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Healthy Living

Prioritizing Women’s Health: A Guide for Well-being

13 May, 2024
Produced by:
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Optum Medical Care, P.C.
Prioritizing Women’s Health: A Guide for Well-being

Women’s Health Awareness Month, observed in May, is an important reminder for women to prioritize their health. So, let’s delve into the crucial aspects of women’s health, including maternal health, well-woman visits, risk reduction strategies for chronic conditions, menopause, and steps toward overall well-being.

Maternal Health

One of the utmost concerns in women’s health is maternal health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ensuring optimal maternal health is essential for reducing maternal mortality rates and improving the overall health outcomes for both mothers and their infants. Regular prenatal visits allow healthcare providers to monitor the mother’s health, identify and address any potential complications, and provide necessary interventions. These visits also offer an opportunity to educate expectant mothers about healthy behaviors, such as proper nutrition, exercise, and avoiding harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol.

Well-Woman Visits

Routine well-woman visits are instrumental in preventive care for women. These visits encompass screenings for chronic conditions, education on healthy lifestyle choices, sexual health and vaccination recommendations. Depending on age, circumstances, or risk factors, women should consider various screenings, including those for breast cancer, maternal health, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and osteoporosis. 1

Chronic conditions

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women in the United States. However, there are proactive measures women can adopt to mitigate this risk. These include maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, cessation of smoking, regular physical activity, adhering to a nutritious diet, managing stress, and moderating alcohol consumption. 2

In addition to cardiovascular disease, other chronic illnesses affecting women include diabetes, obesity, hypertension, osteoporosis, depression and other mental illness, and HIV/AIDS. Researchers are seeking ways to help women understand and manage their chronic conditions and achieve a better quality of life.3

Menopause

The symptoms of menopause can vary widely from woman to woman. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and sleep disturbances. Menopause also brings about changes in a woman’s body that can increase the risk of certain health conditions. Managing menopause and its symptoms is important for a woman’s overall health and well-being. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques, can help alleviate symptoms.4

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable information and resources on menopause, including guidance on symptom management, hormone therapy, and preventive measures to reduce the risk of associated health conditions. It is important for women to stay informed and seek appropriate medical care during this transitional phase of life.

Steps to Better Health

Women should attend regular checkups, engage in physical activity, follow a balanced diet, prioritize mental health, and adopt healthy behaviors. By incorporating these practices into daily life, women can enhance their overall well-being and resilience.5

  • Healthy & Balanced Diet: Lean into more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and other dairy products, and lean meats.
  • Get Active: Start small and build up your active movement each week. It’s spring so it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the weather. Physical activity can lower your risk for heart disease along with other added benefits. 6
  • Mental Health: Women need to prioritize this more. You can implement some simple things into your day such as: talking about your feelings, seeking support from a professional, or taking deep breaths and relaxing.7
  • Healthy Behaviors: A simple way to stay healthy is to take care of your body! You should prioritize getting enough sleep, preventative action against illnesses like vaccines, and avoid smoking.

 

Women’s health is multifaceted, encompassing various aspects from maternal well-being to preventive screenings and lifestyle modifications. As we commemorate Women’s Health Month, let’s reiterate the importance of prioritizing health and empowering women to make informed choices for their well-being. By fostering awareness, access to healthcare, and supportive environments, we can collectively strive towards better health outcomes for all women.

 

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1Get Your Well-Woman Visit Every Year – MyHealthfinder | health.gov

2Lower Your Risk for the Number 1 Killer of Women | Health Equity Features | CDC

3 Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Conditions in Women: Recent Findings, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

4Empowerment and Coping Strategies in Menopause Women: A Review | National Library of Medicine

5National Women’s Health Week – Women’s Health – CDC

6National Women’s Health Week – Women’s Health – CDC

7National Women’s Health Week – Women’s Health – CDC

 

The information featured in this site is general in nature. The site provides health information designed to complement your personal health management. It does not provide medical advice or health services and is not meant to replace professional advice or imply coverage of specific clinical services or products. The inclusion of links to other web sites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such websites.

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