Female health: how to help yourself

When it comes to your health, you always need to make an effort. It’s not really something that you can forget about, nor is it something that is just going to take care of itself.

Most of the time, people know this. We know that you have to be aware of your own health levels, and what you can do to improve them, but we don’t always acknowledge that this is a proactive thing.

Sometimes, you just get on with your life – this can make it seem as if it’s so much harder to look after yourself.

However, as a woman, you do really need to go the extra mile to make sure that you’re healthy, particularly when it comes to women’s health.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to boost your health as a woman.

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Eat well

To start with, it’s really helpful for you to take a look at your diet. Now, this does not mean going on a diet – that’s never the answer. But, you should look at what you’re eating and your overall diet.

If you’re going to be healthy, then you need to make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet with lots of whole grains, healthy fruits and vegetables. This is going to give you a healthier body and also help your overall health.

Do not underestimate the power of consuming a wide variety of healthy plant-based food.  Hippocrates famously said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Check your breasts

Doing some simple checks each month could save our lives.  As breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, it’s really important we regularly check our breasts for abnormalities.

Most publications I’ve read recommend checking your breasts at least once per month.  It’s important to become familiar with how your breasts feel and then it’s easier to spot an irregularity.

Go for your cervical smear tests

Another test that can save our lives as women is the cervical smear test.

Women are invited for a free cervical smear test every three to five years between the ages of 25 and 64.  It’s painless for most people and is a quick procedure to take a swab from the lining of the cervix.  This is tested for abnormal cells to spot any that could potentially turn cancerous.

According to Cancer Research, 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable.

Look after your body

When it comes to your body, you also need to make sure that you’re exercising. While this may not need to be strenuous, you do need to keep active if you’re going to be as healthy as possible.

Here are 10 surprising benefits of exercise as shared on womansday.com:

  1. Reduces dementia risk
  2. Decreases osteoporosis risk
  3. Improves sex life
  4. Prevents muscle loss
  5. Improves digestion
  6. Reduces stress, depression and anxiety
  7. Enhances mental performance
  8. Reduces risk of cancer
  9. Helps reduce stroke severity
  10. Improves skin

Enjoy a proactive pregnancy

When you’re trying to have a baby or you are pregnant, you know that you’ll want to take care of yourself and your body as much as you can. And to do that, you really do need to aim to continue to be as active as possible and continue to eat a nutritious diet stuffed with plant-based foods.

Think about supplementing your healthy diet with prenatal vitamins, look into getting an early pregnancy scan, and make sure that you’re resting. If you have any concerns or want to ensure you are being as healthy as possible in your pregnancy then talk to your doctor for advice or a midwife.

Mind your mind

Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re looking after your mental health. Some women suffer from post-natal depression, so if you’re feeling low especially in the year after giving birth then go and speak to your doctor.

While this isn’t necessarily specific to women’s health, you may also suffer from anxiety, depression or stress at some point in your life.  It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce any symptoms, but it’s also important to seek help if you are developing a mental health issue and it’s affecting your life.

You have to want to work on having a healthy mind as well as a healthy body if you’re truly going to be as healthy as possible.

Don’t be afraid to talk about women’s health issues

Women experience a vast array of health issues and conditions that are unique to them (or affect them more severely than these would affect men), such as pregnancy, pelvic floor disorders, uterine fibroids, and menopause. Sexual health issues, like painful intercourse (dyspareunia) and vaginismus, are more common than you think, but they’re rarely talked about.

If you experience dyspareunia, know that there’s no reason to tolerate the pain during intercourse or tolerate any women’s health issue, for that matter. There are viable treatment options available. One of those is vaginal dilation therapy using a vaginal dilator (also known as a vaginal trainer) under the guidance of a certified pelvic floor physiotherapist. Don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about women’s health issues.

There are many ways we can help ourselves be healthier as females and even help save our lives.

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