Unfortunately, many women’s health issues still go undiscussed in the public sphere for a variety of reasons: persistent inequality, social stigma, and ignorance. However, you deserve to know about your own health and potential risks, even if society as a whole rarely focuses on these issues. Here are some of the most common women’s health issues that no one will warn you about.
Blood poisoning may be the most important and most poorly discussed women’s health issue. The scientific term for blood poisoning is septicemia. While septicemia isn’t sepsis, it can quickly progress and become sepsis if it’s not treated by a medical professional. It actually caused 1.6% of the total deaths of US females in 2017.
Bacteria or other pathogens can enter the bloodstream through the abdomen, urinary tract, or lungs. From there, it can spread throughout the body and threatens the life of the patient who experiences the infection.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse is a serious medical condition in which one or more organs—typically the bowel, bladder, or womb—become displaced from their normal positions and press into the vagina. Fortunately, these prolapses are not life-threatening. However, they can be very uncomfortable and impact the quality of life in women who experience them.
Symptoms of a pelvic organ prolapse include discomfort during sex, painful urination, and the sensation of a ball or bulge sitting atop the vagina. Lifestyle adjustments such as losing weight or avoiding heavy lifting may correct the issue in mild cases. Occasionally, hormone treatment or surgery may be necessary to correct the problem in advanced cases.
Most women know that menopause is caused by shifting estrogen levels. However, there are actually a number of other endocrine system conditions that can affect women. One of the least discussed issues for women’s hormone health is testosterone deficiencies.
Although testosterone is mostly known as a male sex hormone, it actually exists in small amounts in women as well. A testosterone deficiency in women may cause mood changes, weight gain, thin hair, dry skin, or lower libido, among other symptoms.
Testosterone in women is responsible for maintaining energy levels and sex drive. In women with deficiencies, interventions such as hormone replacement therapy can correct the imbalance.
One study found that female surgery patients are less likely to be given pain medication than men who had the exact same procedure done. In place of pain medication, some women were prescribed sedatives. The most common explanation for the disparity is that because women are more likely to express their pain that men are, medical staff may see them as being overdramatic about pain.
If you are a woman, the burden of managing your health may weigh heavier than for men. By taking charge of your own healthcare, though, you can compensate for these ongoing inequities.