The Connection Between Gender and Medical Debt 

March 24, 2021 by Dr. Lori Gore-Green (Edit)

 The current economic situation in the United States caused by the Coronavirus pandemic’s effects makes access to quality health care difficult for most women, leading to enormous debts. The medical issues can range from inability to pay for emergency medical charges to the gradual pileup of a debt that can lead to bankruptcy and debtors’ collections. If the government fails to intervene, this issue could escalate to an extent where female patients would feel overburdened.

 According to a survey done last year, half of the women in the U.S. shared concern that it could render them bankrupt in the event of a significant health situation compared to a similar survey done in 2019 where only 47% were concerned. By February of this year, the percentage shot to 73%. The reason behind this is that health insurance covers have significantly been reduced, and the insurance premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles that consumers pay directly from their pockets have risen in recent years. The result is that even with an excellent insurance cover, women can still get large bills in the sudden event of an accident or illness, regardless of whether they receive their health insurance through the government or from the employer. It is not a surprise that women who do not have insurance have immense medical debts. 

 The wage difference between women and men could also be a reason for this vast debt gap. A survey conducted recently shows that women earn 80-82 cents for every dollar earned by men. When the covid-19 pandemic started to hit America, many women lost their jobs and health insurance. A report done in December 2020 showed that women accounted for the 140000 jobs lost. A similar report by the National Women’s Law Center indicated that about 5.4 million of the 9.8 million jobs lost in 2020 were women.

 Black and Latina women working in the restaurants, retail, and other hospitality sectors were laid off when most businesses were locked down and closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has caused alarm to most Americans who fear getting medical treatment to avoid huge medical bills. Evidence shows that medical debt has increased sharply during the pandemic. A recent survey showed that most individuals would not visit a healthcare institution for even diagnosis.

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Living Well With Menopause

 During the years leading up to and shortly after menopause, women experience hormonal fluctuations that impact their physical and emotional health. While some women hardly notice the changes, others are plagued with mood swings, hot flashes, and disrupted sleep that makes life more challenging. Living well with menopause is as simple as finding the coping strategies that work for each woman’s individual needs.

 Find Ways to Manage Hot Flashes

 Feeling the heat creeping up their neck can make women wonder if everyone else notices their rising temperature. Hot flashes can occur multiple times a day, but they tend only to last a few minutes. Women can dress in layers to have more control over their body temperature. It is also essential to drink water to keep their bodies hydrated.

 Take Steps to Address Vaginal Dryness and Incontinence

 Changes in a woman’s sexual health can be especially challenging to deal with during menopause. Vaginal dryness doesn’t have to disrupt a woman’s relationships. Instead, women can use lubricants to overcome this common issue. Women may also take oral supplements of vitamin E or flaxseed oil to encourage their body to produce more moisture. There are many treatment options available today for women with incontinence, and doing Kegel exercises is an excellent place to start with strengthening weakened muscles.

 Make Stress-Reduction a Priority

 This tends to be an emotional time for women. Not only is dealing with the physical symptoms demanding on a woman’s time and patience, but some women might also be grappling with accepting their new stage in life. Some women might grieve no longer being able to conceive having children or losing their former physical appearance. Finding ways to manage stress helps them to maintain a more positive mindset. Women can prioritize relaxation by starting a meditation practice or journaling about their experiences. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help them to reduce the effects of insomnia on their mental alertness.

 While menopause may bring many changes to a woman’s health, there is a solution for every problem. Identifying ways to cope puts women in control over their health, making it easier for them to manage this significant transition. Being able to emerge on the other side of the menopausal process more substantial and more confident is a goal that every woman can achieve with proper self-care.

Pregnancy-Related Stress and How to Handle It

Initially, a woman is excited when she finds out she’s pregnant. However, some women begin to feel anxious as months pass and they get closer to the delivery. This is especially true for women who naturally deal with anxiety.

There are many reasons for pregnancy-related anxiety, including hormonal changes, everyday stress, and general worry about the baby. For some women, severe cases of pregnancy stress leads to both insomnia and issues for mom and baby. Luckily, there are a number of ways to cope with these symptoms and have an enjoyable, healthy pregnancy.

