Few Women’s Health Facts on International Women’s Day

Today, the 8th March 2011, is the centenary (100th year) of International Women’s Day. The theme (slogan) of International Women’s Day on its centenary (i.e. 2011) is: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women. On this great occasion of International Women’s Day, I thought I should share some health aspects of women’s health. There are several medical conditions which are very common among females in compare to males. I can name dozens of such medical conditions, but here I would like to mention a few important health conditions which I think every woman should know.

There are many gynecological health problems which occur only among women and I am not discussing those medical conditions, as they are seen among women only. Here I am discussing health problems which are more common among females. Some medical conditions or diseases which are more common in women than men are lower urinary tract infection (UTI), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, suicidal tendency etc. Women also get intoxicated by consuming lesser quantity of alcohol in compare to men.

Why urinary tract infection is more common in women?

There are a few important factors which makes women vulnerable to infection in the urinary tract. The most important factor is women urinary anatomy. The female urethra (the channel through which urine passes from urinary bladder to outside environment) is short (4-5 cm in length) and straight in compare male urethra (which is much longer approximately 20 cm and tortuous). As female urethra is short, infection (infecting microorganisms) can reach urinary bladder much easily and cause cystitis (infection of urinary bladder) and UTI is much common. Among males the urethra is much longer and tortuous hence the infection does not reach easily to bladder.

Another important aspect is that the vagina is located very close to the opening of the urethra, which acts as potential source of infection (infecting microorganisms).

How to reduce risk of UTI in females?

The most important aspect of reducing risk and incidence of urinary tract infection is to maintain good personal hygiene. Wash genital area with soap and sufficient water after voiding urine every time. Use of diaphragm/condom during sexual intercourse can also reduce risk of urinary tract infection among females. Do not try to hold back urine and void urine when there is urge to urinate.

Drink plenty of water (or liquids such as fruit juice) everyday, which can reduce urinary tract infection by flushing out bacteria before they reach bladder.

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