It is a sad but unfortunately true fact that the female body has long been regarded as something dirty and inappropriate to talk about. Women were often encouraged to dissociate themselves completely from their sexuality and their bodily health and functions. This is why little information was available in particular concerning women’s health, until recently. So many great discoveries to support women have been made, such as contraception, for example, or the need to check for breast cancer regularly. In modern times, women’s health is often especially emphasized and women are told they must not be ashamed of their bodies and speak up if something is troubling them. There are also disorders such as anorexia, largely found in females, that have not been around for long but that require a lot of attention and professional treatment.
Information for women is now readily available, even on the internet. Women’s and fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan will usually feature a health section as a regular component of their magazine, and any doctor will be more than happy to provide information and help about any women’s health topic. Of course, there are many more female doctors nowadays than there used to be, so if a woman feels more comfortable discussing her health with another female, this poses no problem whatsoever. It has become a standard procedure to educate women about health dangers and diseases as early as possible. In fact, in most schools, Health and Safety classes, which feature information about women’s health, have been introduced, and a lot of schools also offer all kinds of different workshops for young girls. This is meant to ensure that girls are aware of the main health issues as early as possible. At universities, many health lectures are usually open to the common public, and there is usually a medical center with qualified, discrete and helpful staff.
A very common issue when it comes to women’s health is contraception, the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, and on a related subject, the prevention of sexually transmissible diseases. There is such a very wide range of information available on this topic that is it important to be careful and check one’s information comes from a reliable source. Most gynecologists will have brochures to take away on the topic of contraception, but the best method is always to ask the doctor directly what is right especially for oneself. It is true that abortion has now become a possible step to take, but most people would agree that it is certainly not a pleasurable one and to be avoided whenever possible.
Another issue that has risen in importance is dieting and eating disorders. Through the representation in the media of female body ideals that are very difficult to attain, more and more girls and women tend to obsess over getting the perfect body at whatever cost it may be. Eating disorders can be extremely bad for the body if they are serious, and even though more and more males feel pressurized to have a perfect body, disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are still predominantly female. Many anonymous call hotlines are available, and tips for recovery can be given. It usually takes a while for the patient to feel ready to recover, but when they are, seeking a doctor’s help is essential.
Similarly, dieting is an important issue, especially since it is important to prevent women going from an acceptable diet to an unhealthy eating disorder. Some women are indeed overweight and need to lose weight to improve their health, and many magazines, internet articles and brochures can help with the basics. Again, however, the smartest thing to do is to ask a doctor for help, since the information given to you then will be tailored to yourself and designed to suit your needs and problems. There are also weight loss support groups such as Weight Watchers, which can be very helpful when on a diet, because the struggle will feel less lonely.
Finally, psychological health is also an issue: things such as how to terminate an abusive relationship, how to maintain healthy sexual relationships and feel happy with your partner, and so on, are often issues that strongly influence women’s health topics. The fact that many of these problems have long been overlooked contributed to their present popularity.