We are continuing our Healthy with Harmony campaign. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to focus on Women’s Health. Below is some helpful information for women of all ages.
Female Fast Facts
- The average age of puberty for females is 11 years old.
- The average age of menopause for females is 51 years old.
- The average life expectancy for women is 81 years old.
- Menstrual cycles last 2-7 days every 21-35 days for women between puberty and menopause.
- Heart disease is the number one killer of women.
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer are the 2 most common cancers affecting women.
Health Issues Affecting More Women Than Men
o Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss that interferes with daily life. Almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women. There is currently no cure.
- Breast Cancer
o Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. Symptoms include breast pain and/or a new lump in the breast or underarm. Know your family history, get your mammogram, and stay active.
- Eating Disorders
o The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Examples include eating too much or too little, extreme dieting, binging and purging, taking laxatives, extreme exercise, and more.
- Heart Disease
o Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Risk factors you can control include smoking, eating and exercise habits, alcohol, and stress. Risk factors you cannot control include age, family history, race, and menopause.
o Lupus is an autoimmune disease that damages parts of the body including the skin, joints, and organs. Symptoms can include fatigue, fever, joint pain, rashes, and skin lesions. 9 out of 10 adults with lupus are women.
o Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and easily breakable. It is difficult to diagnose osteoporosis until you break or fracture a bone. Prevention is key- get active, don’t smoke, and get enough calcium and vitamin D.
Health Issues That Only Affect Women
- Cervical Cancer (HPV)
o All women are at risk of cervical cancer. At least half of sexually active people will have HPV at some point in their lives. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival.
o Endometriosis (also known as endo) happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. It causes extreme pain and can even cause infertility. There is currently no cure.
- Ovarian Cancer
o Ovarian cancer is caused when malignant cells form in the ovaries. It is the leading cause of death from cancer of the female reproductive system. It is most common in postmenopausal women.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
o PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. It is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, which creates problems in the ovaries. There is currently no cure, but you can manage the symptoms.
- Postpartum Depression
o Postpartum “baby blues” include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Postpartum depression symptoms include difficulty bonding with your baby, panic attacks, overwhelming fatigue, and hopelessness.
Be sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Get your yearly check-up, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet, prioritize mental health, and take care of yourself.