While more and more Americans now have access to health care and physicians that can help them when they fall ill or get injured, some women’s health issues require more than a check up to address.
Top Four Issues In Women’s Health:
- Cancer – Breast, ovarian and cervical cancer are the most common cancers affecting women today. While early diagnosis can greatly increase the survival rate for patients, many women in middle- to low-income households still do not get the preventive treatment they need. Preventable care is particularly important in the case of ovarian cancer, where over the counter products like talcum powder have been shown to greatly increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women. Currently, thousands of women across the country are suffering from ovarian cancer allegedly caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products.
- Reproductive Health – According to the World Health Organization, sexual and reproductive health issues account for one third of health issues in women between the ages 15 and 44. With often little or no sexual education, young women are at an increased risk for STDs and unwanted pregnancies. However, even contraception can be dangerous. When a woman chooses to use an intrauterine device (IUD) like Mirena or Essure, there are significant health risks associated, including the migration of the device within the body, causing complications. Even other types of contraception are not without risks, like Yaz and NuvaRing, both of which can cause deadly blood clots to form.
- Maternal Health – Not all women have access to quality medical care during and after pregnancy. Taking prenatal vitamins and having regular obstetrical visits decreases the likelihood of both maternal and fetal complications. Even with these precautions, complications during childbirth can require the intervention of an experienced medical professional that women just don’t have access to. Physicians inexperienced in handling complicated childbirths can make mistakes that cause a child permanent damage. Birth injuries can cause cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, hypoxia, and other conditions.
- Mental Health – From depression to Alzheimer’s, women are more prone to mental health issues than men. It’s crucial that women have access to healthcare providers that can help them.
Even though women comprise of half of the world’s population, women’s health often goes overlooked. While access to proper care is a huge obstacle to overcome in improving women’s health, drug and medical device manufacturers need to be held responsible when their products disproportionately harm women.