Blame it on changing lifestyle or lesser body resistance; women's growing health issues are catching everyone's eyes. And while there's li'l that's being done to avoid them, we look at five of the most common health problems that women today are dealing with:
1. Breast Cancer: One of the most growing problems among women, which is responsible for 1 per cent of deaths worldwide, is breast cancer.
Says Dr Ashok Vaid, senior oncologist, Medanta Medicity, "Breast cancer is definitely one of the most common problems with women today. While there's no one cause that can be ascertained as to why it hits one, science does understand some issues related with it. The main reason is the paradigm shift in lifestyle. Things like late marriage, delay in having the first child, less breast feeding, problems of over-weight and genetic factors, all make for a variety of reasons that heighten the risk of breast cancer in women."
"So while timely regular check-ups could help one detect it fast, to avoid it completely, a change in lifestyle is recommended. Like breast feeding should be promoted, regular exercise to keep weight under control, eat fruits that produce antioxidants – basically have a healthy lifestyle to avoid any health problem."
2. Stroke: Women today are affected with strokes.
Dr YK Jalote, physician and cardiologist, explains, "Diabetes and hypertension are the two most common causes of stroke. Also junk food, lack of exercise, excessive work pressure and no-diet control are the other reasons. As to why women are getting affected with it, is because in households where women are not working, their health is usually ignored till an emergency comes up. While working women get so busy juggling home and careers that they give but li'l attention to their health leading to problems like hypertension."
As for the cure, Dr Jalote, says, "While there's nothing that one can do to avoid acquiring the problem of hypertension, proper medication, diet control and exercise definitely help one in controlling it. Also, regular check-ups can avoid any untoward health issue."
3. Polycistic Ovarian Disease: Polycystic ovary disease is yet another issue that has come up to be one of the most common female endocrine disorders affecting about 5 to 10 per cent of women of reproductive age, which is anything between 12-45 years. It is a condition in which there are many small cysts in the ovaries, which can affect a woman's ability to conceive.
Says Dr Sushma Dhawan, gynecologist, "I have so many women right from adolescents to women in their 40s coming with this problem. The foremost symptom of one acquiring this problem is irregular, light or no periods. Others could be acne, excess growth of hair on the body, hair loss, infertility, weight gain or obesity and high insulin. Timely check-ups can prevent this from increasing. Right medical treatment can treat this disease and women can conceive."
4. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD): Sex is an important part of one's life. But often the common problem shared among women is the issue of no sexual arousal despite their wanting to have sex.
Explains Dr Rajan Bhonsle, Hon Prof and HOD of Sexual Medicines at KEM Hospital and GS Medical College, Mumbai, "It's a common problem but reasons could lie in any of the four stages of sex. The four stages broadly are: desire at the brain level, erection or arousal at the body level, penetration and lastly, the orgasm. Problem at any of these stages may lead to what we call FSAD.
In the first stage, the problem could be woman suffering with very low or very high sexual desire, or perverted desire which could lead to a mismatch between the levels desired by the man and woman and hence the problem in arousal.
In the second stage, one could face the problem of body not responding to the sexual desire. There's no lubrication, perhaps because the glands are infected or damaged. Or may be the man is not giving a proper foreplay to his woman. Direct penetration will never allow any lubrication. Also, painful penetration prevents lubrication too.
In the penetration stage, the probable issue is that of an intact hymen, very narrow vaginal canal, inborn penetration phobia, vagina going into high spasms as soon as penetration happens.
Lastly, in the orgasm stage, there are cases where all the above three stages are being fulfilled and yet the woman is unable to reach an orgasm. Here too, the problem lies all in the art of making out. More than often, the woman is not totally involved or she believes that the man is the active partner who will make her reach the orgasm stage, while she's the passive. But that's a myth. Sex is like a buffet and it's meant for both the partners to take part in it equally. Besides this, other common reasons could be her man using shabby ways to make out, man's body not being attractive, he perspires a lot, she dislikes him, or she believes sex is dirty. Not just these, any issue bothering a woman which could even be related to her work place or relatives, would mean a disturbed mind and hence lack of involvement in the act of sex. All of this amounts to no orgasm.
5. Weight gain: A woman is always fat by her standards. Leaving that aside, the tendency of most Indian women to put on weight easily, especially after marriage is something that needs a low down.
"Lack of exercise and heavy binging is all that one needs to check to stay in shape," says Dr Rajan Bhonsle, on this. "Married or unmarried, a proper diet and exercise is the only key to good body. As for the most cited reason for women putting on weight after marriage – that is sex, it's a complete myth. The reasons lie in the complacency that sets in women. Marriage is a new feeling, they are in a happy state, husband gives them too much attention and all this excitement leads to women secreting the 'feel good' hormones that lead to weight gain. It's easier for working women to stay fit and shapely due to the running about that they need to do. Housewives, who're mostly relaxing and enjoying at home, are bound to be complaining of the weight gain problem."
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