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After a certain point in life, women should be aware of their bodies and seek professional support from time to time to make sure they are healthy. Preventive and self-assessment exams are better than seeking treatment later. As such, doctors suggest that they stop overlooking symptoms that can be better addressed if they are addressed early.

Dr. Neha Bothara, Obstetrics and Gynecology Consultant at Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, a Fortis network hospital, lists some illnesses that women need to watch out for; keep reading

Chronic vaginal infections: Women of all ages, from puberty to menopause or even later, can experience vaginal infections. These can be bacterial, fungal, viral or other causes. But they are neglected until they become severe and unbearable. Vaginal infections can present as altered discharge from the vagina, menstrual symptoms such as dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), itching, or even symptoms related to the urinary tract. Like all infections, it’s best to treat them early, otherwise they can progress to more serious reproductive tract infections.

sexual health: Women’s sexual health is often a taboo subject. They don’t feel comfortable addressing the difficulties they may be facing in the bedroom. Vaginismus (severe vaginal pain and discomfort during penetration) is much more common. Deep pelvic pain during intercourse may be the only sign of endometriosis in some patients. Sexual health is also an indicator of mental well-being. All facets of sexual health should be understood and discussed with your gynecologist.

Pelvic floor health: The pelvic floor is made up of eight different muscles that form a solid foundation on which the reproductive organs, intestines, and urinary bladder rest. vaginal protrusion, vaginal laxity, difficulty in urinary control, involuntary urinary passage and difficulty defecating are just some of the symptoms of weak pelvic floor muscles. It is usually a consequence of childbirth or old age but can be present in anyone. Treatments range from physical therapy to surgery. But these conditions are inherently progressive in nature and the sooner treatment begins, the better the results. Preventive therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles is rewarding.

Bone health: Women, in general, are predisposed to osteoporosis or weak bones. Frail, thin, and lean women are more susceptible to low bone density and fractures. This risk increases after menopause when estrogen is gradually lost. Stress fractures of the spine, pelvis, and long bones are more common after menopause. Regular calcium intake, vitamin D supplementation, and weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones and muscles are important in preventing osteoporosis.

Cancer risk and prevention: Breast, ovarian and some uterine cancers can have a hereditary component. A detailed evaluation of the hereditary risk of these cancers should be considered. Furthermore, other types of cancer, such as cervical cancer, although not inherited from parents, are largely preventable and amenable to screening programs. Preventive immunizations, regular Pap tests, regular mammograms, and breast self-exams are some of the approaches a doctor can guide you through for early detection.

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