Women are very delicate and women health is one special area in medicine aside children health. In as much as some developing countries, including Nigeria, are making extra care provisions for women and children, it is also time to take cognisance of the stress women experience, especially in the area of health.
Twenty-one years after countries signed pledges in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, women still face many health problems, some of which would be highlighted on this article.
Here are ten major health issues that women struggle with the most.
10. Menstrual Cramp
Every woman at least, from the age of 13, and even 11 for the early birds, knows what it is to have a menstruation cycle. However, not every woman experiences severe pain, as the pain varies among women. For some women, menstrual cramps can get really painful to the point where the entire cycle is ruined, especially the first two-three days.
Some women take all sorts of pain reliever, apply hot bottle therapy and even engage in basic exercise to ease the pain. While for some very severe case, they are bed ridden due to the dizzy feeling that comes with the flow. Some others revert to staying at home due to the heavy flow, for fear of public embarrassment. Doctors advise women with very severe pain to stay at home and observe their cycle which may be accompanied by fever, nausea and headaches.
9. Being Young
Adolescent girls face a number of sexual and reproductive health challenges: STIs, HIV, and pregnancy. About 13 million adolescent girls (under 20) give birth every year. Complications from those pregnancies and childbirth are a leading cause of death for those young mothers. Many suffer the consequences of unsafe abortion too which most times results in instant or future compilations leading to death.
8. Morning Sickness
Being pregnant is not necessarily a sickness, but it comes with some sort of nausea feeling referred to as morning sickness. This peculiar women illness typically occurs in the first few months of pregnancy and despite its name, nausea can affect pregnant women at any time of day, aside from morning. Also pregnant women experiencing morning sickness are not necessarily referred to as “patients,” considering the fact that they are only having temporary uneasiness due to their condition. However, morning sickness is very inconveniencing and discomforting.
7. Sexually Transmitted Infections
Women are more vulnerable to STIs due to the way their body is structured. Aside HIV, which is more emphasised, it is also important to prevent and treat STIs like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis. Untreated syphilis is responsible for more than 200,000 stillbirths and early fetal deaths every year, and for the deaths of over 90 000 newborns world wide.
6. Mental Health
Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Helping sensitise women on mental health issues, and giving them the confidence to seek assistance, would help protect women health.
5. Violence Against Women
Women can be subject to a range of different forms of violence, but physical and sexual violence – either by a partner or someone else – is particularly deadly. Today, one in three women under 50 has experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner, or non-partner sexual violence – violence and this affects their physical and mental health. It’s important for health workers to be alert to violence so they can help prevent it, as well as provide support to people who experience it.
Three decades into the AIDS epidemic, it is young women who bear the brunt of new HIV infections. Too many young women still struggle to protect themselves against sexual transmission of HIV and to get the treatment they require.
3. Maternal Health
Many women are now benefitting from massive improvements in care during pregnancy and childbirth introduced in the last century. But those benefits do not extend to women in some rural areas. In 2013 alone, almost 300 000 women died from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these cases could have been prevented, had access to family planning and to some quite basic services been in place.
2. Reproductive Health
Sexual and reproductive health problems are responsible for one third of health issues for women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. Unsafe sex is a major risk factor – particularly among women and girls in developing countries. This is why it is so important to get services to the 222 million women who aren’t getting the contraception services they need.
Two of the most common cancers affecting women are breast and cervical cancers. Detecting both these cancers early is key to keeping women alive and healthy. The latest global statistics show that around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million from breast cancer each year. The vast majority of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries where screening, prevention, and treatment are almost non-existent, and where vaccination against human papillomavirus is in low supply.
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