What does ‘women’s health’ mean? Does this question ( soalan ) ever pop into your mind? Whenever we go to either a hospital or certain clinics, we can see that this department is mostly full of women. Does this mean that women get better treatments compared to men? Follow this article to find out more about women’s health.
What does it mean by ‘Women’s health’?
Women’s health discusses the state of physical well-being of women which are different from men. This field focuses on the diseases and conditions that only affect women such as cervical cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome etc. Below are some of the most common conditions that can affect women’s health.
Gynaecological health and fertility ( Menstrual cycle )
Every month, women after puberty will experience significant changes in their reproductive organs. The changes are an important factor for women’s fertility. This situation is known as the menstrual cycle where the uterus will shed the endometrial lining when no implantation of zygote occurs. Different women will have different menstrual cycle length but usually it will take 28 days to complete the cycle. This is a painless phenomenon, but it can be unbearable for certain women which can be due to either physiologic or pathologic causes. Women need to get medical advice if they are experiencing certain abnormalities when menstruating or also known as menstrual disorders.
The symptoms for menstrual disorders include:
●Abnormal uterine bleeding. Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
●Amenorrhea. The absence of menstrual bleeding
●Oligomenorrhea. Light or infrequent menstruation
●Fibroids. Non Cancerous uterine tumors
●Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Physical pain and unstable emotional changes before menstruation
●Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Severe physical pain or discomfort and emotional stress before menstruation occurs
The mentioned symptoms can be indications to certain diseases that is related to women’s reproductive system such as the following:
●Pelvic inflammatory disease
●Abnormal tissue changes of the uterus (endometriosis)
Pregnancy (obstetrical health)
Women will experience major physiological and physical changes during pregnancy. Throughout their pregnancy, they need special medical attention to ensure a healthy development of both mother and baby. It includes prenatal care (before pregnancy), pregnancy care (during pregnancy) and postpartum care (after delivery of baby).
Prenatal care covers the women’s health at least 3 months before pregnancy. They can get consultations on what needs to be done to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. For example, doctors can advise them about tips on how to improve their lifestyle such as stop smoking, reduce or quit drinking alcohol, provide supplements (folic acid), stress management and even discuss when she is most fertile to increase the chances of pregnancy.
During pregnancy care, pregnant women need to see doctors for regular check ups according to different stages of pregnancy. This is to ensure that both mother and baby are developing healthily. During the appointments, doctors will monitor the blood pressure, heart rate, weight gain, baby’s growth, sugar level and certain screening tests.
Postpartum care starts after the delivery of the baby and can last until 8 weeks depending on the mother’s well-being. Doctors will focus on the proper diet plans, rest and vaginal care to ensure complete recovery of women’s health. Vaginal care is needed to manage certain conditions such as urinary problems, vaginal discharges, traumatic vaginal recovery and contractions after delivery.
In conclusion, women’s health is an important branch in the medical field. It is closely related to a female’s reproductive system as they are anatomically different from men. They do need special medical attention because it is one of the most complicated fields in medicine.