Three Points To Know About Women’s Health

“Women’s Health” is a topic as vast as any ocean, encompassing a wide range of issues and talking points, something it shares with the month of March.

March holds many health events, including:

There’s also International Women’s Day on the 8th and the whole month is Endometriosis Awareness Month’s March into Yellow.

Those last two align with our passion for women’s health and as such, we’re listing three points about women’s health you should know

Point ONE: Understand endometriosis

What endometriosis is

Endometriosis is a medical condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, often causing pelvic pain and infertility.

It can lead to inflammation, scarring, and discomfort during menstruation.

Nearly 1 million Australians live with endometriosis at some point in their life, and according to a study by the AIHW, around 8.8% of women born in 1989–95 were estimated to have been diagnosed with endometriosis by age 26–31, among other concerning trends.

Common symptoms include

  • Pelvic pain, especially during menstruation
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or irregular periods
  • Chronic lower back and abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Difficulty conceiving or infertility
  • Painful bowel movements or urination, especially during menstruation

Symptoms vary from woman to woman, both in terms of severity and appearance.

Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, with some experiencing mild symptoms despite severe endometriosis, while others may have extreme symptoms despite having low or mild endometriosis.

How to help minimise symptoms or reduce the risks or endometriosis

Give your body the best chance possible by maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

Managing stress levels and possibly hormonal birth control (per medical supervision) can help alleviate symptoms and prevent progression.

Also, talk to a professional when and if symptoms occur – and without delay. Postponing medical help can allow symptoms to develop and become more severe.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, especially if they’ve become more severe or are causing concern, talk to us.

Point TWO: Know the impact of stress

Stress can have significant and unique impacts on women’s health, and contribute to various physical and mental health issues.

Chronic stress, which means it lasts more than 3 months, can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to irregular menstrual cycles, worsening conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and affect fertility.

Stress can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and weaken the immune system too.

It’s well known that stress can have a serious impact on both physical and mental health.

What stress actually means

It can be hard to know. Worrying about something, feeling nervous or apprehensive about a future event or simply overthinking something negative in your life can all play a role.

It can manifest as feelings of tension, worry, or overwhelming response to challenging situations or perceived threats.

Some common events that cause stress can be:

  • Work-related stress from deadlines, workload or just a tough boss
  • Financial issues caused by debt, job loss, or unexpected expenses
  • Relationship stress from conflicts with partners, family members or friends
  • Study perhaps from exams, assignments or academic pressure
  • Health problems stemming from illness or other conditions
  • Life changes such as relocating, starting a new job, or experiencing a significant loss or change
  • Traumatic events like accidents or violence

What to do about stress

  1. Know you’re not alone. Stress affects almost everyone in their lives at some point, and as such, there’s a huge amount of support and resources available.
  2. Care for yourself. Take up some activities that promote relaxation like yoga, deep breathing exercises, or taking walks. A little more positive time for yourself can make a big difference.
  3. Establish healthy boundaries. Say no to excessive commitments and set limits on work or social obligations or what stresses you out.
  4. Rely on your support network. Friends, family members and even support groups who offer encouragement and positive, trustworthy support are a great asset.
  5. Get into a routine of time management and organisation. Break tasks into manageable steps, use apps, calendars or reminders and notes on your phone to schedule activities. Delegate responsibilities when possible and pre-plan which can make a huge difference.

Point THREE: Reap the rewards of being proactive

Being proactive towards women’s health means taking preventative measures and actively making healthy decisions.

This includes attending regular check-ups, screenings as per your doctor’s recommendations and vaccinations as well as healthy lifestyle habits.

Proactivity also means staying informed about women’s health issues which can keep you in the know and reduce confusion about your health.

The rewards of being proactive about your health

There are many:

  • Early detection and prevention of diseases
  • More control: By actively making healthier decisions, expect more control over your health and treatment options when issues occur
  • Quality of life: Maintaining health typically means a higher quality of life with reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved vitality, and increased mobility
  • Confidence: Being proactive often empowers women to take charge of their own wellbeing, leading to increased confidence in daily life, social events and physical activity
  • Mental health: With more energy, mobility and confidence in your day-to-day life, improved mental health often results.

A few ways to see those benefits:

  1. Reduce your alcohol intake. This can improve energy levels and overall health while reducing the risk of certain illnesses. Try swapping alcoholic beverages for non-alcoholic ones and limiting your intake during social events.
  2. Replace large sit-down dinners with more active options, like a light lunch and a walk. Lighter meals with physical activity afterward can help digestion and boost metabolism. Instead of meeting friends for a heavy dinner, go for a scenic walk and a smoothie.
  3. Prioritise your sleep. Getting enough sleep is essential for mental clarity, mood regulation, immune function and more. Establish a bedtime routine, such as reading (not your phone), to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.
  4. Gradually replace unhealthy diet choices with better ones. Even small changes over time can lead to long-term improvements. Start by swapping sugary or fatty snacks for fruit or replacing fried foods with baked or grilled choices.
  5. Stay socially active (in person, not on your phone). Social connections can boost mood and reduce stress. Plan regular outings with friends or join clubs or groups that align with your interests to stay social and connected. You might be surprised by the difference it can make.
  6. Keep up with regular check-ups and screenings. These are vital for detecting and preventing health issues early, leading to better treatment options. Make routine appointments and follow through with recommended screenings based on your age and medical history.

Women’s health at Duff Street Medical Clinic

As mentioned, we’re passionate about women’s health and that means the medical professionals at our clinic are here to help girls and women both understand the importance of their health and reap the rewards of taking action.

That often starts with a check-up to understand your health specifics.

If it’s been a while since your last check-up, or you’ve been feeling a little off, perhaps through experiencing some of the symptoms listed above, book an appointment.

Understanding your health status is important as no two people are the same, despite how similar their lives may be, and our bodies change over time and by the way we treat them.