There is not a one-size fits all when it comes to women's health. Understanding the individuals characteristics is what enables us to assess the issue and meet the needs of each female.
Dr Amisha Mehta gives us the lowdown on women's specific healthcare at (med)24.
Broadly speaking, why do we need specific women’s health services – how do their medical needs differ from those of men?
Women and men are different! Women differ biologically, psychologically, socially and behaviourally and so undoubtedly their experience of health and disease differ significantly. This is much more obvious in categories such as reproductive and hormonal medicine. However this is equally important in all categories of health, physically and mentally. Therefore, it is essential to be able to provide specific women's health services.
What services do you offer at (med)24 which are specifically tailored to women?
Our clinicians are excellent at providing specifically tailored healthcare that fits the need of the individual. For women, this will include any aspect of healthcare which they would like to focus on, whether that be a healthcare screen, musculoskeletal health, mental health or general practice medicine. Female-specific care includes reproductive medicine: child and maternal health, genital and breast health, and endocrine health: menopause, menstruation and contraception.
What do you think health providers most commonly get wrong in the way that they work with women?
If one was to buy a dress, it's never a one-size-fits-all. There are so many aspects to the dress and individual to make it a suitable fit. Understanding these characteristics is what makes it right for that individual. This is the same when it comes to healthcare. Understanding the needs and personal characteristics of each patient is vital. We provide comprehensive, integrated healthcare designed to meet the unique needs of each woman and this is how our approach differs.
What are the most common conditions that you see women presenting with at your clinic? Has the last 18 months with lockdowns affected them differently?
Women present with all conditions including numerous physical and mental health issues. Where this differs from men is often in relation to female-specific problems such as reproductive and hormonal aspects of medicine. The most common reasons for women to speak to GPs include menstruation problems, anything from heavy bleeding, to painful bleeding, infertility and hormonal problems which covers contraception and the menopause.
During the pandemic we have seen a rise in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, specifically in women. This has been difficult for both GPs and women to deal with as often, we were not able to see patients face-to-face. Luckily, we are now able to offer in-person appointments which are hugely beneficially all round.
Finally, in terms of self-care, what would you recommend that women do in their own time and lifestyles to keep healthy?
I think it’s important to understand what self-care is. This differs for each individual but broadly speaking, it is the things we do to benefit our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. There are common things we can all do to help maintain this. Some examples include, getting a good night’s sleep, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, doing regular exercise, eating healthily and spending time with people you cherish.
I would say when it comes to women-specific care, attending regular appointments with a GP and attending cervical and breast screenings would benefit long term health including reducing chronic health conditions.
Furthermore, there is evidence to show that women often look after others more than themselves! Recognising this and giving yourself the time to treat yourself is just as important - whether it's taking a little time out to prepare yourself a good meal or treat yourself to a mani-pedi. It’s a must!
To arrange an appointment with Dr Mehta or any of our other GPs contact us here.