Food, Health and Wellness

5 common women's health problems

Food, Health and Wellness Mary Swick

Men and women have a lot of similar health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. However, there are a few things that are unique to women only. So what are 5 common women’s health problems that are specific to females? See the list here. 

It is important to note that every person has their own set of unique characteristics, genetic makeup, and lifestyle choices that contribute to their overall health. If you want a personalized approach to getting the best assessment and outcome for your health, speak with your doctor. 

5 common women's health problems

Common Women’s Health Problems that Affect Mainly Females

1. Breast Cancer

Although men can get breast cancer, it is not as common as among women. Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women. Breast cancer originates in the lining of the milk ducts and is particularly dangerous because it can spread quickly to other organs. It is very important to learn how to do a self examination and to get regular breast exams by your doctor. Ask your family members if you have a family history of breast cancer, as it can often be passed down between generations, and learn the symptoms as early as you can - prevention is the first step in beating breast cancer. 

Signs of breast cancer:

  • Lump in the breast that feels different from surrounding tissue
  • Change in size, shape, or appearance of breasts
  • Nipple inversion

2. Pregnancy and Childbirth Issues

Bringing a child into this world is a wonderful journey. If you’ve been through it, then you know all about the challenges involved, and if you’re planning on starting a family, it’s best to be aware of the potential risks in order to care for the health of yourself and your baby. Pregnancy and childbirth come with their own set of risks and health problems that are specific to the women who bring children into this world, read about them below: 

  • During pregnancy, common women’s health problems include morning sickness, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, preeclamsia, and suffer complications that results in a miscarriage or stillbirth. 
  • After childbirth, many women suffer from pelvic floor issues and post-partum depression and anxiety. postpartum depression, which affects 20 percent of new mothers. 
  • In rare cases, death can occur during childbirth. In 2020, the global maternal mortality ratio was 152 deaths per 100,000 live births (and although it has been declining since 2000, it is slightly up from 2019 figures). 

3. Gynecological Issues

The female reproductive organ isn’t only responsible for bringing life into this world, it is also important to a woman’s overall health. Having frequent visits to the gynecologist can help maintain your female reproductive health, so that you prevent any serious issues or catch them very early on. 

  • Menopause: All women will go through menopause at some point in their life, which starts when the body’s reproductive system no longer releases eggs for fertilization and the menstrual flow stops. The average age for menopause is 51. Menopause can also be induced through the use of hormones. Symptoms of menopause include: Hot flashes, depression, mood changes, weight gain, etc. 
  • Gynecological cancers that begin in the female reproductive organ include endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer. Endometrial cancer develops due to excessive estrogen production. Ovarian cancer starts in the fallopian tubes and tends to be more terminal than other types of gynecological cancers.  Cervical cancer originates in the lower uterus and has been reduced significantly due to the pap test.
  • Disorders related to infertility including uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and primary ovarian insufficiency.
  • Disorders such as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, uterine fibroids, and vulvodynia.

5 common women's health problems

4. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease stemming from poor bone tissue, causing weak and brittle bones and sometimes resulting in bone fractures or breaks (most commonly in the hip, wrist, or vertebrae of the spine). Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis due to having smaller, thinner bones and lower levels of testosterone, which helps protect bones. A decrease in estrogen can also contribute, which is why osteoporosis mostly affects older women. 

Because osteoporosis often isn’t detected until the first bone fracture or break, it’s important to start building up bone density from a young age. Check with your doctor and consider these preventative steps: 

  • Get the recommended daily amount of calcium (up to 1,300 mg) and vitamin D (up to 800 IU per day). Calcium is found in dairy products as well as green vegetables like broccoli and kale, while vitamin D is found in fish, egg yolks, and orange juice. 
  • Don’t smoke, as it raises the risk of broken bones, and drink alcohol in moderation. 
  • Do weight-bearing activities to build and strengthen bones. 
  • Get your bone density assessed by your doctor, in case you need to take further steps to prevent bone loss. 

5. Turner Syndrome and Rett Syndrome

There are two conditions that affect only females: Turner syndrome and Rett syndrome. Turner syndrome causes stunted growth, infertility, and physical abnormalities, and occurs when a girl is missing one or part of her X chromosomes.Turner syndrome is the most common sex chromosome abnormality in females and occurs in approximately 1 in 2000 to 1 in 2500 live female births, according to studies. Rett syndrome is a genetic disorder (caused by a genetic mutation in the MECP2 gene) that affects brain development and causes progressive loss of motor and speech skills. This condition is quite rare and occurs in young girls and babies. 

It’s important to note that many of these common women’s health problems can often be detected and diagnosed through preventative medicine, so please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms. If you’re searching for a healthcare provider in Spain, discover Caser Expat Insurance’s offerings in this free guide:

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Mary Swick

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