Talk to someone.
A support system is very important during pregnancy. Whether it’s a spouse, best friend, or a family member, speaking to someone about what’s going on brings relief. If necessary, speaking to a professional therapist can help with stress and anxiety. If they’re lucky, they can find a therapist that specializes in pregnancy-related stress.

Start a journal.
Sometimes, talking to someone isn’t an option. To avoid an anxiety attack, it often helps to take a moment and write in a journal. That way, she has a way to let go of those emotions in a healthy way. During doctor visits, they can help the mother identify and remedy anxiety triggers.

Journaling can also be a keepsake worth reading after the pregnancy. Another creative idea is creating a memory email address. Once her child turns 18, she can give them the email address and password. Then, they can read what was going through their mother’s mind before they were born.

Take a birthing class.
For some women, the thought of giving birth gives them anxiety. One of the best ways to get rid of that fear is to take a birthing class. Learning proper birthing techniques helps the expecting mother understand what’s to come and helps get rid of some of the fear associated with going into labor.

Pregnancy is a time of emotions, happiness, and of course, anxiety. Although this is a healthy emotion, too much can negatively impact the baby. Therefore, pregnant women should take steps like journaling, talking to loved ones, and taking a birthing class for some much-needed stress relief.

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Importance of Cervical Cancer Awareness

Invasive cervical cancer holds the eighth position in most occurring cancer in the United States, with more than 13,800 women diagnosed with it, where 4000 die from the disease annually. January is cervical cancer awareness month. With the help of renowned gynecologists and obstetricians, American Cancer Society, focuses in increasing public awareness and sensitization, offer the best treatment options and resources with updated information regarding cervical cancer.

Most Appropriate Time to Get Tested For Cervical Cancer

January is not only the most appropriate time to book an appointment with a gynecologist or obstetrician for a cervical screening test, but any time of the year is suitable. However, different age groups have different testing options. At 21-29 years, it’s most recommendable to go for a Pap test and wait for three years to get another test. Between 30 to 60 years, a doctor can recommend three different screening options such as HPV test only, Pap test only, or a combination of Pap and HPV test. For women above 65 years, a gynecologist can recommend not to be screened anymore, if the previous year’s results were normal or the cervix was removed through a hysterectomy.

Fundamental Vital Aspects to Understand Before Booking Cervical Screening

1. Be optimistic about the screening and Speak Up if you feel Pain.
Many women believe cervical cancer screening is painful; thus, they feel uncomfortable about the process. Therefore, it’s recommendable to be at ease while the speculum is being inserted, and in case of some pain, inform the gynecologist immediately.

2. Go for Regular Screening Even if you have Been Vaccinated.
In most instances, 10 percent to 30 percent of cervical cancer cases are caused by Human Papilloma Virus subtypes, which cannot be prevented through vaccination. So, it’s good to go for an HPV test after every five years and a Pap test every three years.

3. If you are on your Period, Don’t go for screening.
It’s always recommendable to book an appointment with doctor 14 days before your period starts. If screening is carried out at this time accuracy of the results might be affected owing to blood cells shed during your periods.

How to Prevent Cervical Cancer

The most crucial ways to prevent cervical cancer is through regular screening and HPV vaccination if eligible. To reduce exposure to HPV, it’s recommendable to avoid sex with people who have multiple sex partners, use condom protection and reduce smoking since it lowers the risk of cervical pre-cancer.

Originally published to

Ways To Help Out In Your Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting Americans in various ways and for extended periods of time, it’s quite possible that people in your community are struggling without you even realizing it. Many Americans have lost their job, making it difficult to pay bills. Others have lost loved ones or had to worry about elderly relatives or at-risk family members, or are at-risk themselves. You may realize this and decide to yourself that you’d like to help out where you can if you yourself are in a good position to do so. But what can you do? Here are a few great ways to volunteer in your community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Check On Your Neighbors

A great place to start is by checking on your various neighbors and see if there’s anything you can do to help out. This can be especially helpful if you have elderly neighbors as well. See if they need anything, such as someone to do their grocery shopping for them or someone to deliver a package for them. When doing so, be sure to socially distance yourself from them by talking through screen doors or windows and staying at least six feet away from them. If you have their phone number or know of a way to contact them via the internet, that can be even better as it will completely eliminate any risk.


