It comes as no surprise nowadays that there are major physiological and behavioral differences between the sexes. But this knowledge wasn’t always available. It was only in the 1980s and 90s that researchers began recognizing the differences in the way that men and women respond to illnesses, diseases, and stress. This is largely the result of the hormonal differences between the genders.
It is a well-known fact that heart disease is experienced differently by women. Women’s warning signs of an impending heart attack are not the stereotypical clutching of the chest – they include back pain, jaw pain, and nausea. Over the years, government agencies have poured tremendous amounts of capital into researching women’s health, and providing accurate, reliable, and updated information on the subject.
Women expect and demand a focus on their specific health needs, and the medical community has obliged with focused health and wellness support across the board, from obstetrics and gynecology to mental health wellness, and other highly-specific gender-related matters. This begins with an understanding of the gaps in treating, diagnosing, and identifying maladies that affect women. Indeed, the US Department of Health & Human Services created OASH (Office on Women’s Health) in 1999, with the ‘…sole purpose of providing a gateway to the vast array of federal health information available at the time when the Internet was still a new technology.’
Over the past 3 decades, IT has revolutionized the world, particularly medical science. OASH is one of many national organizations tasked with ensuring that the right information is disseminated to girls and women to ensure the best possible health.
Private Sector Solutions to Female Health Concerns
Over the years, many myths and half-truths have found their way into women’s and wellness. In fact, a fictional belief system still persists in parts of Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America, where inadequate resources have been devoted to updating women’s health systems. Even in developed societies, there are many false beliefs that persist to this day. For example, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that cranberry juice helps with UTIs, and yet it is one of the most perpetuated myths for treating urinary tract infections, cranberry juice being still top billing as a natural home remedy for what is a bacterial infection.
Knowing your body is central to your happiness. As a woman, there is a growing body of trusted resources that can be accessed for accurate, science-backed solutions to women’s health. A sterling example – one of many – is AskIris, similar in substance to the famed Dr Ruth for sexual matters. Here, Iris Answers women’s health questions on a wide range of topics including period pain, endometriosis, birth control, conception, ovulation, pregnancy, menstrual migraines, PCOS and periods, fertility issues, basal body temperature measurement, and much more. The high-quality content debunks the myths, and misinformation that women have had to endure for so many years. The seemingly endless array of topics addressed in this particular community is eye-opening, and worthy of a read.
Battling Fake Women’s Health News One Story at a Time
There is so much misinformation about diet-related matters as it pertains to women’s health. For example, women have been taught for years that missing breakfast will make them gain weight, or that it’s much harder to fall pregnant after the age of 35, or that menopause brings on tremendous weight gain. While there are certainly proponents and opponents of these thought processes, the science does not support these passed-down beliefs as holy writ. There are women who still believe that it will be much easier for them to conceive if they are supine – that’s simply not true. Neither is it true that menopause will guarantee diminished sex drive for women. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic has found that many women actually have an increased desire for intimacy during menopause.
There are myriad examples of old wives tales that continue to gain top billing to this day. Fortunately, we now know better. There are credible resources that women can access to find accurate, up-to-date information. Communities of professionals for women, including obstetricians & gynecologists, mental health counselors, oncologists, dieticians, dermatologists, urologists, et al are now pooling their resources to focus on women’s health and wellness. It’s no longer a guessing game – there is precise science, research, and data to back up all the treatments (mental and physiological) that women need to stay healthy. Now that is progress for women’s health!