INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: LET’S TALK ABOUT WOMEN’S HEALTH
March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments of women around the globe. Each year IWD highlight several missions to help forge a gender-equal world. This year, there is an emphasis on educating women on their health choices to make more informed decisions about their health. It’s important that women are educated and aware of health concerns that more commonly affect women and know when it’s time to see a doctor.
Common health risks for women
There are a lot of health issues that affect women differently and more commonly. It’s important for us to understand these health conditions and how to prevent them.
Did you know in the UK, twice as many women are dying from heart disease than breast cancer?
According to the British Heart Foundation, 8,200 women in England and Wales died over ten years because they did not receive equal treatment to men. This is due to the perception that heart attacks only affect men.
Like men, women need to be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack. According to the NHS, chest pain is often the most severe symptom of a heart attack. However, in some cases, especially in women, older people and people with diabetes, there may only be minor pain or no chest pain at all. The sooner a woman recognises her symptoms, the better chance of recovery. If you are showing any symptoms of a heart attack, you need to contact emergency services straight away as every second counts.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the UK. However, the survival rate is generally high especially if the cancer is diagnosed early. If you notice a change on your breasts, you should visit a GP and receive a referral to a specialist if required. Being referred to a specialist breast clinic doesn’t necessarily mean breast cancer however if something is wrong, it allows for early diagnosis and a better chance of successful treatment.
At London Doctors Clinic, you can discuss your concerns with a GP, who, if necessary, can provide you with a same-day referral letter to a specialist breast clinic. This means you can see a breast specialist quickly and you’re never left waiting.
Cervical cancer develops in a woman's cervix and often has no symptoms in the early stages. The most effective way for a woman to protect herself from cervical cancer is by attending a regular cervical screening or smear test. A smear test involves collecting a sample of cells and analysing them for any abnormalities. If abnormal cells are found, it allows for early treatment before the cancer even happens.
At London Doctors Clinic, you can book a cervical screen at any time and our quick turnaround times mean your results are back to you in 2-3 days, giving you peace of mind.
Menopause usually happens to women between the ages of 45 and 55 however according to the NHS, 1 in 100 women will experience menopause before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause.
Symptoms of the menopause
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be acute and have a significant influence in their lives. However, it is never ok to suffer in silence and women need to feel comfortable discussing how menopause impacts their lives and visit a GP if they are struggling.
According to the NHS, common symptoms of menopause include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
- Changes in mood
- Reduced sex drive
- Issues with memory and concentration
Women need to stay on top of their health and the easiest way to do this is to keep informed of the common illnesses that affect women and know the symptoms.
Most importantly, never be afraid or embarrassed to talk about the concerns you have. It could save your life.
How London Doctors Clinic Can Help
London Doctors Clinic offers a range of women’s health services and checks that cover many tests and examinations including breast exams, smear tests and contraceptive advice. So, whether you need to speak to a GP about specific symptoms or want a full women's health screening, we’re here for you in full confidence. No matter what your concern, our GPs are there to help you understand your symptoms and discuss possible treatments.
Ladies, it’s time to put your health first. Happy International Women’s Day!