Women face a unique set of health care challenges and are at greater risk of developing certain conditions and diseases than men. The leading causes of death for women are heart disease, cancer and diabetes, all of which could be treated or prevented if identified well in advance. Health needs and services for various populations have come to the fore as states work to make their systems more efficient and consider covering more people under the implementation of federal health reform. This report, the third in a series on women's health, highlights diseases and health challenges common to women, opportunities to improve access to care and effective treatment, and strategies to prevent health conditions and problems before they become problematic and costly.
Women, who are key to maintaining healthy families, access the health system more than men, both for themselves and their children. Many become pregnant and give birth, a major health event, and then tend to become the primary caregivers of their children, a role that greatly influences overall household health. Long-term care and elder problems affect women more often because they live longer; they have higher rates of disability and chronic health problems; and lower incomes than men on average, placing them in greater need of state and community resources, such as Medicaid. Throughout her life, a woman's health status is important to her, her family, and to state budgets.
Legislators struggle with tight budgets and changing health laws, including the realities of implementing federal health reform under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, if women's needs are ignored in these discussions, states miss important opportunities to improve residents' health and gain partners to create a healthier society. Bleeding and flow are a normal part of the menstrual cycle. However, additional symptoms during menstruation may indicate health problems.
Unusual symptoms, such as bleeding between periods and frequent urination, may resemble other health problems. Vaginal problems could also indicate serious problems, such as STIs or cancer of the reproductive tract. And if left unchecked, they can cause conditions such as infertility or kidney failure. When it comes to your health, there are a number of women's health issues that are specific to women alone.
However, it's time for Australian women to start putting themselves first and focusing on their health. Increasingly, legislators and non-governmental organizations have determined that the health and well-being of communities and societies depend on the well-being, education and empowerment of women. Improving women's health and well-being depends on a detailed understanding of the social determinants of health and their interaction. Kaiser also concludes that women without insurance coverage often receive a lower level of care and have poorer health than those with insurance.
Today, women's health is taking a higher position in society and people are realizing that, while women have many of the same diseases as men, their symptoms and treatments may not always be identical. Most relevant to women are the services that must now be covered by new health plans, including annual women's follow-up visits; a more comprehensive range of contraceptive education, counseling, methods and services; services for pregnant women, including screening for gestational diabetes and breastfeeding counseling and equipment; better cervical cancer screening; counseling for sexually transmitted infections and HIV counseling and screening; and domestic violence screening and counseling. For example, 36 percent of uninsured women in New Hampshire and Vermont and 65 percent of uninsured women in Alabama would get Medicaid benefits if these states expand their Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For this reason, women and girls can be particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses and, as a result, suffer poor health outcomes.
As legislators consider the wide range of health policies in their state, they may want to explore opportunities to improve women's health. A child's health during prenatal, infancy, and early childhood influences their health later in life. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the main international human rights treaty addressing women's rights. Despite great efforts to create gender equality, women remain vulnerable, and many women are still unable to enjoy their fundamental human rights.
Your past health status and the conditions you have experienced, the illnesses you have faced, and the way your body has responded to medications, an important part of your health as a woman. Despite progress in eliminating the social and health disparity between men and women over the past century, gender equality remains a difficult goal to achieve, particularly in the developing world. . .