Women's health is an important and vital aspect of healthcare when it comes to maintaining overall well-being. Taking care of your body is essential to living a healthy, productive life. Women face unique challenges when it comes to their health, from higher incidences of certain diseases or conditions to difficulties accessing healthcare services.
By understanding the importance of women's health, we can all make informed decisions about our own bodies, care for ourselves and others, and ensure that we all get the medical care we need. Here are ten women's health facts you may not know.
1. Heart Disease Is The Number One Cause Of Death In Women
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of more than 300,000 women each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 611,105 women died from heart disease in 2017 alone. In fact, heart disease has been the leading cause of death for women since 1984, resulting in more deaths than all forms of cancer combined.
This alarming statistic underscores the importance of knowing your risk factors and taking proactive steps to protect your heart health. Early detection and lifestyle changes can make a real difference in preventing or slowing the progression of heart disease in women of all ages. Women should also talk to their doctor about getting regular checkups and screening tests for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, as these conditions can put them at greater risk for developing heart disease.
2. Women Should Be Checked For Cervical Cancer Early In Life
Early detection is key when it comes to preventing cervical cancer in women. The American Cancer Society recommends that women aged 21 to 29 get a Pap test every three years and women aged 30 to 65 get both a Pap test and HPV test (Human papillomavirus) every five years. These tests help detect changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer.
Early detection can allow for earlier treatment and increased chances for successful recovery and can help in improving women's health. Cervical cancer can also be prevented through regular screenings and lifestyle/behavior modifications, such as not smoking, getting vaccinated against HPV, and using condoms during sexual intercourse. By taking these steps, women can take charge of their health and reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer.
3. Women Have Higher Rates Of Depression
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in eight women experience depression during their lifetime. In comparison to men, women are two times more likely to struggle with depression in their lifetime. Additionally, women are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions that can lead to or exacerbate feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness—all symptoms associated with depression. To treat depression effectively, women are advised to seek out help through therapy and medication if needed. By seeking help early on, women can reduce their chances of becoming severely depressed and improve their overall quality of life.
4. Women Have Stronger Immune Systems
Women have long been known to have a stronger immune system than men, with some studies suggesting that they may be more resistant to illnesses such as the common cold. This could be due to the increased production of certain antibodies and a heightened response to infection. In addition, females tend to have more robust inflammatory responses that can help fight against invasion and infection. Furthermore, research has shown that women’s hormones may also play a role in protecting them from disease or viruses, making them less susceptible than men are.
5. Women Are More Likely To Suffer From Autoimmune Diseases
Women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases than men, with approximately 75-80% of those diagnosed being female. These typically involve the malfunctioning of the body’s immune system, where it begins to attack its own healthy cells and organs due to an inability to identify them correctly. Autoimmune diseases can range from mild to severe, with some of the more common ones being lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes. Although there is currently no known cause for why women are more prone to developing these conditions, there is thought to be a hormonal or environmental factor at play.
6. Vitamin D Is Vital To Women's Health
Vitamin D is essential for female health and plays several important roles in the body. It helps keep bones healthy by aiding the absorption of calcium, which is key for strong bones and teeth. It also supports immune system function and has been shown to improve moods. Vitamin D deficiencies can cause a wide range of symptoms including muscle pain, fatigue and depression. Women are especially prone to becoming vitamin D deficient, as sunlight – one of the main ways we get this vital nutrient – tends to be lower in temperate climates where more women live than men. For this reason, women should make sure to get their daily recommended allowance through foods like fish, eggs, and fortified dairy products or with supplements if need be.
7. Women Are More Susceptible To Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent in women than men, with two-thirds of sufferers being female. In addition, some research has found that hormonal changes may play a role in increasing the likelihood of women developing Alzheimer’s later in life. Female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are thought to have a protective effect on brain cells, so when these levels start to drop after menopause they can increase susceptibility. As there is currently no cure for this degenerative condition, pre-emptive measures should be taken, such as regularly exercising the brain and body and eating a balanced diet.
8. Women Have A Higher Pain Threshold
Women have been known for centuries to have a higher pain threshold than men, a fact that has been supported by numerous scientific studies. Most recently, research has found that women’s brains are better equipped to cope with pain and block out sensations of discomfort. This higher pain threshold is thought to be due to the fact that women’s bodies produce additional hormones such as oxytocin which helps them deal with intense physical experiences. Women also tend to focus more on social support while dealing with pain, allowing them to find emotional comfort and strength.
If you are in search of high-quality women's health care, contact our passionate team of doctors at PT Family Medicine or schedule an appointment directly from our website today!