In this new age of women empowerment, many women all across the world have set themselves as perfect idols for the upcoming generation. Be it Indra Nooyi as an entrepreneur, Michelle Obama as a lawyer and a publicist, Malala Yousafzai as a social activist and many such personalities that represent women all over the globe. What an interesting era to be living in as a woman isn't it? However there still is a dark side to it and people are ignorant towards the serious setbacks that come along during this journey.
With International Women's Day just around the corner let's take a few minutes to recollect the struggles that women everywhere have to go through. Among the many issues that women still face, most common are the health problems. Women are more susceptible to contracting diseases like HIV, Heart diseases, Type I diabetes etc. Considering this, women should have higher health facilities but according to the research, women still have inferior health aid throughout the world as compared to their male counterparts. Some of the biggest health issues are discussed below.
Breast cancer is a major issue faced by women all over the world and is now the most common disease amongst the women in India. Two women are diagnosed every eight minutes and one death is reported every thirteen minutes. Leading causes for breast cancer are genetic makeup, radiation & lifestyle factors that include smoking, alcohol consumption and being overweight. (Interesting Fact: A recent survey which was conducted resulted in the conclusion that the lifestyle operative in rural areas is protective against developing breast cancer.)
2. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES:
An autoimmune disease is basically a condition where the immune system of your body starts attacking its own cells mistakenly identifying them as foreign cells. Different types of autoimmune diseases include Diabetes Type I, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Thyroid disease, Multiple Sclerosis etc. These are among the leading causes of death and disability in girls. Women are more prone to autoimmune diseases than men, mainly because of the possession of X chromosome which has many genes related to the immune system. Risk factor again includes genetics, body weight, smoking and certain medications. The main risk lies in the fact that autoimmune diseases are not easily diagnosed.
3. VAGINAL PROBLEMS:
Most women experience vaginal problems at some point in their life which can lead to serious issues if they're left unacknowledged. This is most common in rural areas because of lack of awareness regarding these problems. Hygiene factors play a very important role in vaginal or reproductive health and if it's not taken care of can lead to problems like yeast infections, abnormal vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and other infections. Women (specially in rural areas) often ignore these issues mainly because they don't feel comfortable talking about them which causes the conditions to worsen. Taking care of vaginal health is very important and awareness should be spread on how to do it:
⦁ Protecting vaginal pH balance.
⦁ Maintaining a healthy diet.
⦁ Practising safe sex.
4. HIV & STDs:
According to the research, women are more vulnerable to contracting HIV and many women in rural parts of the world lack the resources to seek proper medical treatment, that is if they do acknowledge the problem.
Sexually transmitted diseases are reported in enormously high number annually, mainly because of the casual approach towards sex education. STDs in women can lead to infertility and cervical cancer. Every year globally, there are about 357 million new infections of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
The word "osteoporosis" basically means porous bone. It's a bone disease in which the structure and strength of the bones become weak and they become more prone to fractures and injuries. The tendency of developing this condition increases as women reach menopause as the estrogen level in the body decreases. Estrogen plays an important role in keeping the bones strong and healthy.
6. MENTAL HEALTH:
Mental health mostly affects both men and women equally but is more common among women. One in every five women suffers from a mental health issue. Depression, anxiety and eating disorders are very common in young women. They're mainly caused by external factors like societal pressure. Hormonal fluctuations also lead to poor mental conditions and women often fail to communicate about it. Mental health is still a taboo in India which is why most people suffering through depression or anxiety refuse to seek professional health.
Recently in a documentary on Netflix called "Period. End of Sentence." A man said "The strongest creature created by God in the world, is not the lion, not the elephant or the tiger, Its A Girl". This holds true for every woman passing through all the physical and mental hurdles in her life and still hoping to create a change. So to all the ladies out there, you are the leader and makers of this generation and many more to come, so look out for your health because it matters.