A health scare can quickly become one of the most frightening moments of your life. It can also mark the start of an arduous journey to diagnose the problem, which could have started earlier if your doctor listened to you the last time you voiced your concerns. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common amongst women. The lack of discussion around women’s health issues often leads to frustrations when it comes to getting a diagnosis. Here are some of the top women’s health issues that we should be talking about, thanks to our friends at Pacific Prime Thailand.
1. Heart disease
Cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke, cause one in three deaths among women annually – exceeding all cancers combined. Similarly, over one in three women are living with some type of heart disease. What’s worse is that women who arrive in the emergency room with heart attack symptoms are typically met by doctors who do not take their complaints seriously, especially if they are under the age of 50.
The good news is that around 80% of these diseases may be prevented. Our risk of heart disease is often tied to our lifestyles. A woman who works a full-time job and takes care of her family may end up sacrificing exercise and nutrition. Fortunately, women can maintain a healthy weight and get the nutrition they need by eating a predominantly plant-based diet, as well as lean meats, and getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week.
2. Menstrual irregularities
While hormonal disruptions may be the reason for menstrual irregularities, they are not the only reason why a woman’s period may be off. Menstrual irregularities can also reveal underlying health issues that can affect fertility. Even so, women frequently feel as though their doctors and OB-GYNs do not take their period problems seriously. For example, it’s not unheard of for a woman with severe bleeding and cramping to be told that it will get better with time, or as they get older, only to later find out that uterine fibroids are to blame.
3. Chronic fatigue
Due to menstruation, women are more susceptible to anemia than men are. Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to its tissues. Anemia can cause you to feel tired and weak. A woman who is in good shape but gets dizzy or out of breath while exercising could be anemic. Likewise, anemia may be to blame if you feel exhausted after getting plenty of sleep the night before. You can find out if you have anemia by doing a blood test, so make sure you ask for one from your primary care provider.
4. Autoimmune disease
Even though autoimmune diseases affect both genders, far more women have them than men. Despite this, doctors often disregard their pain and allow them to live for years without a proper diagnosis. Women contribute to almost 80% of those living with an autoimmune disease in the US alone, though they have less risk of developing infectious diseases than men. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
- Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis
- Graves’ disease
- Diabetes mellitus, type 1
5. Chronic migraine
The fact that women contribute to over 80% of chronic migraine sufferers would make you think that doctors would take their headaches more seriously. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines in adulthood than men as well. Much more than a bad headache, a migraine usually involves a throbbing, painful headache that affects one side of the head or both. The neurological disease can have symptoms such as:
- Visual disturbances
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells
- Temporary weakness on one side
What’s more, migraine episodes can last anywhere from hours to days.
6. Birth control side effects
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 25.3% of women who are on contraception use oral contraceptives, while 14.6% rely on condoms for birth control. Women in our society are typically expected to take care of preventing unplanned pregnancies. As a result, women usually have to deal with the health risks that come with birth control, ones that men might not even know exist. For instance, some types of birth control increase blood clot risks, which can cause stroke, heart attack, or even death. Hormonal birth control can also compromise the immune system, making it easier to contract HIV.
7. Pregnancy complications
Many complications can occur during pregnancy, with some of the most common including:
- High blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
- Preterm labor
Women die due to complications during and after pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these complications develop during pregnancy and are either preventable or treatable. Similarly, other existing complications may be worsened during pregnancy. While several factors contribute to pregnancy complications, the rise in health issues such as heart disease, along with the lack of care women receive in general, are part of the problem.
Protecting women’s health
When it comes to protecting women’s health, it is essential for healthcare professionals to listen to women’s concerns and take them seriously. Taking a closer look at the symptoms of women’s health issues and treating female conditions with the same urgency as male ailments can be instrumental in preventing avoidable suffering.
Having access to reputable healthcare professionals and facilities can ensure you get the best medical advice and care. However, these services often come at a high cost – unless you have health insurance.
As a leading insurance broker, Pacific Prime offers health insurance for foreigners in Thailand, family health insurance, and more. Pacific Prime can compare health insurance in Thailand to help you find the ideal policy for your needs and budget. Contact Pacific Prime Thailand for expert advice or a free plan comparison and quote today.