Donating can be another great way to help out your community during these difficult times. If you have a particular nonprofit you’re a fan of that has been doing good things for your community, a cash donation would likely be the best way to support their cause and in turn, help out in your own way. There’s also the option of donating to a food bank, as there are likely many people who are in need of meals right now.

Think About Essential Workers

While many places of business have shut down or begun working from home during the pandemic, there are still plenty of “essential workers” out on the front lines every day. Essential workers can include healthcare workers, grocery store workers, police officers, and much more. These people risk themselves and their families each day due to the nature of their role, so a great way to give back to your community is to be mindful of that. Be sure to be polite to the employees of your local grocery store, saying please and thank you as well as being patient. Ask members of your community if they’d like to pitch in to order food for healthcare workers in your local hospital as well, as they’ll surely appreciate it.

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Great Books To Read About Women’s Health

One of the greatest joys in life is sitting down and reading a good book. Books offer vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom and have the ability to transport you to entirely different worlds than our own and it’s as if there’s an unending supply of them. There are so many books that it can be a challenge even deciding which ones to read. One topic, women’s health, has plenty of awesome choices to choose from, but here are a few of the best.

Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski

While sex is a wonderful thing, women sometimes struggle to truly find themselves sexually. That’s where Emily Nagoski comes in, sharing interesting research in easy to understand terms that can help you view your sexuality in a new light and ultimately becoming more comfortable in your own skin. You may think you know a lot about sex, but this book will make you realize you were wrong and lead you to an all-around better sex life.

The Emotionally Healthy Woman – Geri Scazzero

There are times in our lives where we often feel stuck and unsure of how to find the happiness we deserve. According to author Geri Scazzero, the answer lies in quitting. Quit the things that make you unhappy and you can begin rediscovering yourself and ultimately become an emotionally healthy woman. For Gerri, this began when she quit the church her husband pastored and realized she had to do what was right for her. The book also has an accompanying video series and is recommended to be used for both personal reflection or group discussion.

Rushing Woman’s Syndrome – Dr. Libby Weaver

We all understand how busy the world can be today. Most of us are constantly overwhelmed, trying harder and harder to keep up with everything going on and ensuring we check off every box on our never-ending to-do list. In Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dr. Libby Weaver discusses how leading these fast-paced, stressful lives can have harmful effects on women of all ages. Dr. Weaver is a nutritional biochemist and in this book, she discusses areas of the body such as the Nervous system, the Adrenal Glands, the Reproductive system, the digestive system, and last but not least, our emotions.

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Postpartum Fitness Tips

A common question among new mothers is how long after giving birth can they get back into their pre-pregnancy fitness routine? While you may think you’ll be able to quickly get back to the way you lived before being pregnant after you give birth, you may want to think again. After giving birth you may suffer from bad posture, general fatigue, and an achy body amongst other things. This means doing many common activities you did before pregnancy, such as exercising, may be difficult to adjust to for a bit. The pregnant body takes around 40 weeks to form, and in some cases, it can take almost as long as that to get completely back to your pre-pregnancy body. At the end of the day, your doctor will let you know when you’re okay to start working out again, but when you do begin it’s important you approach it safely. Here are a few tips to help you out in postpartum fitness.


Ease Into It

It’s important that you take your time when getting back into your fitness routine. Pushing yourself too much so soon after birth can actually threaten your overall recovery. Many doctors will recommend that you avoid exerting yourself for about 2 weeks after giving birth. After that, a good way to start is by taking a 5-minute walk and seeing how you feel.  As long as you feel okay and there isn’t any bleeding or aching, you’re likely fine to take a slightly longer walk the next day and continue slowly building how long your walks are over time. After you build this up for about 2 weeks, you can move into gentle upper-body stretching or even take a postpartum exercise class.


Be Careful If Breastfeeding

Not every mother breastfeeds but if you are and you want to get back into fitness, it’s important you’re even more careful than usual. Weight loss shouldn’t be as much of a concern the first few weeks after giving birth until you’ve built up a stable milk supply. Some of the weight will naturally disappear during the first few days due to your body relishing the extra fluids it needed while pregnant. It’s also important you eat correctly if working out and breastfeeding, as breastfeeding mothers need an additional 500 calories a day than non-breastfeeding mothers.


