There is a multitude of health conditions and medical issues that affect women only or that affect women differently from men. Because of this, men and women do need unique medical care. Unfortunately, there are a few areas in the healthcare world where women don’t get the help, medical attention, or resources they need.
At Williams Integracare Clinic, we know how just how important women’s health is. Here's information on how your medical issues are different, the diseases you need to look out for, and the medical treatments you should expect from your doctor.
Medical Issues That Affect Women Differently or More Frequently
There are a number of healthcare issues that affect women only, such as gynecological disorders, pregnancy and related medical conditions, and fertility disorders like endometriosis. However, there are also non-biological conditions that only seem to affect women, such as Turner and Rett syndromes. And then there are the diseases and conditions that affect women disproportionately to men, or differently from men, and these include:
- Breast cancer: 12 percent of women get it, and fewer than one percent of men do
- Depression: women are twice as likely to suffer from it
- Osteoporosis: 68 percent of sufferers are women
- Sexually transmitted infections: the results of an untreated STI are much more serious in women
- Stress: women are more likely to report being affected by stress, and stress has different effects on a woman’s body than a man’s
- Stroke: women are more likely to have a stroke, and women have a number of risk factors that men don’t
- UTIs: women are more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections and incontinence
- Autoimmune disease: 75 percent of cases are in women
Women Using Healthcare Services
Despite the fact that women typically see their doctors more often than men, there are still a number of conditions that go underdiagnosed in women compared to men. This is in part because symptoms present differently in women, as is the case of heart disease, despite the fact that it’s the number one cause of death in women. With men, most doctors are familiar with the chest pains that signal a heart attack. However, not as many doctors are as quick to recognize the jaw and neck pain, nausea, and shortness of breath that signal a heart attack in a woman. As a result, women are more likely than men to die from a heart attack.
When it comes to osteoporosis, this disease affects more women than men, and even though it’s highly preventable, healthcare services don’t focus on teaching women about prevention, which should start early in life with proper diet and weight-bearing exercises.
Similarly, when it comes to autoimmune disease, women are very likely to go undiagnosed or to have to make multiple visits to a number of doctors before getting a diagnosis.
Screenings Women Should Expect
Taking matters into your own hands is sometimes the best course of action when it comes to your health, particularly if you feel your medical needs aren't being met. There are a number of screenings and tests women should have regularly to prevent and detect problems early. These include:
- Pap tests
- Pelvic exams
- Bone mineral density tests
As a woman, you shouldn’t leave your health to chance, and luckily, there are places you can turn if you feel your healthcare needs aren't being met. For information on women’s health and related medical conditions, you can trust books and online websites (to an extent). You can also talk to your doctor or healthcare practitioner about women’s medical and health issues, especially if you're experiencing symptoms or have concerns. Schedule and appointment to talk to a doctor at Williams Integracare Clinic about your women’s health issues.