Health and longevity for the modern woman
For most of the previous century, there was a severe lack of attention on women’s health. Fortunately, this is changing, and the focus on women’s health is increasing worldwide.
Women's health issues no longer revolve around reproductive and sexual health only. Life has changed for women all over the world and considerations about women's health now include the effects of these changes on their health.
Women are dealing with new stresses that affect their health
A significant percentage of women are greatly affected by the stress and anxiety they face in modern life. Balancing work, taking care of children and their homes and trying to stay healthy, women rank stress and anxiety as the top negative influences on their health. Life is busy, time is limited and there is often just not enough time to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep.
More and more women are having heart attacks or strokes, or are diagnosed with cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
The good news
Not only has life expectancy for women increased, but women today can also have a realistic expectation of a better quality of life throughout their years. To make this happen though, it is important that they take responsibility for their bodies and understand how to make better health possible for themselves.
Advancements in digital health technology mean there is readily available support in the form of:
- Medical advice through access to global information resources
- Services such as ordering medicine online, anytime, anywhere in the world, at the click of a button.
- Access to digital tools that allow you to understand your family history and health risks.
Go for regular screenings
Prevention remains better than cure. Detecting problems early drastically increases survival rate through successful early intervention. The following are essential for women:
- Mammograms to detect breast cancer
- Pap smears to check for cervical cancer
- Blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index tests to determine the risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.
There is a lot of good information available about all areas that affect women’s health, such as eating disorders, stress, anxiety and depression, nutrition and exercise.
Put a stop to smoking
Despite the well-known risks smoking holds for people who smoke and those around them, many women continue to smoke. Quitting smoking reduces the risk for cancer, heart disease and other health issues.
Women typically start drinking at a later stage than men and on average a bit less. However, it takes lower amounts of alcohol for related health problems such as alcohol toxicity, cirrhosis and hepatitis to develop in women.
Nourish yourself with vitamins and minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal female health. These include folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and iron. A healthy diet should provide sufficient amounts of these, but in cases where a diet may be lacking, supplementation can be discussed with a healthcare provider.
We're on this journey with you
Join SA's most loved medical scheme and you, too, can benefit from comprehensive medical cover for pregnancy and childbirth. Read how Discovery Health Medical Scheme takes care of you during pregnancy and after your baby is born.
We live in a world that is more technologically advanced
Everything is faster because of technology. Luckily, technology also offers many benefits, such as making it easier to look after your health.
Photo app filters are handy at helping us look younger than we actually are, but chances are, some days, you feel a lot older than you are. Your body is the more accurate judge. Here are ways to keep your body youthful, throughout the ages.
Dr Salome Maswime's commitment to maternal and foetal medicine has just won her a Discovery Foundation MGH Fellowship Award, which means she's off to Boston in the US to find answers to improving woman's health.
Prevention is better than cure. This is what cancer screening tests are about. Used to identify and eliminate common cancers or precancerous conditions early on, so that more advanced cancers can be prevented, these tests can literally save your life.