As we age, our bodies change in different ways, and what is normal for one woman might not be for another. The key is knowing your body and paying attention to concerning changes. For example, did you know that your risk of heart disease and certain cancers skyrocket after40? Furthermore, some risks increase even more after 50. If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, speak to your doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime, check out these 4 women’s health symptoms to care for immediately.
Changes in Your Period
One of the most common concerns that women have is a sudden change in their period. Do know that most women experience variations in blood volume and consistency, especially as they approach perimenopause. Though these changes don’t normally mean something is wrong, I recommend telling your doctor about anything significant. Flow change or excessive pain could signify a more severe condition, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Additionally, if you are bleeding more than usual or having constant spotting between your periods, see your doctor.
Other changes in the frequency of your period could give cause for concern, such as missing your period or extreme irregularity. If this happens, it could be a sign of pregnancy. Also, missing your period could indicate an infection or an STI. Other reasons for missing a period include stress, weight loss, or taking certain medications.
If you are experiencing ongoing chest pain or it stops but comes back, talk to your doctor or head to the ER to rule out serious causes. Though it might just be acid reflux or heartburn, it’s better to err on the side of caution. There are various causes of chest pain in women, including heart disease, lung disease, blood clots, blood vessel spasms, and even digestive problems. Chest pain can also occur in women with anxiety or stress. Some women with chest pain related to the heart will experience a stabbing sensation in their chest, while others will experience a dull ache or tingling that can affect the arm, neck, and upper back.
Though there are many women’s health symptoms to care for immediately, changes in the breasts are among the most pressing. Even if you don’t believe anything serious is happening, I recommend speaking to your doctor about changes. There are, of course, benign reasons you could be experiencing breast changes. These include normal hormonal fluctuations, breastfeeding, aging, weight gain or loss, and even anxiety. Typically, breast changes like size, shape, pigmentation, and tenderness are nothing to be concerned about. Breast changes that are cause for concern include:
- A lump or thickening of the skin on the breast or underarm area
- A change in the nipple or skin color
- A change in the size or shape of one breast
- Unexplainable pain
- Nipple discharge
Loose or Painful Teeth Or Gums
Another health symptom that can plague women is loose or painful teeth and gums. This usually indicates some type of oral health problem, such as gingivitis, decay, or gum infection. Other causes of loose teeth and gums include stress, grinding teeth, and taking certain medications, like steroids. Things like cavities and dry mouth can also lead to pain and discomfort in the gums. As we age, calcium levels naturally decrease, leaving our bones and teeth at increased risk of becoming weaker. I recommend visiting a local dentist for an oral health checkup. Besides looking for dental issues, they can check for signs of other more serious conditions like oral cancers and signs of other types of infection.
Hearing loss in women requires prompt medical and social attention due to potential health and social consequences. Hearing loss could indicate underlying severe conditions such as otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease, or even autoimmune disorders that affect the ears. Early intervention and treatment, possibly including hearing aids, can dramatically enhance the quality of life by increasing communication abilities and social engagement. Untreated hearing loss in women has been linked with cognitive decline leading to conditions like dementia. Furthermore, untreated hearing loss may exacerbate feelings of isolation and depression anxiety; therefore, any sign of hearing loss must be addressed promptly to avoid further medical complications and maintain mental health.
It’s likely that if you take good care of yourself and go for your health and dental screenings regularly, issues like these won’t be present. That said, if you are concerned about these or other symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. The truth is, our bodies change as we age and enter various seasons like menopause. There is no shame in seeking medical advice for anything you don’t understand or are concerned about.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.