Women’s Health Challenges: Addressing Common Concerns

January 8th, 2024 | 7:52 am


Women face numerous health issues throughout their lives that can impact their overall wellbeing. From hormonal fluctuations to chronic conditions, these challenges need thoughtful discussions and practical solutions. This article will explore some of the most prevalent health concerns for women and provide insights into how they might be addressed.

Women’s Health Challenges

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are extremely common among women. Fluctuations in oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and others can lead to issues like infertility, menstrual irregularities, unwanted hair growth, weight gain, acne, and mood changes.

Contributing factors to hormonal issues include: 

  • stress, 
  • poor nutrition, 
  • lack of exercise, 
  • toxicity exposures, 
  • underlying medical conditions, and 
  • the natural ageing process. 

Testing key hormone levels through blood, saliva, or urine samples is essential to gaining an accurate understanding of a woman’s fundamental health. 

  • Based on test findings, steps like improving diet, adopting stress-relieving practices, taking targeted supplements or medications, and achieving more regular sleep can help regain balance.

Working with knowledgeable healthcare practitioners to develop tailored treatment plans for hormonal imbalances is important. Patience is also needed, as it often takes consistent lifestyle adjustments and routine follow-ups to resolve stubborn symptoms. When addressed thoroughly, women can overcome several hormonal problems.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is estimated to impact nearly 10 percent of women of childbearing age. Indicators of the condition include: 

  • irregular menstrual cycles, 
  • elevated male sex hormones like testosterone, 
  • weight management challenges, 
  • skin issues like acne and hair growth, 
  • ovarian cysts, and 
  • infertility. 

The exact causes remain unclear but likely involve hereditary and metabolic factors.

  • With PCOS, consistent exercise, stress moderation, proper sleep hygiene, and an anti-inflammatory diet lower in refined carbs and sugars can all help manage symptoms. 
  • Given the common insulin resistance of PCOS, maintaining balanced blood sugar levels through appropriate meal planning is also key. 
  • Targeted nutritional supplements like inositol, berberine, saw palmetto, and omega 3s may provide additional benefits. 
  • In cases of infertility or other severe symptoms, medication may also effectively regulate menstrual cycles and hormone levels.

While lifelong diligence is required, women can control PCOS flare-ups and minimise long term health risks like diabetes and heart disease. Exploring available alternative and conventional treatment options under medical supervision leads to the best results.

  1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when tissue that is similar to the uterine lining grows abnormally outside of the uterus, often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic structures. This frequently painful chronic condition impacts over 11 percent of women. Those with endometriosis commonly battle: 

  • painful menstrual periods, 
  • sexual intimacy discomfort, 
  • chronic pelvic pain, 
  • fatigue, and 
  • possible impaired fertility.

Both medical and surgical therapies exist for managing endometriosis. Medications that can temporarily reduce symptoms are: 

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, 
  • hormonal birth control pills, 
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, and 
  • pain relievers 

Conservative surgeries to remove excess scar tissue or completely eliminate visible endometrial implants may also provide enduring relief when done meticulously. 

More aggressive surgical options like hysterectomy and oophorectomy to remove reproductive organs are last resort reserved only for dire circumstances when alternate treatments fail repeatedly.

Lifestyle adjustments also help tremendously with endometriosis side effects when applied consistently, such as: 

  • regular exercise, 
  • stress reduction practices, 
  • dietary changes to avoid inflammation, 
  • heat therapy for pain relief, and 
  • pelvic floor physical therapy. 

Though incurable, endometriosis can often be managed sufficiently to minimise disruptions to a woman’s overall quality of life.

  1. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, which means “porous bone,” occurs when bone density and strength diminishes substantially over time. 

  • This progressive weakening of bone tissue leads to an increased risk of fractures and breaks, especially in the hip, spine, and wrist. 
  • Women face a higher likelihood of osteoporosis since their bone density tends to be lower due to genetics, hormonal changes after menopause, and longer lifespans.
  • Preventing substantial bone density loss before it speeds up as you age to avoid osteoporosis later on. 
  • Weight bearing and resistance based exercises, adequate intakes of bone nourishing nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, avoiding tobacco use, and limiting alcohol intake help strengthen bones during youth and early adulthood when growth is still possible.

For those already diagnosed, medications like bisphosphonates or hormone therapy may help slow further bone loss.

  • Continuing strength training, getting sufficient calcium and vitamin D, taking prescribed bone medications consistently, and promptly treating fractures and breaks also aid management. 
  • While not reversible, worsening osteoporosis can often be contained with dedicated self-care and medical oversight.
  1. Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases, where the body mistakes its own tissues as hostile invaders and releases antibodies to attack them, impact women three times more than men. Common autoimmune conditions seem influenced by the modulation of sex hormones before and during pregnancy, along with other biological factors, like: 

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, and 
  • Multiple sclerosis.

Managing flare ups of autoimmune disorders relies heavily on reducing inflammation and stress, elements that can further trigger the body’s hypervigilant immune responses against itself. Anti-inflammatory diets emphasise wholesome nourishment from:

  • vegetables, 
  • fruits, 
  • lean proteins, 
  • nuts, 
  • seeds, and 
  • healthy fats 

Eating less processed and inflammatory foods can help soothe an overactive immune system, like:

  • sugar, 
  • refined grains, 
  • alcohol, and 
  • dairy. 

Emotional health support via counselling, mindfulness practice, bodywork, yoga, or spiritual connection.

Since autoimmunity is incurable, it’s crucial to persist with self-care and take prescribed medications to manage symptoms and regulate the immune system. Despite the challenges, many women successfully stabilise their conditions and lead fulfilling, active lives with determination.

  1. Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence, the involuntary leakage of urine, impacts over 50 percent of adult women at some point due to unique anatomical and hormonal factors. Potential causes range from: 

  • weakened pelvic floor and sphincter muscles due to childbirth, 
  • menopausal oestrogen loss, 
  • genetics, 
  • excess body weight, 
  • medications, 
  • neurological issues, and 
  • bladder conditions.

Beyond the practical frustration of urine leakage, incontinence can also lead to: 

  • detrimental emotional, social, and sexual side effects due to embarrassment, 
  • discomfort during intercourse, 
  • infection risks, and 
  • sleep disruption. 

Thankfully, various treatment options exist, especially when addressed proactively.

Prescription medications or hormone replacement regimens sometimes help resolve urge or stress incontinence, respectively, when confirmed through medical exams. 

  • Pelvic floor therapy strengthens pelvic and sphincter muscles via techniques like Kegels, biofeedback, soft tissue mobilisation, and electrical stimulation. 
  • These conservative therapy methods frequently improve or eliminate leakage significantly, especially when practised diligently long term. 
  • Surgeries like sling procedures or collagen injections may also be effective when less invasive options fail.

Incontinence is common but often not talked about. By speaking up for oneself and trying non-invasive treatments first, many women can overcome leakage issues before considering surgery or relying on pads.


Women face various health challenges throughout their lives due to the unique biological and hormonal influences of the female body. However, there are practical solutions and relief available. By researching, practising self-care, and consulting knowledgeable practitioners, women can access the vitality, comfort, and medical support they deserve as they navigate different stages of life. Seeking guidance and adopting positive lifestyle measures empowers women to overcome hurdles and thrive on their journey.