Women’s Health Issues that We Need to Talk About
Conditions like breast cancer are emblazoned across the news and social media. Which unfortunately means other women’s health problems don’t receive the attention they deserve. We’ve taken the time to focus in on three major women’s health issues, so we can help start the conversation.
Breast cancer kills a fraction of the women who die of heart disease, but we rarely talk about it. In fact, there is a misconception that heart disease mostly kills men.The big issue here is the lack of knowledge and understanding of the disease. Women don’t always recognise symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or an irregular heartbeat. Women are actually more likely to experience other symptoms like nausea, light-headedness, and pain that radiates to the back or jaw. This leads some to visit a doctor for a stomach problem when it’s actually cardiovascular. Most women don’t know that their risk for heart disease skyrockets after menopause, and the risk is worsened by certain hormonal treatments.
Sexual Health Concerns
We talk about contraception and pregnancy, but we don’t talk nearly enough about everything else that falls into the category of sexual health. For example, the average woman with endometriosis is misdiagnosed for several years before she gets an answer. Yet it strikes 5 to 10% of all women. We also don’t educate people about the full range of sexually transmitted diseases and the long-term effects of leaving them untreated. Nor do we educate women about the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, so many suffer for months or even years before it’s diagnosed and cured.
Mental Health Concerns
Unfortunately, a lot of things in the modern world tend to make us anxious, stressed and even depressed. Which lends for a lot of legitimate conditions being dismissed as being “all in your head”. For example, many middle-aged women with pre-diabetes or a slowed thyroid are told they have depression. They are given anti-depressants instead of hormonal tests. Similarly, women with endometriosis are sometimes told they’re overly stressed, when they in fact have a legitimate health concern. Up to a third of women with endometriosis are infertile because of it.
Now more than ever, it’s so important for women to talk about their health issues. Start by talking to friends and family. If the problem becomes more serious, seek medical advice. With private health insurance this can be an affordable and easy thing to coordinate. If you need to talk to your GP or a specialist but are concerned you don’t have the right level of cover, visit i select health insurance to compare plans before seeking medical advice.