Hidden Health Issues: Women’s Lesser-Known Concerns

There are lesser known health concerns among women which need to be brought to the notice of comman man. To begin with, Adolescents and teenagers undergo a crucial phase of physical and emotional development, during which they may encounter various health challenges related to their reproductive systems. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the significant concerns for this age group.

STIs pose a significant risk to adolescents engaging in sexual activity. Lack of awareness about safe sexual practices and reluctance to seek medical help can contribute to the spread of STIs. Education on safe sex practices, regular screenings, and access to contraceptives are essential in preventing and managing STIs among adolescents.

PCOS is another common issue affecting teenagers, particularly girls. It is a hormonal disorder characterized by irregular periods, acne, and obesity with excess hair growth. PCOS can lead to long-term complications such as infertility, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular problems and diabetes mellitus if left untreated.

UTIs – Factors such as poor hygiene, sexual activity, and hormonal changes contribute to the susceptibility to UTIs. Prompt diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are essential to prevent complications like kidney infections and stones. Educating adolescents about proper hygiene practices, staying hydrated can help prevent UTIs.

Moving on to the reproductive age group, individuals may face challenges related to fertility, contraception, and preconception health.

Emergency contraception plays a vital role in preventing unintended pregnancies among reproductive-aged individuals. Access to emergency contraception methods can prevent unwanted pregnancies when regular contraception fails or is not used.

Pre-conceptional advice is essential for individuals planning to start a family. It includes optimizing health and addressing any pre-existing medical conditions to enhance the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Infertility can be emotionally distressing for individuals in the reproductive age group. Causes of infertility may include hormonal imbalances, irregular cycles, PCOS, or lifestyle factors. Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) offer options for couples struggling with infertility.

In the premenopausal stage, women may experience a range of gynaecological issues, including urinary incontinence, irregular menstrual cycles, and concerns about preventive health measures and cosmetic gynaecology procedures.

Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary leakage of urine, can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Pelvic floor exercises, lifestyle modifications, and in some cases, surgical interventions can help manage urinary incontinence.

Preventive health measures such as regular screenings for cervical cancer and breast cancer are essential for maintaining women’s health in the premenopausal stage. Additionally, cosmetic gynaecology procedures like vaginal tightening aim to enhance sexual satisfaction and confidence.

As women transition into menopause, they may experience symptoms such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness leading to painful intercourse, and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Vaginal dryness can make intercourse uncomfortable or painful for postmenopausal women. Lubricants, moisturizers, and hormonal therapy can alleviate vaginal dryness and improve sexual function.

Strength training and calcium supplementation are crucial for postmenopausal women to prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone health. Weight-bearing exercises help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.

Postmenopausal bleeding should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional as it may indicate underlying gynaecological conditions such as endometrial hyperplasia or cancer.

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are common during menopause due to hormonal changes and life transitions. Counselling, support groups, and medication can help manage mental health symptoms in postmenopausal women.

– Dr. Smrithi D Nayak, Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster RV Hospital

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