Women’s health is so important but what’s more important is normalizing the conversation about it. The single largest barrier regarding woman’s health is simply that these conversations are not socially accepted in most circles. We’re conditioned to keep womanly aches, pains and symptoms under a scope of mystery. Yet when we are experiencing pain or conflict in other regions of our bodies it’s socially acceptable to be vocal about it.
Women have been chronically understudied in science and medicine, there has been entire bodies of research that do not include woman at all. To be fair the bar is a lot higher when it comes to woman, we are complicated and complex both anatomically and emotionally, so the language we use is more complex, but that should never be a barrier to having these essential conversations about woman’s health. We do know a woman’s life expectancy has improved drastically, but this only became possible by eradicating the old-world way of thinking, separating a woman’s anatomical and biological need as there own. Shifting towards a female-focus approach to medical care that makes sex, periods, and hormonal issues regular territory and individualized.
Women’s health doesn’t only refer to her physical condition but to her total whole being. It is not solely biological factors but also the effects of her workload, career, nutrition and overall stress. By nature woman are often focused on the health and care of those around them, while at times neglecting there own needs. It is imperative for woman to take the time to maintain good health for themselves. There is a wealth of knowledge out there that is only growing and becoming more familiar, but it’s important to vet sources and make sure information is credible. In addition to that not being afraid to ask questions about your health when something doesn’t feel right and being consistent through preventative evaluation. Some of the most harmful conditions to a woman’s health are often preventable conditions that can be managed by recommended screenings. While you can’t eliminate risk factors associated with genetics and family history, there are specific lifestyles guidelines to follow and assist good health overall.
I talk with women daily about women’s health issues and symptoms they experience. To me, it is absolutely normal, and in all honesty, it’s one my favorite topics to talk about. One out of every five woman have specific symptoms (amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, hirsutism, menorrhagia) pertaining to a specific health conditions that need to be maintained and managed throughout there lifespan. The conditions vary based on severity, some managed through diet and lifestyle changes, others through trial and error periods of medications, or a combination of both. Specific diagnosis that comes with these dreaded symptoms include but are not limited to – PCOS, endometriosis, uterine fibroid’s, infertility, ovarian cysts (not related to PCOS). The goal is to get to a point where we are all able to talk about sex, pregnancy, and periods as regular health concepts versus stigmatized words. This only opens the door for preventative measures and management through modifiable lifestyle changes and treatment.
Being a woman is powerful and absolutely incredible. We literally grow human life, that’s amazing. But with this superpower but the biological biological trade off of is we take on a chance of developing a woman’s health condition.
It’s time for us to truly change the way we talk about our health and sexuality. Seek out and support individuals that are making an impact. Learn how to talk about your experience. Connect and share with others. It will only open the doors for more education on prevention, overall health and eliminate stigma. If we do that, we’ll change the face of women’s health.
Some things you can do naturally to maintain woman’s health:
- Elimination of tobacco. There is a correlation between nicotine and increased androgenic activity (male sex hormones). Woman who smoke tobacco excessively increase potential to impact reproductive health.
- Track your menses/understanding your body. Your menstrual cycle can you tell you a lot more than whether your pregnant or not. It can be a vital signal to what is going on in your body. Hormone health regulates much of your body function. So identifying an irregularities tied to your menstruation can offer insight about health beyond your reproductive system. I highly suggest tracking it consistently. There are many free apps on your phone or you can use the Health app which comes standard on all iPhone’s.
- Nutritional intake. Maintain a diet high in micronutrients, limiting simple carbs and refined sugar which helps maintain balance and inflammation. Woman also specifically need to pay attention to calcium, iron and folic acid intake.
- Movement. Commitment to physical activity can do wonders alone. In conjunction with a movement, healthy intake, limiting tobacco and alcohol than even better.
- Stress Managment. Stress can literally steal hormones. Cortisol, which is the main stress hormone, works in balance with your estrogen. So if cortisol goes up due to stress, your estrogen production goes down, and visa versa. That’s important not just for hormonal health but also brain health.
- Annual gynecology visits. Even if you are asymptomatic annual gynecology screenings are very important. If you are conscious of your individual risk, you can make adjustments to affect it.