When it comes to women’s health, there lies a myriad of complex and often misunderstood conditions. As women navigate through major life changes including physiological transformations and hormonal shifts, they face increased vulnerability to their health encompassing concerns like fertility, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, and adopting safe birth control practices. In this blog, we will shed light on those lesser-known concerns of women’s health that often go unnoticed and need understanding.
Understanding and improving women’s health is one of the major points a lot of research organizations in the United States, especially Michigan focuses on. They support research and conduct clinical trials on a wide range of conditions that are unique to women. These include hot flashes, endometriosis & fibroids, and HPV & cervical screening. Let’s delve into the complexities of these health concerns, understand the diseases, recognize their symptoms, and comprehend how they affect women.
Understanding Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are intense, sudden sensations of heat that cause redness and sweating on your face and neck region. It is the most common symptom experienced by women during menopause. It is believed that hot flashes occur due to hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decrease in estrogen levels. This affects the body temperature regulation, resulting in sudden sensations of heat. These sensations can occur at any time of the day and vary in intensity in different women.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sudden feeling of warmth
- Night sweats
- Skin redness
Endometriosis & Fibroids
Endometriosis and fibroids are two chronic conditions that women may face. Despite sharing many symptoms, they are distinct conditions, not the same. Each of these conditions affect women differently.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the tissue endometrium that is similar to that of uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. They can grow around ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissues lining the pelvis. The fluctuations in your menstrual cycle hormones impact the endometrial-like tissue, leading to inflammation and pain. Consequently, this tissue undergoes a cycle of growth, thickening, and breaking down. As time progresses, the broken-down tissue becomes trapped in the pelvic region because it lacks an exit route.
Fibroid is a condition that occurs when your tissues form in or on the wall of the uterus. These growths are benign but can vary in size, ranging from small, pea-size to large masses.
Symptoms of Both Endometriosis and Fibroids
- Heavy bleeding or irregular periods
- Pelvic pain
- Painful Intercourse
- Painful bowel movements
For those women grappling with the challenges of endometriosis and fibroids, finding effective relief is a top priority. Oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, have emerged as a viable potential treatment option for managing endometriosis and fibroid symptoms. By regulating hormonal fluctuations that fuel tissue growth, these contraceptives can help alleviate pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities, and discomfort during intercourse.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) & Cervical Cancer
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that affects different parts of your body. It is estimated that every 8 out of 10 women might have HPV infection at some point in-time. There are different strains of HPV, some of which that may affect genitalia including vulva, vagina, cervix, penis and scrotum. The HPV virus that is involved in affecting your genitals is known as sexually transmitted infections (STI). The strains of HPV are categorized into high-risk and low-risk types.
Low-risk HPV types are linked with the development of warts and are not associated with cancer. High-risk HPV types are associated with an increased risk of developing certain cancers, primarily cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer originates in the cervix, that is the lower part of the uterus. Cervical cancer as told is caused by human papillomavirus. When a woman gets infected with human papillomavirus, the immune system is quick to act and clears out the infection. But if that infection persists, HPV can lead to changes in the normal cervical cells. If the cellular changes continue to progress, the affected cells may eventually become cancerous.
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Bleeding between periods or after sex
- Increased vaginal discharge with foul odor
- Pelvic pain
- Discomfort during bowel movements
- Pain in abdomen and lower back
- Swelling in the legs
It is important to understand that cervical cancer does not show any symptoms in its early stages. Regular cervical cancer screening, including Pap smears and HPV testing, is crucial for the early detection of abnormal cells or precancerous changes. Detecting cervical abnormalities early allows for timely intervention and the prevention of the progression to invasive cancer. Many clinical research organizations and pharmaceuticals in the United States are on a mission to revolutionize women health care by conducting research that could help detect abnormalities earlier, including those associated with high-risk HPV, which could potentially progress to cervical cancer.
Understanding the mysteries that are present behind women’s health is the first step towards empowering them with knowledge so that they can have a deeper understanding of their well-being. From hormonal fluctuations that lead to women experiencing hot flashes and conditions like endometriosis and fibroids to suffering from sexually transmitted infections through HPV that lead to cervical cancers; these challenges collectively take a toll on women’s well-being. In this pursuit of advancing women’s health, many healthcare organizations stand as vocal advocates, conducting clinical trials that not only deepen our understanding of these conditions but also strive to revolutionize healthcare. By actively participating in clinical trials, women can contribute to the development of innovative strategies that may lead to advancement in women’s health.