Why Women's Health Matters Read trusted ultius reviews written by students

FACT: Nearly one in three young women has a mental health disorder.

CONSEQUENCE: Mental health seriously undermines young women's general health, especially their sexual and reproductive health. It also impacts significantly on the young women's education, relationships and employment.
APPROACH: More research needs to be undertaken to better understand the physical and social links to young women's mental health. More programs in the community need to be designed to prevent anxiety and depression in women and to develop treatment programs that are specific to women throughout their lives.

FACT: Less than one-third of all subjects in medical research are women. Even in biomedical trials involving animals, male subjects greatly outnumber female subjects.

CONSEQUENCE: Medicine practiced on women is less evidence based than medicine practiced on men. This affects prevention of disease, health promotion messages, diagnoses and treatments (including drug treatments) in women.
APPROACH: We need to make sure that men and women are represented equally in medical research so that women-specific symptoms, health promotion messages, diagnoses and treatments can be developed.

FACT: Women are more susceptible to anxiety and depression than men.

CONSEQUENCE: Anxiety and depression affect women's relationships and their ability to function in employment and society. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
APPROACH: Anxiety and depression are the two most common mental illnesses experienced by women. We need more research to understand and prevent anxiety and depression in women. We also need treatment programs that are specific to women throughout their lives.

FACT: 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence and almost 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault since the age of 15.

CONSEQUENCE: Studies have shown that violence against women may be responsible for more ill-health and premature death among women under the age of 45 than any other well-known risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.
APPROACH: We need to provide health services that are accessible to women who are affected by violence; that can identify the signs of violence and are responsive to the needs of women in violent relationships. We also need to build social norms that promote equality and reject violence. We need to promote and build skills toward respectful equitable relationships.

FACT: Women and men have different Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) symptoms. Common tests are less reliable and treatments are less effective in women.

CONSEQUENCE: CHD is the leading cause of death in both men and women but women who suffer heart attacks are more likely to die than men.
APPROACH: The best approaches for preventing, diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease in women are yet to be established. Women-specific research into CHD is necessary.

FACT: Women are more likely to experience socio-economic disadvantage than men.

CONSEQUENCE: Low socio economic status is linked to risk factors for smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and high blood pressure as well as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
APPROACH: Services need to be responsive the needs of all women and access to services must be equitable for women from a range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Research that informs how services can best respond to the individual needs of women will greatly improve health outcomes. We also need to continue to advocate for social change to ensure that women are afforded an equitable place in society.

FACT: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) infections continue to rise and lifetime rates of unplanned pregnancy are much higher than the rates of all STIs.

CONSEQUENCE: Some STIs have no symptoms in women but can have long term impacts on health, including loss of fertility. An unplanned pregnancy can be one of the most distressing events in a woman's life.
APPROACH: We need research that reveals more about young women's decision-making about sex and relationships and how they manage their health. Health services need to be alert to the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancy and provide care in ways that are non-judgemental, empathetic and responsive to young women.

 

Information gathered over the campaign will help Liptember and the Royal Women's Hospital identify areas of need to which funds can be directed to maximise Liptember's impact on women's health outcomes.

The Women's is the only independent specialist women's hospital in Australia and is committed to:

  • gender equity in health
  • health equity between women

Over its 150+ year history, the Women's has fought to improve the health, well-being and health rights of women in Victoria. Their work at the local level has led the Women's to become an international leader in women's health issues. The Women's is not just about technology and medical practice, the hospital's innovative social model of care recognizes that factors such as housing, income and stress all affect a woman's ability to care for herself and her family.

Amongst other accomplishments, the Women's established Australia's first gender-based women's mental health clinic. The Women's is working to strengthen the participation of women in their own health decision-making and promote well being strategies that can improve women's health. The Women's has a well-deserved reputation as a centre of excellence in women's health, offering a comprehensive range of 'whole of life' health services for women.