From maternal wellness to reproductive care, there are lots of health issues that specifically impact women.
We all want to live healthy lives, but it can be difficult to incorporate healthy habits into a busy lifestyle, especially when there is so much information on women’s health issues to keep track of.
We know that we should exercise and eat well, but sometimes knowing what to do isn’t enough. For women to feel in control of their health, they need to understand more about the issues themselves.
Finding the right women’s health resources can help, particularly if you establish a knowledgeable group of women that you can trust and share health information with. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t something you have to do alone.
Below, we’re sharing 10 facts about women’s health that you probably didn’t know. Read on to learn more, so you can start living your happiest and healthiest life.
1. Heart Disease Impacts Women as Much as Men
According to research collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 54 percent of women realize that heart disease is their number one killer. Heart disease is often thought of as a disease that primarily impacts men, so women tend to ignore their risk.
Risk factors for heart disease include medical conditions like high blood pressure, as well as lifestyle factors like being overweight.
Because heart disease kills so many women each year, it’s important that you take measures to reduce your risk. Talk to your doctor about staying on top of your medical risk factors, and incorporate healthy habits like eating well and exercising into your routine.
2. The Sun is Not Always Fun
If you think that lying out in the sun on a hot summer’s day is harmless fun, think again. Overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can easily lead to skin cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer.
As far as women’s health issues go, this one is easily preventable. The problem is, many women don’t understand that they need to do more than apply sunscreen before going to the beach.
Sunscreen–when applied correctly and reapplied regularly–is an important defense against skin cancer, but it’s not enough. Protective clothing, a sunhat, and spending time in the shade are all important tools for combating skin cancer.
3. More Women Suffer from Arthritis
As a young woman, it can be hard to feel concerned about women’s health topics that don’t impact you yet. Rheumatoid arthritis might be one of those because arthritis is often associated with aging.
In reality, the onset of rheumatoid arthritis typically occurs earlier for women and can impact a woman’s body during childbearing and rearing years, when stresses on the body can take a toll.
Treating this disease with prescribed medication and lifestyle choices can improve your overall quality of life, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about it as early and as often as you can.
4. Infertility is More Common Than You Think
If you are trying to get pregnant and having trouble, it is easy to feel like you are all alone in the world. For a long time, infertility was one of those women’s health topics that people didn’t talk about publicly, but that has been changing recently.
Because infertility is so common among women, there are more women’s health resources than ever before. Women are making their struggles to conceive public. If you are experiencing infertility, there are support groups and medical professionals you can turn to for help.
5. Alcohol Effects You More
Going drink-for-drink with the men in your life is never a good idea. Alcohol can lead to serious health risks in both the long and short term, especially when consumed in excess.
Women also have less of the stomach enzyme that breaks down alcohol than men do and will have a higher blood alcohol content than men, even after the same number of drinks.
You don’t have to give up your red wine completely, but keep it in moderation.
6. Estrogen Can Act as a Painkiller
If you feel like you’re complaining about your aching back more than the men in your life ever do, it could be because you are genuinely feeling more pain.
A lot of women’s health issues are the result of hormonal changes, and pain is no exception. When your estrogen levels are high, they can trigger your brain to release a natural painkiller, so you hurt less. When levels are low, that process is thrown off and you can feel a more intense pain as a result.
7. Your Ovaries Get Stressed Out Too
You know how you feel when you’re stressed out and dealing with a major life change. But did you know that your ovaries feel it too?
Mental stress like losing your job or preparing for a big test can have an impact on ovulation, as can physical stress like losing a lot of weight. When you’re stressed, your ovaries don’t release eggs, so make sure you’re implementing self-care tactics to help you stay calm.
8. You Can Develop Asthma as An Adult
Asthma is more commonly seen in boys than girls, but it’s more common in women than in men. As we get older, women are likely to develop asthma which can make it hard to breathe around certain triggers.
If you do develop asthma, talk to your doctor about treatment options and try to avoid your triggers as much as possible.
9. Women Are More Likely to Experience Depression Than Men
Not all women’s health issues are physical. Mental health is one of the most important women’s health topics being discussed today, especially since women are more likely to be depressed than men.
While the stigmas surrounding mental health are slowly be erased, it’s important for women to feel supported so they can reach out to get the help they need.
10. Millions of Women Suffer from Eating Disorders
The pressure to look good and be thin impacts everyone, but women are especially susceptible to it. This has lead to millions of women developing and suffering from eating disorders.
Poor nutrition and eating habits can cause long-lasting health problems, so the more women who speak out about their successful recovery and promote a healthier lifestyle, the better the future generation of women and girls will be.
Want to Learn More About Women’s Health?
The more information you have about women’s health issues that impact women every day, the more prepared you’ll be. Never be afraid to ask questions or seek information from your doctor. You deserve to be empowered to take care of yourself.