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Women’s Health

Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have been been the leading causes of death among women globally for around three decades now and are responsible for two in every three deaths among women each year. India faces a bigger challenge of access to healthcare for women with 75% of health infrastructure in urban India, thereby leaving rural women with poor access to affordable and quality healthcare.  Today, with the advent of mobile and wireless technology and the drive towards affordable healthcare, the country is witnessing positive changes. However, women’s health conditions can often go undiagnosed with low female test subjects in healthcare trials. Additionally, women face exclusive health concerns across the globe and it is important to address these with the right mindset.

 

Here’s what you need to know about managing PCOD

PCOD/ PCOS is one of the most common health concerns among women with very little knowledge on the condition itself or its treatment. 

 

What’s the difference between PCOS and PCOD?

PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a condition where the ovaries release lot of immature or partially mature eggs that eventually turn into cysts. Some of the most common symptoms of PCOD include abdominal weight gain, irregular periods, infertility or male pattern hair loss. The ovaries usually enlarge and secrete large amounts of androgens to cause havoc with a woman’s body and her fertility.

 

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. The ovaries produce higher levels of androgen that interferes with the development and release of eggs.

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Managing PCOS/PCOD

Here are some quick tips to manage it: 

-   Watch your diet and switch to healthy, nutritious, whole, plant-based proteins and fibre-rich foods free from preservatives, sugar and           hormones. 

-   Build an exercise routine balanced with cardio and strength training to keep your weight in check

-   Keep stress levels at bay

-   Remember! Do not self medicate. Always consult your doctor for the right treatment plan, if necessary, along with important multivitamin     and mineral-based supplements.

Reach out to an experienced medical practitioner or gynaecologist for the right diagnosis. It is important to know that PCOD/PCOS is not a disease but a cause of a hormonal imbalance.

 

Here's some fact on the Fibroid - Dealing with Uterine Fibroid

Did you know that Uterine Fibroids were the most common, non-cancerous tumours to grow around the uterus? Fibroids have become a familiar condition experienced by women after puberty. They are most often known to be asymptomatic and can go undiagnosed for a while. Commonly seen symptoms of fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, painful periods (the pain begins few days prior to the periods and become worse during periods), a heavy dragging sensation in the lower abdomen or pelvis, pain during pelvis, pain during sexual intercourse and some complain of excessive weakness due to heavy bleeding.

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Things to remember if you’re suffering from uterine Fibroids:

-   Not all fibroids grow. Even large ones may not cause any symptoms, and most shrink after menopause. 

-   it has been noticed that fibroids turn painful and harmful when its bearer is close to menopause. The painful situation is accompanied         by heavy bleeding.

-   Always seek timely medical help and consult your doctor for the correct line of treatment. Never self-medicate. 

-   Always follow a healthy, nutrient-rich and protein-rich diet

While many women would never know what fibroids are, more than half of the women will develop fibroids before they are 50. Research suggests that 70% of all women are likely to get them at some point in their lifetime. That said, with the right kind of care, timely assistance and doctor-prescribed treatment options, it is possible to effective manage the condition.

 
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Time to break the taboo around Menstruation and Endometriosis

In 2019, The Endometriosis Society of India study estimated that approximately 25 million women in India suffer from Endometriosis and yet it is hardly spoken of given the taboo around the talk on menstruation inner country. Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue called ‘endometrium’, that lines the uterus tends to grow on the ovaries, bowel, rectum, vagina or pelvic lining. The presence of this additional tissues makes the period significantly more painful than they usually are.

This can lead to a number of symptoms ranging from: 

-   heavy, painful period

-   painful intercourse

-   infertility

-   other hormonal abnormalities, to name a few.

As per reports, endometriosis is seeing a surge because of several factors such as early puberty, delayed marriages and thereafter conceptions along with advancement in diagnostic modalities. While there are various theories around the causes of this disorder, there is no conclusive evidence of the actual cause. 

Here’s what you need to know about Endometriosis: 

-   Endometriosis is known to impact 10-15 per cent women of reproductive age and as high as 70 per cent women with chronic pelvic           pain. 

-   While this is very hard to diagnose, it is not entirely impossible to treat. With the right medical assistance, you can overcome this. 

-   Endometriosis is not the end to your fertility. With the right kind of treatment, women have been known conceive naturally as well as with     some reproductive assistance. 

-   Not everyone with endometriosis experiences pain.

If you know someone who lives with Endometriosis, empathise and understand that their pain is real. If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis, don’t give up. Reach out to your medical practitioner and work a treatment plan best suited for you. 

