Women's health 

Many women are reluctant to talk about their health, preferring to not discuss issues that are often common, disabling and classed as taboo. 

Some of the main issues facing women in Bradford Districts and Craven include:

  • obesity and keeping fit,
  • attending cervical and breast cancer screening,
  • menopause, and
  • continence.

Live videos

We run a series of live videos on women's health hosted by our expert clinical team. These cover a wide range of topics, including those mentioned above. You can watch these videos back on our YouTube channel here or see the latest videos below.

 

Obesity 

Obesity is the single biggest challenge to women’s health today. It is a particular issue in the Bradford area with income, ethnicity and social deprivation known to have an impact on your weight. 57.2% of women are now classed as overweight or obese, 23.8% of these are classed as obese.

Compared to a healthy weight woman, if you are obese you are:

Obesity can also reduce your chances of becoming pregnant and have an impact on the outcomes of any pregnancy and the health of any future children you may have.

Most women are aware that maintaining a healthy weight is important for their health and wellbeing. The best way to reduce your weight is to eat healthily and exercise regularly. You can find more information about weight management and staying healthy on our managing your own health pages. 

Screening 

There are two main types of screening offered to women - breast screening and cervical screening. You can read more about what to expect from breast screening here and cervical screening here.

It's so important to attend your screening tests when you are asked, they can pick up any signs of cancer early. The earlier issues are detected, they sooner they can be treated and therefore your chance of survival is also drastically improved. 

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest possible stage have a 90% chance of surviving for at least 5 years after diagnosis. Cervical screening saves around 4,500 lives each year in the UK

Sexual health 

Your GP practice offers contraception and sexual health services and advice. But you don’t always have to go to your GP; pharmacies, specialised sexual health clinics and young people’s services can all offer advice and support.

Locala offers a free and confidential contraception and sexual health service in a number of easy to access clinics across Bradford and Kirklees. A list of contraception and sexual health clinics in Bradford, visit the Locala website or call Locala on 030 3330 9500. You can also visit the Bradford and Airedale Sexual Health website for more information. 

For further information about contraceptive choices, visit the Family Planning Association website.

Menopause

The menopause is when a women stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally. It is a natural part of ageing and usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. Most women do experience menopausal symptoms which can be quite severe and have a significant impact on everyday activities. Common symptoms include:

  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • infrequent periods
  • vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex
  • difficulty sleeping
  • low mood or anxiety
  • reduced sex drive
  • problems with memory and concentration.

Further information about the menopause, symptoms and treatments can be found on the NHS Choices website.

Menopause Matters is a website dedicated to supporting women through the menopause. It has specialist advice for women who are going through the menopause and a support forum.

Continence 

Many women are embarrassed to seek help about continence issues. There are lots of different places you can seek help, many symptoms can be improved and cured with simple discreet methods.

There are three main places you can go to get more help for continence issues:

  • your GP can assess whether you have incontinence, decide on the type of incontinence you have, give general advice on controlling symptoms and suggest and provide treatment.

  • continence clinics have specialist teams to provide support and medical advice. You can be referred to the continence team by a health professional, such as your GP, or you can book an appointment directly by calling Horton Park admin hub on 01274 322171.

  • the hospital incontinence specialist is an option if the help offered by your GP or local continence clinic does not work.

Some further advice and tips on living with incontinence available on the NHS Choices website.

The bladder and bowel foundation website also has good information to support management and self-care.

Healthier women: healthier communities

Did you know you can get community support to live a healthy life? WomenZone’s Healthier Women: Healthier Communities (HW:HC) gives you sustainable community support and encourages you to engage in community life, take up health and social activities and self-care. 

The HW:HC project, was funded by NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group, for women who live in postcode areas BD1, BD2, BD3 or BD4 and has already made positive difference to lives of local women in Bradford.

The goal of the project was to help women in Bradford City improve their awareness and understanding of health and self-care. This will not only empower women to better manage their health and care but also reduce inappropriate use of GP and A&E services in our area. 

The project has supported 400 women to improve their awareness and understanding of health and self-care options through social media and technology.

HW:HC also host regular free health events for women to find out more about what support they are able to access and get free advice. Find out more about upcoming events on the WomenZone events calendar.

There are also lots of useful health films available on the WomenZone YouTube channel, including tips for living a healthier life.

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