Gender refers to different characteristics of a person that allows others to identify them as either a man or a woman. Generally, the characteristics that differentiate men and women are constructed by society. Examples of this are how a man or a woman should act, dress, and do different day-to-day activities. It also varies with how both genders take or address relationships with each other.
Likewise, as a social contract, it’s said that gender will change and vary over time, depending on how society sees the opposing sexes.
How Gender Affects Health Qualities
There are different factors why gender affects one’s health. Mostly, these factors include men’s and women’s roles in society.
The opposing genders are viewed very differently, and their behaviors are detrimental to what might happen to their health. To give you an idea of the different factors already recognized by scientists, refer to this list right here:
1. Life Expectancy
Many studies have reached the same conclusion that women live longer than men. This is because of the noticeable differences in their hormones and chromosomes. Also, women’s fat sits mostly under the skin, while men have more fat surrounding their organs.
2. Mental Health Capacity
In medieval times, women were seen as lesser people in society. Their lives were dictated by norms that established how women are only supposed to stay at home and tend to their families, while men were allowed to rule and lead organizations, even countries. Men were known to be breadwinners, and they were to be taken care of by their wives.
Because of this, women developed strong inferiority from men and were forced to believe that they don’t have much important role in society. Thus, women are more prone to develop mental health issues.
Women and men are designated with different reproductive organs. While both reproductive organs are made to provide the same function, the hormones exuded by both differs and can be affected by various types of diseases. Likewise, there are diseases that occur only in men, and there are diseases that are common only to women.
Common Illnesses in Women and Illnesses Specific to Women Only
a. Endometriosis. This occurs when tissues most commonly found in a woman’s womb grow in other places. Symptoms of endometriosis include excessive lower abdominal pain, pain during sex and defecation, even infertility.
A woman is more likely to develop this illness when they experience menstruation at a young age, low BMI, heavy periods, having very short menstrual cycles, and experiencing menopausal at an older age.
b. Adenomyosis. This can occur together with endometriosis. While it’s not easy to diagnose, there are different tests you can take to help gynaecologists understand and confirm what you’re going through, such as taking an ultrasound, MRI, or pelvic exam. Likewise, adenomyosis management can be done by taking hormonal drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, or, if the pain is unmanageable, one can go through a hysterectomy.
c. HIV/Aids. A human immunodeficiency virus is one that attacks specific cells found in the immune system. Currently, there’s no cure for HIV. Thus, once a person acquires it, they’ll be sick with it for the rest of their lives.
When HIV becomes severe, it can develop into AIDS. This disease is usually transmitted from sexual intercourse or by sharing needles. Pregnant women with HIV should seek help from health experts to ensure that they’re given proper medication for their child to avoid contracting the same disease.
d. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Most commonly known as PCOS, this disease is a hormonal disorder found in most women. It’s easily noticeable especially when women experience irregular menstruation and enlarged ovaries. To get cured, women with PCOS easily gain weight and need constant exercise and medication.
e. STD. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and parasites. A woman can have STD when she doesn’t exercise safe sex. Luckily, STDs can be treated with antibiotics.
f. Ovarian Cancer. This type of cancer is a disease that starts with a woman’s ovaries where lumps will grow. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include losing weight, constipation, frequent feelings of urination, and abdominal swelling. This disease isn’t usually easily caught but early detection can be treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
Treatment and Prevention
While there are a lot of factors in acquiring illnesses, there are also ways to prevent them. Keeping your body healthy is a good example. This can be done by eating healthy, taking supplements, and constant exercise.
- Eating healthy. The growing number of fast-food chains have affected the way we exercise healthy eating habits. Knowing what’s good for the body is the key to achieving a healthy life. While we can give ourselves cheat days or off days, we need to make sure that a regular detox is done to expel what can be harmful to our body.
- Taking supplements. We can take vitamins and supplements to help our cells heal faster. As we age, our body’s function slowly deteriorates. We don’t have to wait until we’re way past the age of 60 to focus on our bodily needs. Thus, take vitamins that’ll encourage your body to perform better.
- Regular Exercise. It’s important to stay active, which can be done by exercising more every day. It doesn’t need to be rigorous but an occasional walk in the park will help your muscle’s performance. Likewise, indulge in sports that’ll allow you to move faster and develop more skills. If you’re ever experiencing agitation and stress, you can explore yoga to attain a peaceful mind.
You can practice more activities to keep yourself healthy, like getting enough sleep, waking up early, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcoholic beverages, and slowly pushing your limits. Practicing mindful meditation will also help with your overall mood. Taking care of your body will allow you to wake up happy. With that, you can build good relationships with other people and maintain a joyful and contented life.
Gender Neutrality in Protecting One’s Health
Your sexual orientation doesn’t have to dictate your healthy lifestyle choices. Regardless of gender, it’s always important to provide your body with the nutrition it needs. While there may be a number of differences in the ways men and women approach building a better persona, the same principle of awareness will stick to both genders.