Women have the incredible ability to do things that men cannot do—namely, grow a human being inside of them!
But unfortunately, women are also prone to developing certain conditions more than men.
Some of these health conditions affect women more simply because of their body structure and the fact that many women go through pregnancy and childbirth, which can be hard on your body. But other female-only diseases and conditions are more puzzling to the medical community.
Here are 7 diseases that are statistically more common in women than men:
1. Mental health problems
Women struggle more with anxiety, depression and stress, on average. In fact, women are 2 times more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression than men.
Mental health problems can be extremely debilitating and dangerous, but thankfully medication and/or psychiatric treatment can help. Please talk to your doctor if you’re struggling with too much stress, anxiety, depression or all of the above.
2. Breast cancer
Again, no surprise here, but more women are diagnosed with breast cancer than men. You may wonder if men can even get breast cancer and the answer is yes. However, only about 1 percent of all breast cancer cases are males.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 13 percent of all American women develop breast cancer sometime in their lives. It’s the most common cancer in women after skin cancer.
3. Autoimmune conditions
About 75 percent of people with autoimmune conditions are women. The reason for the large discrepancy between males and females is not definitively known.
The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) has found that certain autoimmune diseases tend to affect one ethnic group more than others and they also tend to be passed down genetically. However, your grandma might have a different autoimmune disease than your mom, and you might have a third one that’s not like either of theirs.
4. Thyroid disease
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), women are between 5 and 8 times more likely to have thyroid problems than men. Women also have a 1 in 8 chance of having thyroid issues in their lifetime.
Your thyroid produces a hormone that’s important for normal body function and your metabolism. If it produces too little, you can develop something called hypothyroidism. If it produces too much, you can have hyperthyroidism.
Women are also at higher risk for stroke than men. Some of the risk factors are universal—such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and family history—but others are unique to women. Women may increase their risk of stroke if they take birth control, do hormone replacement therapy or are pregnant.
6. Bladder problems and UTIs
Mostly due to the way female anatomy is structured, women tend to have more urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections. They also have more bladder and incontinence issues because of pregnancy and childbirth.
The rate of osteoporosis in women is substantially higher than men. In fact, about 80 percent of people with osteoporosis are women.
The main reasons are because 1) women generally have less bone density than men, and 2) women tend to lose bone density when their estrogen drops during menopause.