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Expert Explains Prevalent Health Concerns In Young Women & Their Management

Young women have sought medical attention for non-communicable conditions such as irregular menstruation, anxiety, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: Mar 18, 2023 11:00 IST
Expert Explains Prevalent Health Concerns In Young Women & Their Management

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Young women are typically referred to the age group of 16 to 45. A few decades ago, women's health concerns were considered less severe, and they visited doctors less frequently. Most of them only had communicable illnesses like gastroenteritis, chickenpox, and tuberculosis. Young women used to see the doctor during pregnancy and childbirth, while older women occasionally visited the doctor during menopause when they discovered certain body anomalies. Female children typically attended the doctor for vaccines, said Dr Bhagya Lakshmi S, Consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, while talking to OnlyMyHealth.

Over the past few decades, many young women have sought medical attention for non-communicable conditions such as irregular menstruation, anxiety, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), infertility, and tumours that may be benign or malignant. The metabolic syndrome, which encompasses obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and thyroid issues, is more common in women. Nutritional problems can reach extremes. Examples include severe obesity, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia.

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Let us divide these women into young adolescents, women of childbearing age, and climacteric age.

Health Concerns in Adolescence Girl

When we talk about adolescence, either girls attain menarche too early or are sometimes delayed. This could be due to lifestyle changes like the food they eat, lack of exercise and the media exposure they are subjected to. Often these girls present with irregular and painful periods with heavy bleeding.

There has been a surge in the incidents of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), a problem associated with irregular periods, polycystic ovaries, obesity, hyperpigmentation and hirsutism (excessive body hair). This also leads to depression and insulin resistance, which can present with diabetes over a period of time. Additionally, sexually transmitted diseases are also on the rise, along with drug abuse. 

Health Concerns in Women of Reproductive Age

Women of reproductive age often face the problems of menstrual disturbance with heavy bleeding, dysmenorrhea and intermenstrual bleeding secondary to either fibroids or endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. Sometimes they are prone to early cancers.

Very often, we also come across unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of knowledge on contraception. We also see sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse and depression. These are just to mention a few. There is a steep rise in the incidence of infertility as women postpone their pregnancy in pursuit of career and personal achievements. Postponement of pregnancy causes a decrease in ovarian reserve and also other metabolic disorders resulting in the need for assistant reproductive technics.

Health Concerns in Women of Climacteric age

Women who are in their late 30s and early 40s often present with obesity, diabetes, hypertension, benign and malignant tumours, sexual dysfunction, and pelvic floor dysfunctions such as bladder disturbance, bowel disturbance, and pelvic organ prolapse. Additionally, empty nest syndrome leads to depression, loneliness, and anxiety.

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How to Tackle These Issues

Here are the following ways women can manage health concerns prevalent at their age.

They should take vaccines as advised and go for regular screening tests, which include screening for diabetes, thyroid, anaemia and cervical and breast cancers.

Adolescents should be encouraged to eat healthy foods, have a lot of physical activity, get proper contraceptive advice, and be taught about menstrual hygiene. They should also be properly educated about sexual life and the good and bad touch. They should be taught to say no to drugs and anything suspicious.

Plan pregnancy at the right age, and use proper contraception, but remember contraception does not prevent all types of STDs. When a woman plans for pregnancy, the couple should ideally visit the gynaecologist for screening of any pre-existing disease, get it treated, and have adequate time to preload with folic acid, rectify any nutritional disorders, and change medications that could cause harm to the fetus.

Dietary changes play a very important role in maintaining a good body milieu. Dietary fads need to be avoided. Indian diet invariably consists of an excess of refined carbohydrates, which need to be brought down, and adequate protein and fibre need to be added to the diet.

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Physical activity in the form of regular exercise and being physically active throughout the day is vital in having a healthy life and avoiding or postponing most diseases.

Knowing one's family history is vital to know one own risk factors and being on guard. Talk to the doctor or physician so that they are aware and help you to take precautions to prevent and identify any ailment and treat it earlier.

Sleep is an essential tool for a healthy life. Having an adequate sleep for six to eight hours and following a circadian rhythm is vital since most young women have erratic sleep habits, like sleeping during the day and working at night. Drinking adequate water is as important as sleep. So drink at least three litres of water to detoxify the body.

In today's life, where everyone is multitasking, most of us are stressed at some part of our life. Hence, identifying and discussing it with family or friends and taking medical help is vital. So as not to let small issues lead to bigger physicological problems. You can also perform yoga and meditation, which help in destressing. 

Regular health checkups play a vital role in identifying and treating any disease. It also helps women to discuss their anxieties and doubts and clarify them so that she goes home comfortably without any doubt. 


Our body gives us signals of ill health which most often remain unrecognised. Understanding one's body and knowing one's limitations, identifying and understanding when something is abnormal, is very important.

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