In general, women often serve the caregiver role for their children, partner, aging parents, and other loved ones. While we are excellent at ensuring everyone else’s healthcare and basic needs are being met, we’re not so good at doing the same for ourselves. National Women’s Health Week (NWHW) is a weeklong annual program that kicks off Mother’s Day (May 8th) and ends the following Saturday (May 14th). Now’s the time for women of all ages to prioritize their health.
Women’s Healthcare Decisions and Ongoing Pandemic
Several factors influence the health decisions of women. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is one of the heavy stressors, creating social, economic, and political lasting ripple effects. It’s also impacted various aspects of health advice on social media. Most of the viral trends on platforms like TikTok and Instagram are well-meaning. However, they can also be potentially dangerous, too. Some examples include misinformation about COVID-19 treatments and health and wellness advice from individuals lacking the proper training. Hence, be cautious about a trend and run it by your doctor first.
Other women’s health areas COVID-19 impacts:
- Reproductive health:
- Contraception– National concern over a woman’s right to choose has driven the need for effective contraceptive methods that are easy to access.
- COVID-19 vaccines– Growing evidence shows that pregnant women who contract the coronavirus have an increased risk of stillbirth, preeclampsia, and preterm birth.
- Infertility– The rise in stress from the pandemic has also led to the rise in harmful behaviors to your health and may impact fertility.
- Mental Health:
- Increased responsibility– Safety protocols and business shutdowns have added more responsibility to everyday routines. It’s changed how we travel, interact with others, and care for our homes and family.
- Lockdowns and quarantine– Chronic stress, anxiety, and depression cases continue to surge from COVID-related mandates that isolate us from loved ones outside the home. The risk of domestic violence is also rising from the stress of schooling, work, and mandates increasing the dynamic and time at home.
Prioritizing Your Health Doesn’t Have to be Complicated.
It can be overwhelming to make healthier lifestyle choices, especially with a seemingly never-ending list of things to take care of. Incorporating simple preventive and positive health activities into everyday life can make improving your health more manageable. Here are five healthy habits you can begin immediately that can improve a woman’s physical and mental health:
- Maintain regular check-ups and preventative screenings for conditions such as:
- Breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer
- Heart disease
- Stay active and help manage weight with regular physical activity
- Eat a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet
- Cut out habits that harm your health, like smoking
- Learn stress management and relaxation techniques
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19
- Seek help for worsening anxiety, depression, or other mental health symptoms
Women’s Healthcare Research is the Key to Healthier Futures
This year, the NWHW theme is “Forward Focus: Achieving Healthier Futures Together.” Healthcare advances through ongoing research and clinical trials are critical to ensuring this happens. By participating in women’s healthcare studies, you can play a direct role in building safer, more effective treatment outcomes for future generations of women.
Women’s Health Care Research specializes in clinical research studies for the various issues and conditions that affect women. We have several enrolling options to choose from in honor of National Women’s Health Week.