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4 Differences Between Women's and Men's Health Care

4 Differences Between Women's and Men's Health Care

Men aren’t from Mars, and women aren’t from Venus; but their health care needs can be quite different. Depending on your biology, you may need specialized care of one sort or another, and your risks for disease and chronic health conditions can vary as well.

Indus Healthcare has three locations throughout Pomona, West Covina, and Montclair, California. Dr. Amit Reenu Paliwal provides primary care services for both men and women, including annual physicals and testing for specific diseases and health conditions.

Four differences between women’s and men’s health care

There are lots of health care services that fall into the same general area of science but have specific applications for men and women based on risks for each gender.

1. Cancer screening

Early detection of cancer gives patients the best chance of beating their disease and going on to live healthy lives.

For women: 

Cancers of the reproductive organs are regularly screened for in women. You’ll get a Pap smear to check for abnormalities in your cervical cells once every three to five years starting when you become sexually active, and a mammogram every year or two starting between the ages of 40 and 45 to check for any suspicious masses in your breasts.

For men:

Men can request a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test every two to three years to check levels in the blood that might indicate an increased risk of prostate cancer. If levels are high, a follow-up biopsy can confirm if there are cancerous cells. Screening typically starts between the ages of 40 and 55, depending on family medical history and/or any symptoms of prostate issues.

2. Contraception options

A lot of specialized health care for women centers around controlling their reproductive capabilities. However, men may also need assistance in regard to contraception.

For women:

Women have a wide range of options when it comes to birth control, from the daily oral pill to plan B options to injections to intrauterine devices (IUDs). A tubal ligation can prevent eggs from reaching the uterus, and a hysterectomy can remove the possibility of pregnancy permanently.

For men:

Men can wear condoms to prevent themselves from accidentally impregnating a woman, but these, like most forms of birth control, are not 100% effective even when used correctly 100% of the time. Vasectomies, on the other hand, are a very effective long-term form of birth control, and can often be reversed if a man later wishes to father children.

3. Specific health conditions

Both men and women can develop the same types of diseases. However, men are more prone to some conditions, while women are more prone to others.

For women:

Women are more likely than men to suffer from osteoporosis (brittle bones), depression, and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus. Many women’s health issues are overlooked or written off to aging or simple fatigue, which is why it’s important to let Dr. Paliwal know if you haven’t been feeling well.

For men:

Men tend to have more risk factors for and a higher incidence of heart disease, lung cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. Tracking any symptoms and having a complete familial history available for Dr. Paliwal to review can help him determine your individual risk for specific chronic conditions.

4. Hormonal changes

Aging causes the human body to decrease the amount of sex hormones being produced. Both men and women can benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

For women:

Around the age of 50, most women experience menopause. The decrease in estrogen can cause skin and vaginal dryness, night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings. HRT can help rebalance hormones and relieve symptoms.

For men:

After age 30, testosterone levels in men drop steadily at the rate of about 1% per year. Eventually, low T levels can cause unwanted symptoms, such as low libido or sexual dysfunction, hair loss, and a reduction in physical strength and athletic performance. HRT helps rebalance hormones for men too.

Is it past time for your annual physical? Preventive care is much more effective than treating problems after they begin. Schedule a visit with Dr. Paliwal by calling the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more options. 

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