Women make up more than half the world’s population. However, despite this, their overall health needs remain largely unmet, which can profoundly impact the lives of millions of females worldwide.

Women have quite a substantial share of healthcare needs for various reasons. Our post here seeks to understand and analyze these needs, the economic and innovative benefits that would be achieved if these needs were met on a larger scale, and the legalities spurred by medical malpractice. 

Women’s Healthcare Needs

The medical needs of women vary throughout their life cycle. They begin with the formative years, adolescence to childbearing age, and finally menopause. Each life stage poses a unique challenge for medical research in understanding the ever-evolving health issues in women. Many women are affected by chronic ailments such as type 1 diabetes, depression, multiple sclerosis, and Lupus at some point in their lives.

Overall, statistics have shown that women have a longer lifespan compared to men. However, they are more susceptible to gastrointestinal conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoarthritis. To diagnose some women-specific health issues, such as ovarian and cervical cancer, intensive and extensive testing procedures are involved. But many of these procedures are often bypassed or performed when it is too late for treatment. Other health issues in women require treatment, which is often inefficient, intolerable, or ineffective.

There are just but a few examples of adverse healthcare issues in women that remain mostly unmet. If researchers, drug and medical device manufacturers, and health practitioners could combine efforts to address these needs, women’s health could improve tremendously. 

Here are some examples of unmet health care needs in women: 

Invasive diagnosis 

Women-specific health conditions, such as cervical and ovarian cancer, tend to be diagnosed when the situation is beyond treatment. The invasive procedures involved in the diagnosis are partly responsible for this medical slackness. However, medical malpractice is another factor that might lead to unfavorable outcomes in female patients.

While science needs to invent safer and noninvasive diagnostic procedures, doctors also need to offer a timely and accurate diagnosis to prepare for effective treatment. 

Osteoporosis Therapeutics 

The intolerable side effects of osteoporosis treatments often leave many women with no choice but to discontinue treatment. There is a need to develop alternative therapies for osteoporosis that are more effective, tolerable, and efficient.

Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that affects bones. Patients with osteoporosis gradually lose bone mass, which makes bones frailer and weaker. As a result, patients are at a high risk of bone fractures, even from a common slip and fall.

Some people are more at risk than others. Osteoporosis is usually more widespread among women than men, especially due to the many hormone changes occurring at menopause. Since from that point on, estrogen levels fall dramatically bone density gets also affected. As a result, menopausal women are more likely to develop osteoporosis and fracture their bones later on.

Unfortunately, many treating doctors fail to give an early diagnosis of osteoporosis, which leads to the condition being diagnosed in its severe stages, when for most women, the damage has been irreversibly done. 

Uterine Fibroids 

The prevalence of uterine fibroids in women aged 35-49 is estimated at 21%, with those aged 50 and above at 12%. Women of childbearing age are the likeliest victims of uterine fibroids, with 80% of African American women developing the condition, followed by 70% of Caucasian women.

Treatment options include oral medication and surgical procedures, which don’t work for most women. Improved innovation in medical devices would be a more welcome approach. At the same time, doctors need to exercise the utmost professionalism to reduce uterine injuries during surgeries. 

Bacterial Vaginosis 

An estimated 30% of women aged 14-49 in the US grapple with bacterial vaginosis. While there are diverse treatment options, the recurrent rate is estimated at 80%. This prevalence and inadequate treatment pose significant health risks such as STIs, HIV, and pelvic inflammatory disease to many women.

Untreated bacterial vaginosis may also lead to complications in pregnant women, like children with low birth weight and premature deliveries. These two factors are common risk factors for other complications in newborn children, including cerebral palsy, a debilitating condition that may last a lifetime.

That is why pregnant women diagnosed with BV need to be treated immediately after diagnosis. Patients should also refrain from taking OTC treatments to address the infection.

However, because there is a need for effective and lasting treatment solutions to address and cater to this critical condition in women, many female patients continue to live with the infection even after being diagnosed. 

Medical Malpractice 

Despite the many drawbacks created by lack of convenient treatment options and poor diagnosis, medical malpractice, or human error at the hands of a health care professional, equally affects women’s health.

Common malpractice cases affecting women include:

  • Breast cancer misdiagnosis
  • Reproductive cancer misdiagnosis   
  • Maternal and birth injuries
  • Defective medical device injuries  
  • Wrong drug injuries.

The pain, frustration, and mental anguish caused by medical malpractice may leave profound trauma on the affected women. As a patient, you have the right to quality healthcare delivered most professionally, while doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a reasonable duty of care to all their patients.

Any medical professional who puts your life or the life of your newborn baby through botched procedures or wrong treatments at risk can be held accountable under both state and federal law. 

If you have fallen victim to medical malpractice due to a health care professional’s negligence, you have the right to file for compensation for your injuries and

pain. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer who is well versed in medical malpractice law to fight for fair compensation on your behalf.

Conclusion

Women have many health needs that often go unmet by health care professionals, with long-lasting negative consequences on their mental and physical health. Many women’s conditions go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, given the wrong treatments, or may gradually worsen behind a doctor’s back.

Medical malpractice is surprisingly common among female patients, but even though there are legal remedies to it, help often comes when it is already too late.

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