Although we all face many of the same health issues regardless of gender, there are some concerns that are more common in one gender than other. And, on top of those things, there are issues that are dependent on your gender. And for both men and women, those particular things tend to affect the areas that we all avoid talking openly about. But that shouldn’t be the case. We should be talking about these things, because if we’re not, then they can easily slip under the radar, and issues that would have been treatable could become fatal. And ladies, we seem to have the raw end of the deal.
Again because we can’t just say the words, ‘down there’, ‘lady garden’ or ‘private area’ or the commonly used terms for the vagina and surrounding areas (yes, we said it. And rightly so seeing how important it is.) It is such a vital part of the female anatomy – if only because of the wondrous things that it can do – and we’re not just talking about creating life. But it can also be the main area that many women neglect. For starters – grooming. It has become the fashion in recent years to bare all, and shave or wax away the pubes. And where it is a personal choice, it does come with some dangers. Shaving and waxing regularly can actually increase your chances of contracting STIs like herpes by up to 50%, pubic lice by 90%, and chlamydia by 70%. So you are more likely to have to use a chlamydia treatment if you have a shaven haven, than if you leave a triangle or runway behind. Pubes act as a natural barrier between outside germs and the extremely sensitive areas underneath.
The second thing that women tend not to consider or pay attention to in their nether regions is signs of cancer or cysts. Unfortunately, a lot of symptoms of ovarian and cervical cancer can be the same feeling as period pains – such as bloating, low abdominal and back pain. (Which are never fun during your period anyway.) However, each woman is familiar with their own normal cycle, and so should pay attention if anything changes, or if anything out of the ordinary happens throughout the month. The most common symptom that can occur for tumours and cysts isn’t something that you would ignore or pass off as period pain. It shows itself as pain or bleeding during sex. But if you are aware of all the symptoms surrounding these issues, you can keep an eye out and catch it early.
Another wonderous part of the female body is our breasts. They are fantastic things that look fantastic and can literally keep a little human alive. And it can also be home to one of the most common forms of cancer in women. More than half of breast cancer suffers are over 60, 8 out of 10 cases are in women over the age of 50, but it can occur in anyone with breast tissue – even men. There are two ways in which breast cancer can form – the first is down to genetics. This came to the public awareness with the help of Angelina Jolie a few years ago when she bravely told the world of her double mastectomy due to her finding out she carried the gene. So if your family has a history of breast cancer – go and get checked. The second type of breast cancer is oestrogen fed. This can only be determined through tests done on the removed tumour, and occasionally on a biopsy, and the only way to stop it coming back is to stop the body from creating oestrogen.
Most of the time, if the women has yet to go through the menopause, the chemotherapy will likely push her through it. But if that doesn’t happen, then there are medications she can try, or she might opt for an oophorectomy. The most important thing you can do, before it gets to this point, is to check yourself. Pick a time in your monthly cycle where you’re not ovulating, and check your boobs. Strangely still unbeknownst to most, there are more signs to look out for than just a lump. Hardness under the skin, dimples, nipple leaking – are just some of the signs. Regularly checking, and knowing what are normal changes for you throughout the month, is so important – it could literally save your life.