Women-focused Conditions You Should Know About

Many people don’t realize that gender influences health. This is often debated in the medical field, with some saying that it is due to the biological differences between the two sexes, while others say that society may be the cause.

The perfect example that shows this is the fact that, on average, women live longer than men by six to eight years. Whether it’s due to social or biological differences, the fact remains true: women are more prone to certain diseases than men are. When it comes to women’s health risks, issues related to anatomy and hormones often come into play.

Stroke

A stroke happens when the blood flowing to your brain suddenly stops because of a clot or burst blood vessel. This can cause the brain not to receive oxygen, which can, in most cases, cause permanent brain damage.

Every year in the U.S., 425,000 women experience a stroke- more than 50,000 compared to men. Strokes are even one of the leading causes of death in women. This can usually be due to various factors such as age, high blood pressure, medication, or an irregular heartbeat, which can increase the chances of a stroke. Sudden changes in estrogen levels can also be an underlying factor that most women aren’t aware of. Contraception and pregnancy are just a few examples of factors that can cause these changes in estrogen levels, which may lead to blood clots that cause strokes.

People can reduce their risk of strokes and other heart diseases by practicing a healthier lifestyle and having a well-balanced diet.

Breast Cancer

Despite being one of the most common types of cancers, there is no single, definite cause of this disease. This can happen as a result of different factors such as our lifestyle, environment, and genes. While inherited genes can increase the chances of developing breast cancer, even those who don’t have a family history of the disease can develop it.

In the U.S., the average woman has about a 13% chance of developing breast cancer in her life. While it is impossible to avoid getting it completely, there are a few ways to reduce it. These include quitting smoking, drinking, keeping a healthy weight, and getting exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

Depression

Women have a higher rate of depression compared to men, who have higher rates of suicide. This is usually caused by hormonal fluctuations and can be acquired through various conditions and situations such as premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) and even after giving birth- known as postpartum depression or “baby blues.” Other factors can also contribute to depression, including having a family history of the disease, using dangerous substances, experiencing extremely stressful situations, and eating disorders.

12 million women experience depressive disorders each year, and 1 in 8 women can develop the disorder at any time during their life. Having depression can cause symptoms like irritability, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia. It is possible to reduce the risk of depression by having a good support system and caring relationships.

Pregnancy Issues

Pregnant women with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma may experience complications throughout the pregnancy. When these conditions intensify, it becomes potentially dangerous for both mother and child, especially if left unmanaged. These issues may cause other health concerns to develop, such as preeclampsia.

At times, the risks can be too high to continue with the pregnancy, which may cause some women to make a difficult choice. Some may choose to push through, putting both their and the baby’s life at stake, while others may choose to visit an abortion clinic. The latter is heavily debated in many states across the country. However, there are various cases when the choice involves saving one life (the mother’s) or none at all.

Autoimmune Diseases

An autoimmune disease is a condition where the body’s defense system fails to see the difference between your body’s cells and foreign cells. This then causes your cells to attack healthy cells and destroy body tissue by mistake. 80% of patients diagnosed with these diseases are women, which leads experts to believe that this is caused mainly by a combination of genetics, immune system response, and hormones. Estrogen is also thought to be one of the leading factors that cause women to become more prone to autoimmune diseases because it can increase inflammation, unlike testosterone that can reduce inflammation.

While there aren’t any known cures for autoimmune diseases, most patients try to practice a healthy lifestyle, reduce their stress, and getting physical therapy, among other treatments.

Taking care of one’s body is a given. Still, women can reduce their risk of developing these diseases by having healthy habits, often exercising, reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, and most importantly, getting regular checkups to keep track of their health.

Meta title: Common Issues that Significantly Affect Women’s Health
meta desc: Both men and women can develop diseases. At times, one gender is more prone to a disease than another. Here’s what women are more likely to experience.

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