There’s no denying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on almost all people. Not only has it posed a threat to physical health, but it has also compromised the mental health and overall well-being of people.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), older people aged 60 years are vulnerable to the threat of the COVID-19 infection. That is not to mention those with underlying health conditions and even children.
But did you know that the pandemic has significantly impacted women in general? It has brought several health issues affecting women around the world. In fact, women and girls are facing more dangers during the pandemic.
In this article, we’ll share five women’s health issues that have arisen during this pandemic. Keep on reading to see how we can address these problems.
Vulnerability to the COVID-19
Data shows that the mortality rate related to COVID-19 is higher among men than women. However, studies show the pandemic has impacted women in many ways. These women are susceptible to the various strains of the novel coronavirus, whether managing homes or serving as frontline workers.
The COVID-19 has profoundly affected women, which has led to other health-related issues. Not only does having this infection lead to the deterioration of physical health, but it can also affect mental health. Even pregnant women can be particularly vulnerable to the infectious risk. Reports have shown an increase in miscarriage, preterm birth, pre-eclampsia, unexpected cesarean, and perinatal death during the pandemic.
The Emergence of Mental Health issues
There’s no denying the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on mental health. Women can be particularly vulnerable, especially pregnant women experiencing hormonal changes. As most health care workers are women, they can get burnout and develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic (PTSD). Even women at home can experience overwhelming stress and psychological distress.
A recent study focused on psychological distress and psychiatric symptoms among women. It revealed higher levels of anxiety and depression among women during the pandemic than in the pre-pandemic period. If left unattended, they can escalate to severe mental health problems among women.
Limited Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
The pandemic restrictions have caused limited access to healthcare. Think of lockdowns, travel bans, and even curfews. They prevent women from getting sexual and reproductive health services. Also, be sure to factor in the disruption in the global supply chain. It has led to restricted access to healthcare products such as contraceptives.
In addition, consider the closures of some health-related facilities. On top of these medical facilities are abortion clinics that women need during this pandemic. Unfortunately, the pandemic has discouraged women from getting abortion care as it’s considered non-essential. It’s good some clinics have already reopened this year to assist women with abortion care.
The Rise of Maternal Complications and Neonatal Deaths
Another problem women face is the risk of maternal complications and neonatal deaths. Several studies have shown an increased risk of COVID-19 among pregnant women during the pandemic. As such, they can have pregnancy issues that can even lead to maternal complications. Other reports have revealed a high risk of miscarriage and even neonatal deaths.
Furthermore, other issues include the decrease of prenatal visits and strains in healthcare infrastructure. But while access to safe delivery care has been considered an essential health service, many pregnant women have faced fewer options for health care. The pandemic can even compromise the safe labor and delivery in high-risk medical facilities.
Domestic and Sexual Violence
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, governments and authorities have implemented shelter-in-place orders and restricted movements in various parts of the world. But reports have shown an increase in domestic violence among many households during the pandemic. Such violence gets caused by health concerns, mental issues, economic insecurities, and future uncertainties people are experiencing.
Another concerning issue among women is sexual violence. Many women and girls get trapped with their abusers during lockdowns. For this reason, these women must know when and how to seek help. Be sure to follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for taking action towards combating domestic violence.
Women Rising Above the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed affected women in many ways. Be wary of the threat of the COVID-19 itself, the emergence of mental issues, and even the rise of domestic and sexual violence.
Also, take actions towards getting access to sexual and reproductive health care and combat the rise of maternal complications and neonatal deaths.
With responsible actions from women and collaborative efforts from all stakeholders involved, we can help women rise above the pandemic situations.