Women Health Care: Health Conditions And Medical Tests That Every Woman Should Know About
Every woman goes through a number of inevitable stages in her life, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Adding to that, some health conditions affect women more commonly than men or impact women differently. Women's health care needs unique attention as the health challenges are unique. This content would highlight some of the common health problems in women and indispensable medical tests.
What Makes And Needs More Concern In Women's Health Care?
Some disorders or lifestyle habits can cause more discomfort or harm in women. Being aware of them can largely help prevent health risks.
Heart disorder is one of the leading causes of death among women. Women experience more subtle symptoms of a heart attack than men, such as fatigue, lightheadedness, or abdominal pain. Also, they are more prone to a heart attack than men.
Urinary tract infections are more common, occurring in one out of five women sometime in their lifetime. This is because the tube (urethra) that carries urine out of the body in females is shorter and nearer to the anus, where bacteria (E. coli) are common. The shorter urethra makes the bacteria reach the bladder faster and start an infection.
Women are 2 times more likely than men to have depression. Menstrual cycle, pregnancy, the postpartum period, and perimenopause are all associated with dramatic hormonal and physical changes, and these changes can cause irritability, sadness, or anxiety.
Women begin to have alcohol-associated problems sooner and at lesser drinking levels than men. The risk associated with alcohol consumption includes liver damage, heart diseases and cancer. Women who are trying to conceive or pregnant should entirely avoid alcohol, as drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause cognitive, physical, and behavioral problems in children.
Women are 4 times more likely to get osteoporosis than men. Women above the age of 50 or postmenopausal women have the highest risk of this disease. A drop in estrogen levels after menopause could be the reason for declining bone health and osteoporosis. After age fifty, 1 in 2 women will have an osteoporosis-associated fracture in their lifetimes.
Malnourished women are very high in India. Malnutrition can negatively impact psychological and physical health status. Poor maternal nutrition can affect both mother and child’s health significantly.
Breast cancer is a common cancer among women. Almost 90% of the cases happen in women over 50. It commonly presents as a thickening or painless lump in the breast. It is important that a woman finding an abnormal breast lump consult a physician without any delay even when there is no pain associated with it.
Some Vital Medical Tests In Women Health Care:
Breast exam and mammogram in women health care: Women must be familiar with how their breasts normally feel and look and should report any changes to a health care professional. Medical experts recommend getting a mammogram test done after the age of 40. A mammogram is an x-ray examination of the breast which helps find breast cancer at an early stage. If any of your family members have breast cancer, consult your physician about screening earlier.
Bone density test: Bone density tests measure bone strength and help determine if you have osteoporosis. Women above the age of sixty-five should have a bone density test. Younger women who have low body weight, are on steroid medications, or who had early menopause should also consider getting this test.
Pap test: The Pap test, also known as Pap smear, takes only a few minutes and is used to detect changes in the cervical cells that may develop into cervical cancer in the future. Women should get this test done every three years from the age of 21, especially if they are sexually active.
The best time to schedule this test is at least five days after the end of your menstrual period. Do not have sexual intercourse or use birth control foams, vaginal medicines, douches, vaginal creams or powders for two to three days before the test.
Weigh yourself: A healthy BMI (body mass index) for women ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. It is typically measured as weight in kgs divided by height in meters squared. A body mass index of 25 - 29.9 shows that you are overweight, and a BMI of 30.0 or higher indicates you are obese.
Obesity is associated with many health conditions such as cancers, gout, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, etc. Belly fat can also be a sign of obesity. For women, a healthy waist measurement must fall below 35 inches.
Check your cholesterol levels: Approximately forty-five percent of women over the age of 20 have elevated cholesterol levels. Get your cholesterol levels checked if you are aged 20 or above. You may also need to check again once every four to six years.
Blood sugar testing in women: Globally, about 30% of women are affected by prediabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disorders by about 4 times in women but only 2 times in men. Women are also at the highest risk of developing diabetic complications such as depression, kidney disease, and blindness. Be sure to get your blood sugar levels checked at the age of 45 and then again at least once every 3 years.
Take Care Of Your Body - The Only Place You Have To Live:
Eat a healthy diet rich in nutrients. Consider the DASH or Mediterranean diet, both heart-healthy ways of eating. Aim for one-fifty minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a week. Get good sleep of seven to nine hours each night. Manage your stress in healthy ways. Get a regular health check-up and talk to your doctor freely about any questions you have.