Maintaining good health and wellness is important for everyone. But for women, it can be especially challenging due to the various challenges they face. From societal expectations and cultural norms to biological factors, women’s health and wellness can be influenced by numerous factors.
In this blog, we will discuss four common obstacles that can impact women’s health and well-being. These include a lack of access to affordable healthcare, socioeconomic barriers and health disparities, the impact of stress and mental health on women’s well-being, and the hidden dangers of chemical-based products in women’s daily lives.
Lack of Access to Healthcare and Education
For many women, accessing healthcare can be a major obstacle to achieving optimal health and wellness. Lack of access to affordable healthcare can prevent women from receiving preventative care and necessary treatments. This can have serious consequences for women’s health, leading to conditions such as untreated chronic diseases, increased mortality rates, and limited access to reproductive health services.
Lack of education can also be a significant barrier to women’s health and wellness. This is especially true once the COVID-19 pandemic brought about lower accessibility to education, particularly for girls.
The United Nations has projected that school closures resulting from the pandemic are expected to prevent around 11 million girls from attending school. This highlights the ongoing issue of lack of access to education, which can hinder girls’ ability to achieve optimal health and wellness.
Improving access to healthcare and education for women is essential for promoting better health outcomes and reducing health disparities. This can be achieved through initiatives such as increasing funding for healthcare programs, providing education and resources on women’s health, and improving access to healthcare services in underserved communities.
As per the 2022 KFF Women’s Health Survey, a larger proportion of women (49%) than men (43%) reported having a chronic health condition that requires regular monitoring, medical care, or medication. Moreover, the survey showed that 63% of women take at least one prescription medication regularly, compared to 48% of men.
The statistics demonstrate the significance of obtaining healthcare services and gaining knowledge, as women might need extra assistance and resources to handle their health issues efficiently. Lack of access to healthcare and education can limit women’s ability to make informed decisions about their health and prevent them from receiving necessary medical care and treatment.
The Hidden Dangers of Chemical-Based Products
Chemical-based products are ubiquitous in our daily lives, from cleaning supplies to personal care products. However, these products can pose hidden dangers to women’s health and wellness.
One of the most concerning aspects of chemical-based products is that many of them are not properly regulated, and companies are not required to disclose all of the ingredients they use. This could pose a challenge for consumers who seek to make informed decisions about the products they use and the associated risks they may carry.
Many personal care products marketed towards women, such as cosmetics and skincare products, contain chemicals that can be harmful to their health. For instance, commonly used cosmetics may contain parabens and phthalates, which have been associated with developmental problems in children and reproductive issues.
Chemical hair straightening products are particularly concerning, as they often contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can increase the risk of cancer, as well as cause respiratory issues, eye irritation, and skin rashes. It is essential for women who use such products to be aware of the potential risks and consider safer alternatives, such as using heat-free methods for straightening hair.
The blog on TorHoerman Law’s website highlights the potential dangers of chemical-based hair straightening products, including the increased risk of uterine cancer. According to the studies cited on the website, frequent use of these products has been linked to higher rates of uterine cancer among women.
In case you have used hair straightening products that contain chemicals and have been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may qualify to file hair straighteners uterine cancer lawsuit against the manufacturers of these products.
By taking legal action, you can make the manufacturers accountable for their negligence in not providing adequate warning to consumers about the potential health risks linked with using their products.
Moreover, taking legal action can help raise awareness about the risks associated with these products and encourage companies to prioritize consumer safety in their product development and marketing practices.
The Impact of Stress on Women’s Health
The effect of stress on women’s health is considerable and can result in a variety of physical and mental health problems. Prolonged stress may cause hormonal imbalances, leading to irregular periods, infertility, and symptoms related to menopause. Also, it can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, increasing the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Mental health can be negatively affected by stress. Women are more susceptible than men to anxiety and depression, and stress can intensify these conditions. Consistent stress can also lead to burnout, a condition of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that can significantly diminish a woman’s overall well-being.
According to a 2022 report by Deloitte, women experience higher levels of stress, with over 50% of respondents reporting increased stress levels over the past year. This stress has resulted in burnout, with close to half of the women feeling exhausted. Furthermore, it has had a negative impact on their mental health, with nearly 50% rating their mental well-being as poor or very poor.
To cope, approximately 33% of women took a leave from work due to mental health issues. However, only 43% of women feel comfortable discussing these obstacles at work. These results emphasize the substantial impact of stress on women’s physical and mental well-being and emphasize the necessity for more support and understanding in the workplace.
Women face unique stressors, such as gender discrimination, caregiving responsibilities, and work-life balance issues, that can contribute to chronic stress. Women are at a higher risk of experiencing trauma, such as domestic violence or sexual assault, which can result in enduring consequences on their mental and physical health.
To mitigate the impact of stress on their health, women should prioritize self-care practices such as exercise, meditation, and mindfulness. They should also seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to manage their stress levels. It is important for women to recognize the impact of stress on their health and take proactive steps to manage it.
Gender-Based Discrimination and Health Disparities
Gender-based discrimination is a pervasive issue that can have a profound impact on women’s health. Discrimination can limit women’s access to education, employment, and healthcare, which can lead to health disparities. Women who experience discrimination are expected to experience more stress, anxiety, and depression, which can have a negative impact on their physical health.
Discrimination can also lead to disparities in healthcare access and outcomes. Women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities often face additional barriers to accessing healthcare, such as a lack of insurance or cultural barriers. Difficulties such as these can cause a delay in identifying health issues and providing the necessary care, resulting in unfavorable health consequences.
Social factors that impact health outcomes, including poverty and unstable housing, can be exacerbated by discriminatory practices. Women who experience discrimination typically live in poverty, which can limit access to healthy food, safe housing, and healthcare. These factors can contribute to poor health outcomes, such as higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
According to the WHO, women are still subject to many health disparities that affect them more severely than men. For instance, every day, over 800 women die during childbirth or pregnancy, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, One out of every three women globally is subjected to violence.
Although women comprise 70% of the workforce in the health and social sector, they are underrepresented in leadership roles and receive lower pay than men, even for similar work. Moreover, depression affects women twice as much as it does men.
To address the impact of discrimination on women’s health, it is essential to address the root causes of discrimination, such as gender bias and systemic inequality. This includes increasing access to education and employment opportunities, as well as improving healthcare access and outcomes for marginalized communities. Advocacy and policy changes can also play a role in addressing discrimination and improving health outcomes for women.
There are numerous obstacles that women face when it comes to achieving and maintaining good health and wellness. These barriers include gender-based discrimination, limited access to healthcare, stress, and violence.
By raising awareness of these obstacles, we can work towards overcoming them and ensuring that women have the support and resources they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives. It is crucial to prioritize women’s health and wellness to promote gender equality and improve the overall health of society.