This week is Women’s Health Week, which is the perfect time to celebrate your health journey – and remind yourself to treat your body kindly and care for its well-being.
Our passion for Women’s Health runs deep, and we thought we’d highlight some health tips and facts for women to keep in mind through all phases of life.
Some foods can mimic the effects of estrogen and help manage symptoms of menopause. Phytoestrogens are a type of compound found in various plants. They can mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen helps regulate many processes in a woman’s body, like bone-building and menstrual cycles. Estrogen levels fall during menopause, leading to symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
What are some foods packed with phytoestrogens?
Basically, delicious things you hopefully won’t have trouble adding to your diet (if they’re not present already)!
In women, high testosterone levels can result in acne, weight gain, and abnormal hair growth patterns (among other problems).
Tip: Plants and herbs like red reishi (a type of mushroom), licorice, green tea, and spearmint may be able to bring testosterone levels down.
High-Risk HPV infections can significantly bump up your risk of cervical cancer. Approximately 20% of American women have one or more strains of high-risk HPV, which has been implicated in almost all cervical cancer cases. That’s why many women routinely go to the doctor for a pap.
Tip: An easy-to-use HPV test can help you detect high-risk HPV infections – from the comfort of home. As a matter of fact, many doctors believe this kind of test can eventually replace the pap smear as an initial screening for HPV.
Some STDs can result in infertility. Untreated chlamydia infections – which most often don’t have any symptoms – can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a major cause of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain.
Startling stat on Chlamydia: In the United States, a total of 1,708,569 chlamydial infections were reported to the CDC in 2017.
Tip: If you’re sexually active, don’t hesitate to test for STIs (and ask your healthcare provider what STD testing frequency they recommend for you). Learn more about our at-home Chlamydia & Gonorrhea Test.
Melatonin levels can change with menopause. Many women experience sleep problems after menopause. One reason why? After menopause, levels of melatonin – a hormone that's vital for a regular sleep-wake cycle – tends to decrease.
Tip: If you’ve been having sleep problems, it could be because of changes in your hormones. To see if that’s the case, try a Sleep and Stress Test (it’ll tell you what your melatonin levels are like).
Women are much more likely to experience thyroid dysfunction compared to men (the thyroid gland produces key hormones that affect metabolism, energy levels, and more). The likelihood of a woman being diagnosed with a thyroid condition in her lifetime is approximately 12% (or about 1 in 8 women)! Thyroid disorders in women can disrupt the menstrual cycle and make it harder to become pregnant. Undiagnosed thyroid disorders can lead to changes in mood, weight, and energy levels.
Experiencing depression and/or anxiety? That might be a sign that your hormones are out of balance. Fluctuations in estrogen levels, for example, may increase the risk of depression.
Tip: Check your hormone levels with EverlyWell’s Women’s Health Test (pictured below) to see if your hormone levels are where they should be.
In celebration of Women's Health week, use code BESTHEALTH (through 5/18) for 15% off any EverlyWell kit you order!
*Hero image credit: @wonderfall on social media (https://www.instagram.com/wonderfall/)