National Women's Health Week – May 12-18, 2019

May 12–19

Stay active. Eat healthy. And get some sleep! Most important? Start today. The federal government’s Office on Women’s Health created National Women’s Health Week  as a way to encourage all women to make the choices which are right for them.

Women have unique health issues such as pregnancy and menopause. And some of the health issues that affect both men and women can touch women differently. Examples include osteoarthritis and urinary tract problems — both of which tend to affect women more.

The observance, which begins each Mother’s Day, runs from May 12 to 18, 2019. National Women’s Health Week  also encourages women to consider the factors that influence their mental health, such as managing stress, in order to ward off anxiety and depression. This year marks the 20th annual event.

Read on for much more — including a look at how to improve your overall wellbeing — and learn five valuable women’s health tips along the way.

National Women's Health Week - History

2019

PMDD

New research shows premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a more serious form of PMS, affects up to five percent of women of childbearing age.

PMDD may also cause at least one of these symptoms: sadness or hopelessness; anxiety or tension; extreme moodiness; as well as irritability or anger.

2006

Plan B

This groundbreaking med, otherwise known as the "morning-after pill," received approval for over-the-counter sales.

1969

Mammograms

Low-level radiation mammograms gave birth to the modern era of mammography.

1960

The Pill

The FDA approved pharmaceutical company G. D. Searle's oral contraceptive. Over 1.2 million would go on "the Pill" within two years. Gaining control of reproductive health was crucial for the women's health movement.

1916

How Planned Parenthood began

Margaret Sanger opened America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn. This led to an arrest and conviction. Although she lost on appeal, the courts ruled that physicians could prescribe contraceptives to women for medical reasons. Her efforts led to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

How to Observe National Women's Health Week

  1. Visit your doctor

    Annual checkups are an absolute must for maintaining good health. If you haven't had a physical in a while, contact your doctor and book an appointment. Yes, even if you're feeling great.

  2. Analyze your diet

    Check your eating habits to make sure you're getting the recommended daily allotment of nutrients. It's easy to slip into an unhealthy eating routine. Make National Women's Health Week a time to adjust your diet.

  3. Join the gym

    Join your local gym and establish a regular workout routine. Better yet, if you have the resources, hire a personal trainer who will keep you honest.

Health & Happiness: 5 Strategies For Women

  1. Lose the stress

    Long-term stress can lead to serious health problems. Women are also more likely to develop depression and anxiety

  2. Put a cap on calcium

    There's a limit. If you're under 50, try for 1,000 mg per day. Over 50? Push it up to 1,200 mg. Calcium-rich foods include milk, salmon, and almonds.

  3. Pap test

    Check for cervical cancer every three years if you're over 21. If you are 30-65, you can get both Pap and HPV tests every five years.

  4. Birth control benefits

    Studies show the Pill can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle.

  5. Stop fearing (all) fats

    Fats aren't necessarily detrimental to your health. Those that come from avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are generally ok.

Why National Women's Health Week is Important

  1. Happiness starts with good health

    Healthy women have more energy to get through the day and approach life with more hope and optimism. They are less stressed and experience lower levels of anxiety. Use National Women's Health Week as a reminder to breathe.

  2. Kids need their moms

    For moms, living a healthier lifestyle and taking preventative measures means they'll be around longer for their kids. Also, kids tend to adopt their parents' habits; healthy moms are likely to have healthier kids.

  3. Good health is infectious

    When friends and family see how happy you are by living a healthier lifestyle, they'll want a piece of that happiness pie. Living and eating well shows others that they can do it too.