While many health issues affect both men and women, some health conditions affect women differently and are more specific to women’s health. With this in mind, here are four common health concerns that every woman should be aware of.
1. Breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and it’s estimated that around 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, breast cancer is often treatable if detected early, and advancements in technology and screenings have significantly improved the survival rate. It's vital that women know how to check their breasts for signs of breast cancer. The first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is usually a lump on the breast tissue or armpit. Other symptoms include discharge, redness, and changes in breast shape and texture. You should keep in mind that the majority of breast lumps are not cancerous, but you must get any lumps checked out by a medical professional to rule out anything serious. The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a useful and informative guide on how to check your breaks for signs of cancer.
2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
While UTIs can affect both men and women, they occur far more frequently in women. This is because women have a shorter urethra than men, making it more prone to infection. UTIs can be extremely painful and cause a range of symptoms including - a burning sensation when urinating, frequent need to urinate, pain in the lower abdomen, and cloudy, dark, or bloody urine. Some UTIs clear up themselves with rest and plenty of water, but most infections require a course of antibiotics. Many women experience frequent UTIs and once you have one, your risk of recurrent UTIs increases significantly. Fortunately, there is plenty of advice and guidance available on how to prevent a uti. Some popular tips include taking preventative medication, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding irritating feminine products.
Research shows that women are almost twice as likely to develop depression than men. There are several reasons why depression affects women more than men. Firstly, women often suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). In many women, this causes minor temporary symptoms like bloating, low-mood, and headaches. However, some women experience severe symptoms of PMS that can lead to health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Postpartum depression is another common health condition that occurs in women as a result of the dramatic hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy. The transition to menopause can also lead to feelings of depression in women. You must seek medical advice and treatment if you feel that you may be suffering from depression or another mental health condition.
4. Heart attack
Statistics show that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. Hence why it’s so important for women to understand the risk and focus on ways to improve their cardiovascular health. Some of the top ways to reduce your chances of heart disease include - following a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and asking your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly.