Improving Women’s Health: Challenges, Prevention and Access

Healthy women

If you’re like most women, you’re a multi-tasker balancing a full-time job, child care, and household tasks. With everything you have going on in life, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. Studies have found that nearly half of women admit to neglecting their own health, and the number one reason is time. Women simply don’t feel comfortable taking time away from work and other obligations for medical appointments.

It’s normal to take on the role of caregiver for everyone around you. The problem is that taking care of others is exhausting. Fatigue can set in, which then can lead to poor nutrition, weight gain, and medical problems. The following are some of the most common healthcare challenges women face.

Heart Disease

Many women have little knowledge about the dangers of heart disease while men are generally educated about the risks. The condition is equal in both genders. In fact, heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths among women in the U.S. However, only 54% of women are aware of the risk. This may be a cause for the higher rate of heart attack deaths in women than men.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer awarenessBreast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with more than 200,000 cases emerging each year. Breast cancer is aggressive and can spread to other organs. However, many treatments are available. Early detection is the best weapon to treat breast cancer and increase survival rates. This is why awareness of symptoms and regular screenings are vital.

Ovarian and Cervical Cancer

While many women are vaguely aware they’re at risk for these diseases, few facts are widely known. Both diseases are common gynecological cancers among women with similar symptoms. However, cervical cancer occurs in the uterus, while ovarian cancer takes place in the ovaries. Cervical cancer is often detected in the early stages during a routine Pap screen, but these exams do not detect ovarian cancer.

Autoimmune Diseases

While the reason is unknown, autoimmune diseases affect mainly women. Your immune system is in place to protect against health threats, but when the system attacks healthy cells, symptoms can be severe. There are many types of autoimmune diseases, but many share the same symptoms. Some of the symptoms most commonly noted are skin irritation, fever, exhaustion, pain, and vertigo. These symptoms often seem vague and may make diagnosis difficult.

Pregnancy Issues

Pregnant womanCommon health conditions often worsen during pregnancy, threatening the health of both the mother and unborn baby. Regular healthcare is vital throughout pregnancy to monitor existing and unexpected health conditions. Obstetricians and midwives are among those who have the ability to care for health issues during pregnancy to prepare for a healthy birth.

The Vital Role of Prevention

Many of the health conditions that plague women have little to no symptoms. For instance, untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major factor in all forms of heart disease, but there are often no symptoms. Hypertension is most often diagnosed during a routine check-up and is completely manageable with medication.

Early diagnosis of cancer is the best way to early remission. Often, healthy women overlook the importance of necessary screenings because they lack symptoms of the condition. However, it’s common for symptoms to be invisible until the disease is advanced, making treatment much more difficult.

Perhaps one of the most important components of prevention provided with routine healthcare is knowledge. An ongoing relationship with a full healthcare team can provide women with the information they need to understand their unique health risks. Healthcare professionals work to keep their patients up to date on the important health risks and developing treatments that are available. Knowledge is power, and when applied to healthcare it can save your life.

Access to Women’s Healthcare

Does access to affordable healthcare stand in your way of better health? If so, you’re not alone. Statistics show that a third of women report skipping needed healthcare due to cost. Unfortunately, this can lead to more costly medical problems. For this reason, it’s important to search for an insurance provider that meets your budget. The Affordable Care Act is available, and budgets for co-pays, deductibles and premiums should be made a priority.

If you live in a rural area, it can make accessing healthcare much more difficult. Despite the travel time that it can take to get to medical appointments, it’s crucial that you don’t let that stand in your way of routine medical checkups. Make yourself a top priority.

Improve Your Health with Women’s Health Services

Women face many unique issues when it comes to healthcare. Both routine preventative healthcare and chronic illnesses need to be monitored regularly. A medical health facility designed to cover all of the issues women face can help patients avoid gaps in care. Healthcare professionals continue to work toward advancements to provide all women with better care.

If you’re a woman who always puts her own healthcare at the bottom of a long list of priorities, it’s time to make a change. Make your health a priority. Visit a full-service medical center for compassionate and knowledgeable care.