Most Ignored Women Health Issues in India
As of 2019, India ranks Number 112 at the global level in terms of the Gender gap in healthcare. This shows how women’s wellbeing and healthcare is in an unacceptable shape in the country, and how there is a need to improve the same. There are various factors that contribute to this state of affairs, such as economic disparity, lack of education and awareness and even the lack of access to healthcare. But the most important factor would have to be how women are taught to hide the pain and discomfort they go through, rather than seek help at the first sign of trouble. In this blog post, we’ve outlined 4 common health issues that are faced by women in India, and how some of them can actually point to more serious underlying issues.
A very common problem that many women who have undergone the process of childbirth and/or are around the age of 40 face are that of a weakened or dysfunctional pelvic floor. The Pelvic floor is a set of muscle fibres that are placed at the base of the pelvis and it resembles a diaphragm-like muscular partition that supports the pelvic organs like the bladder, intestines and uterus.
Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur after injury or trauma to the pelvic region, pregnancy and childbirth, age-related factors, morbid obesity or overuse of pelvic muscles such as going to the bathroom often. If you suffer from Pelvic floor dysfunction, you may have trouble with bowel movements, emptying your bladder or an inability to ‘hold in’ your bodily fluids, leading to leakage.
Most women who deal with pelvic floor dysfunction seem to dismiss it as a deterioration of health due to age instead of looking at it as an issue that requires medical attention. The pelvic floor can be strengthened by following medication and pelvic floor therapy. As it is with any medical issue, early detection and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction can vastly improve the inconvenience caused by the dysfunction.
Most people who have experienced a menstrual cycle know that certain symptoms go hand in hand with being a period-haver. However, while having menstrual cramps and pain during your cycle is said to be a normal occurrence, if the intensity of pain is too great, it could point to an underlying issue. More often than not, more serious issues such as Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, or even Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Menstrual pain or Dysmenorrhea can point to medical issues in the reproductive organs, and can even affect fertility.
The difference between normal period pain and Dysmenorrhea can be characterized by period cramps that last longer than 3 days, and the intensity of pain that interferes with your normal life. The pain is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, fatigue and diarrhoea. If you face any of the following symptoms, it is best to contact your medical practitioner or gynaecologist immediately. Dysmenorrhea can be naturally prevented by consuming herbs like Sukumaram Kashayam and Nagkeshar which is used in Ayurveda to treat menstrual issues. The Rosa period potion from Imbue Natural contains the goodness of these herbs and is a convenient way to strengthen your uterine health!
Loss of bone density increases the risk of Osteoporosis which can cause joint aches and easily broken bones. Women are said to have quicker bone density loss than men as they have smaller and thinner bones than men. The lowered secretion of estrogen in women after menopause can also cause bone density loss and increase the chances of developing osteoporosis.
Malnutrition or poor eating can greatly influence bone density loss, and those who are still in their teenage or youth years can avoid this risk by consuming ample amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Developing Osteoporosis is also not the end of the world, as it can be managed easily and naturally with pain relief oils and physical therapy. The Imbue Natural Niraama joint pain relief oil contains the goodness of ayurvedic herbs like Datura and essential oils for pain relief like Nutmeg oil which greatly help in reducing pain and swelling, without the harmful side effects of over the counter pain medication!
Indian women are often subject to huge expectations, from parents, husbands, in-laws and even their fellow women folk. They are expected to be the paragon of virtue and manage both their professional lives and home lives without complaints. They are expected to be ‘All-in-all’ and always be present for other people in their household. But how often are their own needs being met? At least 25% of Indian women are said to suffer from Depression and Anxiety, and that number is sadly only an estimate due to the stigma around seeking out help for mental instability.
Women often suffer from hormonal changes, during their menstrual cycle as well as during pregnancy, post-partum and menopause. These changes in hormone levels affect their mental health a lot, but the stigma and expectations they face also contribute to the increase in mental health issues in women. There is a need for an increase in awareness about mental health issues which will also help reduce stigma around the topic.
We hope this article reminds you to check up on the women in your life, and pay more attention to their medical ailments. If you face any of these issues, do consider seeking medical help and break the cycle of misinformation and inaction for championing women's health!