Hi, to all beautiful women out there. I hope you are taking good care of your families amid these difficult times of global pandemic. But are you really taking good care of yourself? Let us give a minute of thinking to the question, Are we healthy or just disease-free? Is enough emphasis has been given to the importance of a women’s health?
Well, we all know that a woman’s life, body, the experience is a way different as compared to a man. Women as compared to men have many important biological and behavioral differences. Despite our knowledge of these crucial differences, we still lack in gender-specific health care.
The prevention and treatment of many common diseases follow the “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” approach. This omission is holding us back from more efficient health care, as gender-based prevention measures are way more effective than using the same treatment for everyone.
As I mentioned above, there are many biological and behavioral differences between men and women. The biological factors include reproductive function, concentrations of sexual hormones, the expression of genes on X and Y chromosomes, and the higher percentage of body fat in women. By contrast, behavioral factors include lifestyle and life experience, socio-economic status, education, culture, and ethnicity. In this article will talk about different aspects of women’s health and how it differs from men’s.
“BECAUSE YOUR HEALTH DETERMINES WHOLE POPULATION’S HEALTH.”
Different aspects of women’s health and how it differs from men’s
1) Your Mental Healthcare is important
Mental disorders can affect women and men differently. Many socio-economic determinants like their social position, status, and treatment in society have varying impacts on the lives and mental health of men and women. Some disorders are more common in women such as stress and anxiety. Fear is one of the many causes of having anxiety, especially the fear of financial instability. “Career and personal satisfaction” as well as “Work-life balance” are other important factors that are responsible for causing stress and anxiety in our lives, because even today in many sectors women are lower paid, less secure, and have informal occupations as compared to men.
A new mother experiences a whole new level of stress and anxiety, who due to a sudden increase in her responsibilities is not able to do the things she used to do. They face significant obstacles in achieving their wellness goals and are most of the time sleep-deprived as a neonate needs nothing more than his mother. They are worried about weight, BMI, weight loss, and waist size, but so are the women of all ages.
But stress and anxiety are here to stay so how do we use stress in a way that it benefits us? If you view stress as your enemy, then it’s time to look the other way around start to view stress as your ally.
“Self-care is our responsibility and right as women.”
What’s most important is to carve out some time of your daily routine and spend it with yourself. For that, you don’t have to sit crossed leg in a yogi’s position. You can do a little self-introspection and set some goals which are attainable.
I know to be a woman we have ample amount of responsibilities and are bestowed with a great gift of selflessness that we always try to put others’ needs before us. But we forget a thing that being the decision-makers of our home we should always be in a calm state of mind and in case, we are anxious and cranky all the time then our decisions might get influenced by our mood. So along with giving time to others, make out time for yourself too.
2) Cancer, a journey through deep waters
Women and men have approximately equal risks of cancer, however, different types of cancers vary between men and women. Women are more susceptible to breast, cervical and colon cancers,
To lower your risks of breast cancer, avoid smoking, exercise daily, and control your weight, limit your alcohol use, and take adequate amounts of vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 controls normal breast cell growth and stop breast cancer cells from growing. Get frequent screening before the age of 50, in case you have breast cancer history in your family.
Cervical cancers are not diagnosed at early stages; its symptoms are easily mistaken as menstrual periods or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). This cancer starts on the surface cervix. Get your cervical screening to detect cancerous processes in the cervix. As cervical cancer can be acquired sexually with certain types of HPV(Human papillomavirus). So get your HPV testing by age of 30, and get an HPV vaccine before age of 45.
Colon Cancer starts in rectum or colon(large intestine), located in the lower portion of the digestive system. To avoid colon cancers, start screening at age of 45 and get colonoscopy ever 10 years. Get a sooner colon cancer screening if it a part of your family history.
3) Reproductive and Sexual Health
Women’s reproductive and sexual healthcare is quite different from men. Women go through dramatic changes. These changes include both mental and physical as their reproductive systems go through major changes. Different life stages are associated with women’s sexual and reproductive health issues include menstruation, fertility, cervical screening, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmissible infections, chronic health problems (such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome) and menopause.
4) Healthcare for your bones
Both sex hormones keep bones strong, but men have the edge here. As men age, testosterone levels start to decline slowly, about 1% a year. However, the estrogen levels drop abruptly at menopause, boosting the risk of osteoporosis.
It is when bones become porous and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps. In order to avoid your bones becoming fragile stop the use of alcohol and cigarettes, and assure adequate exercise, calcium, and vitamin D (helps in absorbing calcium in bones).
5) Why obesity is not cool?
Women have a biologically higher percentage of body fat; therefore the risk of obesity is greater in women than men. Obesity may hamper with the fertility of women along with Sleep apnea, Diabetes, High blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic pain in the back and knees, osteoarthritis. Obesity sometimes even leads to stress in women as according to society thinness is considered as a central to feminine beauty. Women develop low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and a range of unhealthy eating behaviors, including binge eating.
To avoid obesity as you grow, eat smaller portions and healthier foods, and exercise more as your metabolism slows down with age. Consider fasting at irregular intervals as this will help prevent type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and other weight-related problems.
6) The health of your heart
There is strong hygienic evidence that men and women face different risks and have different outcomes when it comes to cardiovascular diseases. But it is more prevalent in young women’s health owing to their lifestyle changes—such as smoking or experiencing increasing job stress. Women and men also differ in regard to the causes of myocardial infarction: psychological factors are more prominent in women; heavy exercise is a more common cause in men. Women are even slower than men to react to their illness when symptoms appear. Stress and anxiety is another main determinant of re-infarction after a first myocardial infarction in women.
7) High risk to prescription drugs
Women are more susceptible to developing drug reactions than men. As women are the highest medicine users due to medications taken during pregnancy, menstruation, lactation, PCOD, birth control pills, and hormones which somehow disrupt the natural hormonal cycle of women.
8) Say No to Depression, because you matter
Women experience a greater level of depression than men. It hampers with a woman’s ability to work, sleep, eat, and feel happiness, leading more women to attempt to commit suicide every year than men.
Factors that contribute to depression in women’s health include genes, hormones, and stress. When women’s hormones change then it also leads to the change in their brain chemistry. Many women experience depression during puberty, after having a baby and during or after menopause.
If you have a feeling that depression is just feeling low then you are lacking here with information that even a sudden surge of high moods also leads to depression. The former is called unipolar depression and the latter is called bipolar depression. Bipolar depression is also referred to as ‘mania’ during which they may experience increased energy, feelings of euphoria, insomnia (inability to sleep) or impulsive behaviors like shopping sprees or promiscuous sex.
Women who feel sadness that lasts for more than two weeks should talk to a doctor or therapist. Therapy can often be successful to treat depression, and in some cases, medications may help as well. However, many antidepressants carry serious side effects, and the benefits should be weighed against the risks.
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Hi, I am Deepali, I am a self learned Graphic Designer and Illustrator. I am a postgraduate in
Computer Science but after six years of struggle with programming I discovered I belong
somewhere else. I always had passion for making things look beautiful and colours have
always been my best buds. So, I followed my heart and here I am. In my pleasure time i love
to dance on retro Hollywood jazz and eat some dark dark chocolates. My schooling is from a
girls convent school so, my thoughts have always been women centred. AS GOD HAS
CRAFTED US DIFFERENTLY. I felt there is a dire need of awareness of how our bodies and
behaviour is different from men so that we can follow a specific health care. This just a small
effort. Hope you found it beneficial. Keep shining with a beautiful smile.