In recent years, there have been many advances in medicine and healthcare that have helped pave the way towards better health outcomes for women. For instance, medical professionals can now take genetic material from a fetus and determine if it will be born with specific congenital disabilities or diseases. They can also test patients’ DNA to see if they are carrying genes that cause breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease so that they can plan accordingly. These advancements help doctors provide their patients with better care by eliminating some of the guesswork.
Women are the fastest-growing segment of the population. Over 100 years ago, women were not even considered a part of medicine and healthcare development. Today, they are an integral part of it and have helped pave the way towards better health outcomes for themselves. The advances in medicine that have occurred over this period have been extraordinary. Learn about some of these advances and what is next on the horizon to promote better health outcomes for women.
Healthcare Needs of Women
Women are unique, and their healthcare needs should be treated as such. In the past, women were often not given adequate treatment for different conditions because of a lack of understanding about how they differed from men.
Medicine has made great strides in treating women’s health issues by considering differences between men and women. For example, one study found that nearly 80% of drugs approved by the FDA had been tested on male subjects only or primarily males. This is why it is crucial to have more female medical researchers involved in drug development trials to ensure that both sexes can safely use medications.
Disparities in Healthcare
Women who suffer from certain conditions often have to pay more for the same medications that men use. This is a problem because women are paying more than they should be, leading to fewer treatment options available for them. As a result, many women have to wait for the proper medication to be approved and apply for a costly, time-consuming voucher program to cover their prescriptions.
Women’s health is also an area where there are significant disparities in terms of quality. For example, breast cancer death rates among African American women increased by 50% between 1990 and 2006 compared with white women. This is a grave concern because it means more women are dying of breast cancer, and there has been no change in treatment or diagnosis.
Historically, there’s also the problem that people have not studied female lab animals as much as their male counterparts. That led to different treatments for men than for women. For example, women were found to be twice as likely to die from heart disease than men in the 1800s, but it was later discovered that women’s artery walls are thinner and more fragile. After this discovery, they began to study the differences in heart disease between men and women.
Another difference is that, because of hormonal changes during menstruation, females are at a higher risk for strokes than males. This led to research into potential treatments for female patients with these types of conditions.
Advancements in Healthcare
At present, women are also at a higher risk than men for certain cancers, such as breast or ovarian cancer. In general, these advances have led to better healthcare outcomes for women in many ways. In recent years, there has been an increase in research and treatment options available specifically for females that were not previously offered due to a lack of awareness.
Furthermore, through applying advances in medicine and healthcare to female-specific needs, it is clear that health outcomes for women have been improved significantly. Some examples include better treatments for endometriosis and fibroids due to the use of surgical techniques which are less invasive than before and more effective pain management options available, and the invention of colon cancer test kits, among others. With these advancements, it is evident that women will be able to achieve better health outcomes.
Putting the Spotlight on Women
Looking at the bigger picture, progress has been made regarding more female-specific treatment options and overall improvements to health outcomes. However, many areas still need improvement. This includes diagnosing breast cancer earlier because it is less common than other types among young females and treating cervical cancer that affects one in three women.
The bottom line is this: medicine and healthcare development need more focus on women. The medical world needs to start focusing on improving the health outcomes that women are dealing with. We need an end-game strategy for how we’re going to make this happen. It should be a priority for researchers, physicians, nurses — everyone involved in healthcare who cares about these issues.