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What is Women’s Health?
Women’s health covers the many unique differentiating factors from men’s medical treatment. Women’s health is a subset of population health. The World Health Organization defines health as the optimal physical, social and mental state of a person. It is not just the non-existence of disease or illness. People often mistakenly see women’s health as only reproductive health, but it is more than that.
Understanding women’s health
Woman have distinct health concerns such as pregnancy, birth control, menstrual cycles and menopause. Some health issues affect only women, so men are not aware of these problems. Also, men and women may suffer from the same condition but experience different symptoms. Some ailments affect women in unique ways and may even demand a different approach.
Usually, people consider breast cancer and osteoporosis as common diseases among women, but they occur in men as well. Heart disease affects women and men alike, but the risk associated, treatments and prevention methods are different. Women may also feel the effects of emotional health issues, skin issues, aging and caregiving.
Over time, women have been at a disadvantage in many aspects such as social and economic influence. This limits their access to basic necessities of life such as health care. Unfortunately, the higher the level of inequality, especially in developing nations, the higher the negative impact on health.
Common issues that women face
The reproductive and sexual health of women is different when compared to men’s health. Even in advanced countries, pregnancy and delivery are linked with remarkable threats to women’s maternal mortality. Pregnancy is responsible for over 250,000 deaths per year. There is a significant difference between developing and developed nations. Diseases not related to reproductive health, like cardiovascular disease, can also cause mortality and morbidity in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia.
Sexually transmitted diseases have severe consequences on women and their babies. Mother-to-child transmission can cause stillbirths and neonatal deaths. Pelvic inflammatory conditions may cause infertility. Additionally, women can experience unexpected infertility, unexpected pregnancy, birth control problems and physical and emotional pain from nonconsensual sex.
Although the major causes of death, such as cardiovascular disease, lung disease or cancer, have similar records with men and women, women suffer different fates. Lung cancer has beaten all other cancer types as the highest cause of cancer in women. It is followed by breast cancer, uterine, colorectal and cervical cancers. Although smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, the rate of lung cancer among nonsmoking women is higher than among nonsmoking men.
In advanced countries, there is a marginal gender difference of life expectancy. Women tend to live longer than men. However, in other health sectors, they face premature and more complicated diseases with more unfortunate results. Gender continues to be a social deciding factor for health because a woman’s health is not affected by their biological makeup alone. It is also affected by factors such as employment, poverty and family duties.
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