What You Need To Know About Women’s Health In Primary Care Setting

Women's health

The health of women differs from that of men in unique ways. That’s the reason why it’s referred to as women’s health. Women’s health is an example of population health, which is why health is defined by the World Health Organization as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. This means that health is not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.

Women in industrialized countries have narrowed the gender gap in life expectancy and they now live longer compared to men. In many areas of health, however, these women experience earlier and more severe diseases with poorer outcomes.

Gender has continued to be a social determinant of health. This is attributed to the fact that women’s health is not only influenced by their biology. It’s also influenced by conditions such as unemployment, poverty, and family responsibilities.

Why Women’s Health is Important

Women are the cornerstone of better health in families and as such, they must have access to primary care physicians. This is what will lead to improved health for families and society in general. The primary care doctor takes care of preventing, treating, and curing common illnesses. Apart from that, they also help patients in promoting better health.

There’s no doubt that the health of families and communities is tied to women’s health. As such, the health or death of a woman has serious and far-reaching consequences for the health of:

  • Children
  • The family
  • The Community

Women’s health is currently taking on a higher position in society. That’s because people have come to the realization that although women have many of the same diseases as men, their symptoms and treatment vary.

The slogan “Healthy women, Healthy world” epitomizes the fact that as custodians of family health, women play a key role in maintaining the health and well-being of communities.

The challenge is that due to the many roles that women play, they’re often more focused on the health of their spouses and children. This causes them to forget their own health needs, yet a number of the illnesses that affect them are preventable. Having a primary care physician around ensures that women are attended to.

There are important preventative healthcare steps that must be followed at every stage in a woman’s life. Following these steps help to provide earlier detection of a medical condition.

A lot of women neglect their healthcare exams for various reasons. But in the end, it comes down to whether or not you wish to prioritize yourself. After spending a lot of energy and time caring for others, it’s time women realize that they deserve the same level of care toward themselves.

The Impact of Social and Cultural Factors on Women’s Health

Women have traditionally been disadvantaged by economic and social status, including power. This has, in turn, reduced their access to the necessities of life with health care being part of it. Despite the recent improvements, women remain disadvantaged compared to men.

The gender gap in health care is more acute in developing nations as women are more disadvantaged. Even after succeeding in accessing healthcare, women have been discriminated against. This discrimination effectively masks the grievances of groups that are already disadvantaged by factors like inequality.

Health Issues That Are Specific to Women

Apart from unique symptoms to specific illnesses, some women’s health conditions go undiagnosed. Also, a lot of the drug trials do not include female test subjects.

Breast cancer, cervical cancer, menopause, and pregnancy are some of the health concerns that are exclusive to women. Infections also present more in women as sexually transmitted infections cause more damage to females. Among the most frequent health conditions in women, the following pose considerable health risks:

  • Heart disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Gynecological health
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Ovarian and cervical cancer
  • Pregnancy-related health issues

Advancements in Women’s Health

Women’s health has benefited from a lot of significant advancements in the last few decades, from new knowledge about women-specific health conditions to advancing women’s lifespans. The focus on women’s health and wellness continues to get stronger as it saves millions of women’s lives.

Generally, women’s health research is important. But women also face specific health challenges that need understanding and awareness. Below are some advancements in women’s health that are worth celebrating.

1.      A Decline in the Rate of Smoking and Lung Cancer People

Movies set in the 60s and 70s depicted women as chain smokers. This was a scary reflection of what was happening in the United States of America.

Later on, the federal report outlined the harmful effects of smoking, which included causing cancer. Heart disease, stroke, and earlier menopause were highlighted as the risks of smoking. Thanks to the report, millions of women stopped smoking and are now leading smoke-free lives, which has led to reduced cases of illnesses.

That’s not to say that cancer, for instance, is no longer an issue among women. But despite the risks, increased awareness, screening, and treatment options have continued to support women in fighting these battles.

2.      Heart Disease is Becoming Less of a Threat

Heart disease was thought of as a man’s disease for a long time. But the fact is that nearly as many women as men die yearly from heart diseases.

Thanks to the efforts directed toward women’s health, fewer women are losing their lives. Several funded programs have also spread awareness of heart diseases, thus, reducing the risk factors. These programs include:

  • WISEWOMAN. It screens low-income women for chronic diseases. Women who are considered high-risk are also invited to join lifestyle programs such as cooking classes and walking clubs.
  • The Heart Truths Campaign. It’s aimed at educating women about heart diseases and increasing awareness.
  • Make the call_ don’t miss a beat. It’s based on important differences regarding treatment and prevention. It helps to educate women about the signs of a heart attack.

3.      Breast Cancer is Getting Detected Much Earlier

Many decades ago, breast cancer seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. Death rates were at an all-time high and prevention was a distant reality.

Today, however, breast cancer can be detected earlier thanks to increased screening.  It can also be attributed to the fact that most insurance companies are required to cover breast cancer for women above 40 years. What’s more, there are higher chances of beating breast cancer when detected early.

Conclusion

The struggles of women over the years have ranged from political to social, and to medical. But in more ways than one, women have been gaining ground and seeing significant progress.

The few advances that have been made are just beginning when it comes to women’s health as the fight is not yet over. That’s considering that some women are still poor and diseases like cancer continue to claim the lives of many.

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