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Depression To Infertility At Young Age: Health Issues That Are Affecting Every Working Women Silently

Depression To Infertility At Young Age: Health Issues That Are Affecting Every Working Women Silently

We have with us, Dr Vikram Vora, Medical Director, International SOS India, to tell us the health concerns that each and every working woman in today's world is facing.

Globalization, with its accompanying technological transformation, is opening doors for women to newer opportunities in their work life. Women have taken up and are excelling in roles that were earlier dominated by men. Employed in key areas across both organized and unorganized sectors women are managing the dual roles of being professionals as well as homemakers. However, in carrying the burden of these pressures, their health is the casualty that has been largely neglected, resulting in several psychological and physiological issues that are causing a deep impact. Today, we have with us, Dr Vikram Vora, Medical Director, International SOS India, to tell us the health concerns that each and every working woman in today's world is facing.

'Health Remains An Area of Special Concern'

Speaking to TheHealthSite.com, Dr Vikram Vora says - Society at large and even many health-related professionals carry the restrictive view that women's health is a matter of inadequate nutrition or perhaps poor hygiene or bad obstetric practices. This view obviously does not consider the myriad factors in women's lives that influence each other and end up affecting them. In the context of gender inequalities, health remains an area of special concern. A few gender-based health indicators have shown improvement over the past few years, but the achievements are still far from optimal. For example, life expectancy in women improved between 1990 to 2001, but this seems to be the only indicator which is better than men!

Mental health and well-being are an area of particular concern. Depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dietary disorders, along with broader issues like gender discrimination at work, sexual harassment, caregiving responsibilities and domestic violence can contribute to a significant decline in psychological ill-health. Physiological events like menopause, post-partum depression etc are also contributing factors. The societal and family pressures of physical and emotional caregiving roles as daughters, mothers, colleagues, and even leaders result in heavier burdens. Sedentary lifestyles especially one with decreased movement and irregular schedules contribute to stress and can affect female fertility, and in turn, lead to aggravation of anxiety and depression. Several such challenges are largely invisible as many women are reluctant to discuss them at all, much less at work.

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What Is The Remedy?

According to Dr Vikram Vora, unhealthy food habits, physical inactivity, ergonomic issues at work and disturbances in physiological parameters caused by changing sleep patterns and stressful situations need to be avoided. Women's safety and health go together, and every organization must endeavour to identify, assess, address and correct any misalignment that exists. Along with the prevention of diseases and disorders, the promotion of healthy behaviours needs to be encouraged.

After the Covid pandemic, a significant chunk of the working female population has stopped working. Organizations need to step up and draw up strategies to encourage their return. Having a defined Health and Wellness Policy in the workplace, that lays special emphasis on the women workforce is one way to make this happen. Regular health checks, vaccination drives, safe travelling options, providing counselling etc. are some important components of such a policy. The spectre of long COVID-19 continues to haunt almost one-third of those who were infected, several months after testing negative upon recovery. Access to an onsite clinic to monitor and tackle such health and wellbeing concerns would be of immense benefit to women employees. The end of the pandemic may be in sight but there is a larger pandemic of mental ill-health that will have to be addressed.

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