 

Vaginal Infection

Vaginal Infection

Vaginal infection or candida is a very common fungal infection that develops within the vaginal area and is one of the most common ailments in over 75% women, mostly of reproductive age. The lack of proper feminine hygiene, ignorance, lack of awareness or hesitancy are the most common reasons for women to not seek timely treatment. 

 

Several fungi naturally occur on women’s vagina. However, when these are found in excess, it may lead to yeast infection and cause mild to severe discomfort that may require diagnosis and timely anti-infective treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Excessive use of harsh grooming products, tight clothing, synthetic fibre of undergarments, humid weather and poor intimate hygiene can lead to infections.

What to remember to steer clear from vaginal infections: 

-   Wear comfortable fitting, dry, clean clothes

-   Practice good personal hygiene with pH-balanced cleansers

-   Follow a clean, healthy diet

-   Seek timely medical help in case of discomfort for the right line of treatment 

-   Do not self medicate or experiment with home-based remedies

 

Embracing the Pause -
Understanding Menopause

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Women have always been a trailblazer of sorts especially with their multi-tasking skills of effectively juggling between office and home, work and family with absolute ease. While putting everyone and everything ahead of them, they often tend to overlook at their own health and wellbeing. Today, with plenty of lifestyle changes, changes in food habits, food and nutrition quality, rising stress levels, women across are experiencing the onset of lifestyle diseases such obesity, pain, osteoporosis and early menopause. 

 

The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) survey released in 2016 revealed rather startling statistics - nearly 4% of Indian women experienced the signs of menopause between 29 to 34 years of age and this percentage rose in case of women between 35 and 39 years of age. It was rather shocking because world over, the age for reaching menopause was between 45 and 55 years. 

 

What is Menopause?

It is imperative to understand that Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life that signals the end of her menstrual cycle. It is usually confirmed 12 months from the last period cycle along with several pre and post menopausal changes or transitions in the body. It is all the more necessary for women in the age group of 35 and above to understand what their body needs to adapt to healthy acing. 

 

Tips to address Menopausal Symptoms: 

-   Speak to your doctor and prepare yourself for menopause. Seek help in understanding the changes your body may experience and identify what works best for you with the help of a professional. 

-   Regular health-checks post-40 with timely clinical, abdominal, vaginal examinations along with the necessary tests your doctor recommends. Research and doctors reveal that women experiencing menopause have an increased predisposition to heart diseases given the drop in their oestrogen levels, loss in bone density and increase in body fat. 

-   Embrace lifestyle choices that work in the favour of providing nutrition and good health to your body. Opt for a healthy workout routine and supplement it with nutritious protein and fibre-rich food. Speak to your healthcare professional to include essential multivitamin supplements in order to maintain optimum velds of minerals and vitamins in the body. 

-   Make regular exercise a habit to increase bone strength and lower the risk of other ailments  

 

Simple lifestyle changes and setting realistic health goals can take you a long way in improving your quality of life to tackle the effects of menopause on the body and help you lead a happy and healthy life! 

 

Contraceptives

Did you know that hormonal birth control or Contraceptives were more than just means of preventing unwanted pregnancy? Yes, while birth control methods are used for planning pregnancies according to your convenience, they play a larger role in managing women’s health that go beyond pregnancy prevention.

 

Here’s how:

-    Regulates menstrual cycles: by helping balance hormonal fluctuations that may affect the menstrual cycle or cause heavy bleeding.

-   Helps manage PCOS symptoms effectively 

-   Helps against menstrual pain: since hormonal birth control prevents ovulation that can cause uterus to contract and cramp

-   Helps control hormonal acne

-   Reduces risk of uterine cancer and ovarian cysts 

-   Helps relieve symptoms of PMS and manage endometriosis 

 

It is important to remember that contraceptives should only be taken based on doctor's advice. 

-   Make sure to speak to your gynaecologist on possible birth control options 

-   Understand the benefits and risks, if any, given your health condition 

Understand the different kinds of birth control available and ask questions: birth control can differ based on hormonal, non-hormonal, long-acting, emergency, irreversible. Let it not be a daunting task for you and seek the help of an expert to choose the right one for you. Some examples of birth con tool include - condoms, IUD, cervical caps and diaphragms, Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), combined oral contraceptives, progesterone-only or ‘mini’ pills, intrauterine system (IUS), implant, contraceptive patch, contraceptive injections, the NuvaRing, permanent contraception.