There are unique health issues and conditions that women experience, at different age groups from adolescent age to pregnancy and menopause. It is important that each women is aware of the same so that they can take preventive measures to combat the same. Awareness about the same should not aim at ignoring the signs as a general indication of aging , it should be a sign to see and consult a specialist so that no complications persist.
Common health issues that women face:
- Menstrual irregularities – They can start from menarche till they achieve menopause or even after menopause as postmenopausal bleeding
- Urinary tract infection- It is the most common bacterial infection in women. It affects almost 50% of women once in their lifetime.
- Vaginal discharge – It can be a symptom of a teenager as well as reproductive or postmenopausal woman. The significance varies at different ages. Bacterial vaginosis is one of the commonest infections.
- Pain abdomen due to fibroid, ovarian cyst or endometriosis – It is one of the commonest complaints in middle aged women. Pelvic ultrasound helps in diagnosing these conditions.
- Teenage pregnancies – They are common in India as most of the girls get married before 18 years and bear their first child between 15 to 19 years. This motherhood in childhood leads to low birth weight and premature babies, stillbirths and neonatal deaths along with maternal morbidity and mortality.
- Fertility issues related to advanced age – As age advances, fertility reduces due to age related decline in egg quality. Late marriages and late planning of conception has aggravated this problem amongst working mothers.
- Pregnancy issues related to preconception care, preterm labour, birth defects and breastfeeding – Lot of women still don’t seek pre pregnancy or preconception care in India which can lead to a pregnancy with medical problems.
- Being overweight – In women metabolic disturbances or hormonal imbalances (polycystic ovarian disease) have become increasingly common along with sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating options.
- Late diagnosis of cervical and breast cancer – Such diagnosis before or after menopause is due to lack of awareness of cancer screening as needed at every age.
- Domestic and sexual violence in India – It is rampant in almost all states and in all socioeconomic groups and races. Female foeticide, bride burning, sexual abuse of the girl child, rape and prostitution are some of the health related issues where woman is considered as aggrieved person.
To conclude, we should prioritize women’s health and take elaborate actions for their well being in India.