womens health imageEvery woman has the right to enjoy physical and mental health which is vital to their life and well-being. It helps them to participate in all areas of life. As defined by WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Women have unique health issues such as pregnancy, menopause and conditions of the female organs. According to World Health Organization, every day in 2010, about 800 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth, including severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortions.

Compared to men, women are more likely to die following a heart attack, show sign of depression and anxiety, effects of sexually transmitted diseases can be more serious, affected of osteoarthritis and more likely to have urinary tract infection problems.

On the other hand, depression also affects women in some events like losing a baby or having trouble getting pregnant. Depression can be mild to moderate with symptoms like apathy, loss of appetite, difficulty in sleeping, low self-esteem and low-grade or severe fatigue. Women feel depressed for many reasons and some don’t even know why.

Some experts believe that the increased chance of depression in women may be related to changes in hormone levels that occur throughout a woman's life. These changes are evident during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as after giving birth or experiencing a miscarriage. The hormone fluctuations that occur with each month's menstrual cycle probably contribute to premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD -- a severe syndrome marked especially by depression, anxiety, and mood swings that occurs the week before menstruation and interferes with normal functioning of daily life. (http://www.webmd.com )

Counseling may help women feel better and talking face-to-face to a health care provider is a good step if you think you are suffering from depression. In addition, making quality time with positive people and avoiding isolation, sleeping 7 to 9 hours to feel better, avoiding sitting more than an hour and moving the body frequently are some of the things that women can do to avoid depression.

Women as they age, experience a normal change in life called menopause. It is the changes a woman goes through before or after she stops menstruating which marks the end of her reproductive period. Menopause is when a woman has not had a period for 12 months in a row and often happens between 45 to 55 years of age. However, some women can go through menopause early due to surgery like hysterectomy, damage to the ovaries cause by chemotherapy. A premature menopause happens before the age of 40 years and regardless of the cause while a natural menopause is not brought on by any medical or surgical treatment.

A healthy menopause can be maintained by good nutrition and small lifestyle changes. Eating nutritious foods and exercise can make a difference on how you feel. It can help maintain your health during menopause and beyond. Foods rich in Vitamin B (lean meat and poultry, liver, whole grains and lentils) and omega-3 (salmon, tuna, sardines, flaxseeds) are good in fighting mood swings. Consumption of calcium-rich foods like low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, sardines, canned salmon and broccoli is good to protect bone health and lessen hip fractures. It is also vital to consume iron-rich foods such those we can found in lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts and enriched grain products and get enough fiber from vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals, rice, pasta  and whole-grain breads.

Breast and cervical cancers are the two common cancers which affects women. Base on the global figures, around half a million women die from cervical cancer and half a million die from breast cancer each year which occur in countries where prevention and treatment are almost non-existent.

Eating healthy diet and maintaining healthy weight might lower risk of cancers. Women should engage in some physical activities to gain health benefits. Women should also get recommended breast cancer, cervical cancer, and bone density screenings.

Furthermore, women can be subject to a range of different forms of violence, but physical and sexual violence – either by a partner or someone else – is particularly invidious. Today, one in three women under 50 has experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a partner, or non-partner sexual violence – violence which affects their physical and mental health in the short and long-term. It’s important for health workers to be alert to violence so they can help prevent it, as well as provide support to people who experience it.(Source: Mayoclinic.org)

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