Female-Specific Health Problem Symptoms, Causes and Effects
Women’s health problems are often misunderstood, and many women don’t get the medical attention they need and deserve because there is simply not enough information available to them. To take control of your health, it is important to first understand the various health issues affecting women at various stages of life.
What Are the Types of Female Health Disorders?
While women are prone to many of the same health issues as men, there are certain issues that affect women exclusively or predominately. Disorders that exclusively affect women include menopause, postpartum depression, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Women are also more likely to suffer from depression than men and for different reasons. It is important to understand these important women’s health issues in order to take control of your own medical care. Preventative care is the best way to stay healthy, and by being aware of the signs and symptoms of women’s health issues before they develop, you can stay healthy longer.
All women go through menopause, typically once they have passed through their childbearing years. Menopause simply means that the body’s reproductive system is no longer in the phase where it releases eggs for fertilization or builds a home for a potential fetus in the uterine wall. The ovaries stop releasing eggs during menopause, so there is no reason for the uterus to collect or shed the lining of blood and mucous that results in menstrual flow.
The average age of onset for menopause is 51, but some women go through the change much earlier or later. Menopause can also be forced by a procedure known as a hysterectomy, in which the entire uterus is removed for medical purposes. Menopause can also be induced through the use of hormones. Many perimenopausal and post-menopausal women choose to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which balances out hormonal changes to prevent a significant difference in mood, hair growth, weight and libido. Some common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause included:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular menstruation
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
Postpartum depression occurs immediately or shortly after a woman gives birth. While it is normal for women to feel sad or even depressed after giving birth or experiencing a miscarriage, postpartum depression is severe and lasts for months. Even women who are excited about having a baby and have plenty of familial support can develop postpartum depression. It is important to remember that if you are experiencing the symptoms of postpartum depression, it does not mean you do not love your child. Mothers suffering from postpartum depression may have difficulty bonding to their newborn child and feel a sense of helplessness. This is common, but it is a serious issue that requires medical treatment.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
PMDD, commonly mistaken for the less serious PMS, is a condition that causes severe anxiety, depression, discomfort, pain and tension prior to menstruation. It is estimated that between 3 to 8 percent of women in their childbearing years experience PMDD. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a serious condition that can cause significant discomfort for a woman before her period. The depression that accompanies PMDD is often severe and, in some cases, debilitating.
Depression occurs when someone feels a sense of lethargy, apathy, boredom, sadness or general malaise for a significant period of time. While it is normal to have depressed periods throughout your life, depressed periods that last longer than six weeks are indicative of a more serious issue. Contrary to popular belief, many people with depression are not sad at all. In fact, they may have trouble feeling any emotions at all. A common sign of depression is to lose interest in things you once enjoyed.
Of the millions of Americans who suffer from depression, 70 percent of them are women. One possible reason for this is that women tend to be caregivers, and the added burden of seeing to the well-being of elderly parents, children and others can lead to feelings of helplessness. Others feel overwhelmed, which can lead to depression as well.
If you or a female loved one is suffering from depression, it is important to know there are treatment options available. Call our 24/7 hotline at . Our friendly advisors are happy to provide information about the treatment options available to you.
Other Disorders, Diseases and Problems
Women also suffer from other diseases related to the female reproductive system. Breast, ovarian and uterine cancers are some of the most common illnesses that affect women, although men can develop breast cancer as well. In addition, there are other illnesses and problems that affect women at a much higher rate than men. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in nearly every age bracket,
What Causes Women’s Health Disorders?
Women’s health disorders are caused by a variety of factors. Individual lifestyle, genetics, hormonal imbalances, age and ethnicity can all play a role in which women’s health disorders affect an individual woman. It is important to establish a relationship with a trusted general care physician who knows your family medical history in order to get a clear idea of which women’s health issues you are most at risk for and learn how to prevent their onset.
What Are the Signs of a Health Disorder in Females?
The signs of a health disorder in females vary somewhat between individuals, but there are some common red flags to look out for. If you notice any significant changes in weight, the appearance of your hair and skin, mood shifts, or a change in sleeping habits, it is important to speak with your doctor. Heart disease is known as the silent killer of women because its symptoms often manifest much more subtly in women than they do in men.
Emotional Symptoms of Female Health Problems
Female health problems can lead to numerous emotional side effects, particularly shortly after diagnosis. If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with a female health problem, it is important to find a good support network. You may experience emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety and lethargy, all of which are common reactions to a recently discovered health problem.
Physical Symptoms of Female Health Problems
Physical symptoms are often the first way that women are alerted to a female health problem. Changes in your menstrual cycle, sleeping habits, general appearance and weight gain can all be indicators of a serious health problem, and they should be discussed with a doctor as soon as possible.
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Mental Health Instability
Mental health instability is a serious problem with both long-term and short-term effects. In the short-term, the affected person may exhibit erratic behavior or have a loss of appetite. In the long-term, deep depression and anxiety begin to set in and permanent personality changes become noticeable to friends and family.
Is There a Test or Self-Assessment I Can Do?
While there are various diagnostic tools online, the best way to determine whether you have a women’s health issue is to visit your doctor. Only a medical professional can run the proper tests necessary to determine whether you have a particular condition. If you would like help finding the medical resources you need to become knowledgeable about your health, call our toll-free hotline at for more information today.
Medication: Drug Options for Women’s Health Issues
Many women’s health issues respond well to pharmaceutical treatment. From antidepressants to hormone therapy, it is important to become knowledgeable about the various drug options before you begin a course of treatment.
Mental Health Drugs: Possible Options
Antidepressants are some of the most common prescriptions given for women’s health issues as they can be used to treat postpartum depression, general depression, PMDD and certain symptoms of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also commonly prescribed to women experiencing perimenopause.
Medication Side Effects
All medications have side effects, and even if the benefits outweigh the potential negatives of taking a medication, it is still important to know what to expect. Some common side effects of medications include drowsiness, nausea, heartburn and dizziness.
Drug Addiction, Dependence and Withdrawal
Unfortunately, it is possible to become addicted to prescriptions that were legitimately obtained for common women’s health issues. In these circumstances, it is important not to change your dosage or quit any medication without proper medical consultation. Abruptly stopping a medication can lead to serious side effects and withdrawal. Consult your doctor immediately.
Medication overdose occurs when a higher-than-prescribed dosage of medication is consumed, often leading to harmful and even life-threatening side effects. Medication overdose can be avoided by only taking the recommended amount of both prescribed and over-the-counter medication and consulting a medical professional before changing your dosage.
Depression and Mental Health in Women
Women are 70 percent more likely to experience severe clinical depression than men. Postpartum depression is a common form of depression in women, but depression can be triggered by many factors at any age. Even if you never experienced depression as a teenager, it is possible to develop the symptoms of severe clinical depression later in life. Women who notice symptoms of depression lasting for longer than six weeks should consult their doctor about potential treatment options for their health problems.
Dual Diagnosis: Addiction and Women’s Health Disorders
Many women with health disorders also develop some form of substance addiction. Whether the addiction is to drugs, alcohol or a specific behavior, it is a damaging and often life-threatening force. If you or a loved one is experiencing the effects of an addiction in conjunction with another health disorder, it is important to seek help before the addiction can cause harm.
Getting Help for a Female Health Issue
Dealing with a female health issue is difficult, and you may often feel alone during the learning process. Education is essential, but it is often hard to sift through all the false information available online to get to truly helpful material. Call our toll-free hotline at today, and let our knowledgeable representatives connect you with the quality information you need to take a proactive role in your health.