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) which affects relationships and self-esteem. Please discuss your issues with your gynecologist, urogynecologist, or health care provider.
Addressing all areas of women’s health in our society is crucial. Violence against women, and lack of access to health education and services all play a major role in the health of the individual, the family and the community. It is imperative that we acknowledge the many roles that women play economically, politically, and socially. We need to make health care a top priority.
Author: Jane Silverstein, Soul Source Author Bio: Jane Silverstein is the owner of Soul Source Therapeutic Devices located in Los Angeles. She is committed to women’s health issues and to helping women worldwide regain and/ or maintain their sexual health. She is passionate about helping others and has always been involved in a multitude of charitable causes.