Nurturing Your Mothers' Well-being: A Guide to Holistic Healthcare
In the contemporary era, women have numerous responsibilities — career responsibilities and household responsibilities. And often, with their busy schedules, many ignore their health. However, prioritizing personal health is vital.
An effective healthcare approach is preventive healthcare, which is taking measures to prevent diseases from occurring. Doctors recommend that women of all age brackets have annual health screenings. An annual health screening should include a gynecologic condition screening as well as a breast cancer screening.
Guiding Working Mothers, Ages 20 to 50+
Women between the ages of 20 and around 50 face potential health risks, including sexually transmitted infections, non-sexually transmitted diseases, tumors, and cancers. It's essential to regularly monitor for any abnormalities such as wounds, polyps, or lumps in the genital area, unusual vaginal discharge, or bleeding. Even in the absence of noticeable symptoms, an annual health screening that includes a cervical cancer screening, is highly recommended. Based on 2020 cancer statistics from Globocan, cervical cancer ranks as the third most prevalent cancer among Thai women, following breast and colon cancer. Alarmingly, it stands as the primary cause of cancer-related deaths in Thailand. Furthermore, this underscores the importance of early detection, as it can identify asymptomatic conditions like ovarian cysts and certain sexually transmitted diseases. Presently, an available vaccine offers protection against the HPV virus, which is a leading factor in causing abnormal cervical cell growth and cervical cancer. This vaccine covers the HPV 9 strain, known as Gardasil 9. It's advised that all sexually active women get vaccinated.
In their late 40s, women experience a significant reduction in female hormones, marking the onset of menopause. This phase brings forth a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, increased perspiration, irritability, sleeping difficulty, and physical discomforts such as vaginal dryness, burning, or urinary issues. During this time, self-care can be initiated through lifestyle adjustments. To help reduce hot flashes, avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine. Opt for vaginal lubricants for more comfort during intimacy. Performing calming exercises will help towards feeling more relaxed and getting better sleep. Embrace a healthy diet and exercise; try pelvic floor exercises and yoga. And lastly, limit water intake an hour before bedtime.
To navigate this life stage smoothly, consider having a physical examination at the onset of menopause (around age 40). A physical examination will evaluate your hormone levels and calcium levels, etc. It will also include tumor marker tests for ovarian and breast cancer.
Guiding for Elderly mothers
Elderly or postmenopausal women face higher susceptibility to numerous medical conditions compared to their younger counterparts. These conditions may include:
- Uterine prolapse, which is often detected during a physical exam. Some individuals may experience discomfort, like pressure or tingling sensations in the genital area, along with pain in the vaginal region, lower back, or lower abdomen. Symptoms might also include descent of the uterus, visible lumps at the vulva, or difficulties with urination and bowel movement. Treatment varies based on severity, ranging from medication to surgical interventions, including laser-assisted vaginal tightening.
- Non-sexually transmitted infections, which occur due to decreased vaginal secretions, resulting in vaginal dryness and thinning walls. Moreover, aging reduces beneficial vaginal bacteria, making it more susceptible to infections. If recurrent infections arise, your doctor might suggest a topical ointment to restore vaginal health.
- Fragile bones, which often go unnoticed until a fall or fracture occurs. Assessing bone mass post-menopause is important to prevent or address early signs of bone deterioration.
- Gynecological cancers, which become more prevalent with age. Comprehensive health assessments for women aged 40 and above should incorporate a breast cancer screening through digital mammography and ultrasound, alongside consistent internal examinations and cervical cancer screenings. If menstrual bleeding resumes after a year of absence, it might signal uterine or ovarian irregularities, warranting medical consultation to ascertain the cause.
Women in all age brackets are susceptible to various medical conditions. Monitoring symptoms and undergoing regular health check-ups as advised by your doctor can aid in disease prevention. The Women’s Center
at Bumrungrad International Hospital has a dedicated team of medical experts available to offer guidance on disease prevention, as well as provide comprehensive diagnoses and treatment for gynecological conditions.
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