Important Things Every Woman Should Know About Reproductive Health

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Important Things Every Woman Should Know About Reproductive Health

From birth control and infertility struggles to menopause treatments, women’s reproductive health is quite complex. There are many things out there that women should be familiar with to keep themselves healthy and informed about any suspicious changes that should be checked by their doctor. So, let’s discuss more things about reproductive health every woman should know.

Symptoms of STIs

You may be shocked to hear that many sexually transmitted infections don’t show any symptoms. Vaginal discharge, discomfort while urinating, or bleeding between periods are some unusual symptoms that are clear indicators you need to consult your ob-gyn, as they can be symptoms of such diseases. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common STIs that need to be treated right away. Use contraception and check yourself regularly to make sure you don’t contract these infections. Remember not to miss your annual pap screening because some HPV infections are linked to cervical diseases, and if left untreated, can turn into huge health problems.

Uterine fibroid embolization

If you have uterine fibroids, you should check out the fibroid embolization technique. This is a minimally invasive technique that involves temporarily cutting off blood supply to certain organs or tissues. Of course, it is important to find a reliable and experienced uterine fibroid embolization specialist to perform this treatment, as you want to be sure you are in safe hands. By blocking off blood flow to the uterus, this technique drastically lowers benign fibroid tumors. It’s common to have mild to severe cramping after the procedure, but it usually goes away within a few days. To help alleviate the pain, you should rest for a couple of days and use pain medication.

Tracking your menstrual cycle

Some days of the month have the highest chance for a woman to conceive. The fertile window is a six-day period that occurs once every month. This period usually begins fourteen days before the start of your next menstruation and is finalized by the day of ovulation, which is when an egg is released from your ovaries. This is when the chances of getting pregnant are the greatest. So, if you are looking forward to a baby, you should track your menstrual cycle and the ovulation day. Nowadays, women are quite lucky since there are so many period tracker apps and even test kits that can help you determine whether you are in the fertile window. This is especially useful for women with irregular cycles to help them determine the best days for trying to get pregnant.

Fertility is linked to age

Women’s age has a major influence on their fertility. The amount and quality of eggs decrease as a woman is older, so anyone who is 35 or older should keep this in mind when trying to conceive. The most fertile years for women are late teens and late 20s. By the age of 30, fertility slowly starts to decline. Once you hit the mid-30s, this decline becomes much faster. Finally, fertility becomes so low when you reach 45 that a spontaneous pregnancy is almost unlikely.

Cervical screening can save your life

Regular cervical screenings can detect and successfully treat almost 90% of cervical cancers. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a potential and most common carcinogen, and the Cervical Screening Test detects its existence. It is recommended that women between the ages of 21 and 29 have a Pap test every three years. Women between the ages of 30 and 65 should get a Pap test every three years or an HPV test every 5 years. They can also do both tests at the same time every five years.

One of the most effective ways to prevent HPV infections that lead to cancer is to get vaccinated. However, there are certain strains of HPV that even the vaccine cannot prevent. So, women must continue screening for cervical cancer according to their age group guidelines.

Dealing with PCOS

In polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries produce an overabundance of androgens- male sex hormones. This condition is usually followed by the development of many tiny cysts, which are sacs filled with fluid, in the ovaries. It is still not quite clear what causes PCOS. Also, insulin resistance is a common companion of this condition, meaning that the body is too sensitive to insulin. This also causes obesity and irregular cycles that greatly influence women’s reproductive health. PCOS can be diagnosed using ultrasound which determines the ovarian size and detects cysts. Another way is blood testing, where your elevated hormone levels, including androgens and glucose levels, are checked.

PCOS can be treated by introducing a new eating plan and exercise routine. This can help with lowering blood glucose levels, improving insulin sensitivity, and other benefits. Other types of treatment include medications to cause ovulation. Of course, these medications have certain risks, such as the greater chance of multiple births, including twins or more. You can also feel symptoms like pelvic discomfort and gas.

Menopause and hormonal changes

Menopause is actually the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, happening usually in their late 40s to early 50s. Hormonal changes that go with this condition can cause many symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, mood swings, and uncomfortable sweats. However, women can take control of their symptoms and manage this highly emotional period by knowing the mental and physical influence menopause has. Every woman should find the best solution for her, whether it is medication, proper nutrition, exercise, therapy, or something else. Of course, regular tests are an important part of staying healthy during menopause, so don’t compromise on your well-being and be responsible and kind to yourself.

Every woman should be familiar with the basics of her reproductive health. This involves being aware of the symptoms of sexually transmitted illnesses, knowing how to use birth control, and practicing safe sexual behavior. Also, you should regularly see your gynecologist for cervical screening to detect any abnormal changes in your body. Being well-versed in your reproductive health can make you feel better about yourself, give more sense and pleasure to your sexual life, and, maybe the most important thing, stay healthy and happy. 

About the Author

Jared Levenson is a former binge eating wrestler turned Zen Buddhist Monk, Internal Family Systems counselor and nutrition wellness coach. He's helped hundreds of people through universal meal principles and internal family systems to make peace with food, stop binge eating, and find true health and wholeness.


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