Get Plenty of Rest

Getting rest and not overexerting yourself is more important than ever after having a baby. It’s easy to become sleep-deprived after having a baby, especially if your baby is waking up multiple times throughout the night, not letting you get a full night’s sleep. If this is the case, it’s important that you’re careful about overworking yourself. Exercise does have the potential to provide you with more energy but if your body is already lacking then it’s more likely it will just add to your exhaustion.

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Food You Should Eat To Increase Fertility

While making a baby is rather straightforward, that doesn’t mean people don’t struggle with actually getting pregnant. A percentage of women in the United States struggle with getting pregnant all of the time, so and while that percentage seems small, the number is still rather large. Luckily, there exist several ways in which women can work on boosting their fertility when they’re trying to conceive. One of the easiest things to do is adjusting your diet, so here are foods you’ll want to try eating if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Healthy Sources of Fat

While eating too much fatty foods can be detrimental to your healthy, there are plenty of healthy fatty foods that are great for boosting your chances of pregnancy. In particular, you’ll want monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which is commonly found in nuts, seeds, avocados and smaller, oily fish such as anchovies.

No Skim Milk

Dairy products typically aren’t the best thing to consume when you’re thinking of getting pregnant, but skim milk and other low-fat dairy products are especially harmful. A little bit of dairy here or there isn’t the worst, especially if it’s something you really enjoy, but be sure to always partake in the full-fat kind.

Get Plenty of Iron

Getting enough iron is always good for you and has been shown to help increase your odds of getting pregnant. You’ll want to make sure you partake in foods such as tomatoes, spinach, beans and much more if you’re looking for something high in iron.

Try Complex Carbs

You’ll want to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates that take time to be digested, such as whole fruits, beans and non-starchy vegetables. These foods are important, as having a high or mismanaged blood sugar has typically been associated with not being able to get pregnant. It’s also important that you don’t cut out carbs all together, because this will make the body think it’s not getting enough food, which will trigger survival mode.


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What Every Woman Should Know About Postpartum Depression

Whether or not a woman plans on having a child or not, it’s important to understand what postpartum depression is and how it works. It can affect many women, including yourself and the women you care about. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding postpartum, which is why it’s imperative to know the facts from myth to better help the women who are affected by it.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Not to be confused with “mommy blues”, which can last two to three days, postpartum depression affects women who have just gone through childbirth and are experiencing an emotional emptiness longer than two weeks. This kind of depression can make it harder for mothers to care for their children and not feel connected to them. It should not be taken lightly and is a very serious mental illness that involves the brain, affects your behavior, and physical health. Whether mild or severe, postpartum depression affects one in nine new mothers.

The Causes of Postpartum Depression

The biggest trigger for postpartum may be hormonal changes. Levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are the highest when a woman is pregnant. These hormone levels drop significantly back to normal within the first 24 hours of giving birth, which can lead to depression. Women who have a history of depression are also at risk for postpartum.

Symptoms to Be Aware Of 

There are many symptoms a woman can display that are signs of postpartum depression. Although symptoms vary from one woman to another, common symptoms are sadness, loss of hope, despair, frequent crying, feeling unable to care for the baby, loss of ability to do basic chores, inability to bond with the baby, loss of memory, and trouble focusing. When a woman is showing the symptoms of postpartum, only a doctor is able to give a diagnosis.

Treatment Options

When diagnosed with postpartum depression, there are two main treatment options available. The first is taking medication to cope with postpartum. Antidepressants directly affect the brain by altering the chemicals that regulate mood. A doctor may also suggest hormone therapy to help regulate estrogen levels. The second treatment option is going to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health professional for counseling. This option helps women suffering from postpartum depression make sense of toxic thoughts and give them the strategies they need to cope.

What To Know About Being Pregnant During COVID-19

The world has changed quite a bit since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in full force. Most places require masks to be worn in public and social distancing measures have been taken in public spaces as well as places of business. This can be nerve wracking for people, especially if you’re pregnant during these wild times. While not much evidence has been found saying that pregnant women need to be more worried than others, it’s still fair if you’re someone who is constantly worried. Here are a few things you might want to know about being pregnant during the pandemic.

Risk Of Transmitting The Virus To The Baby?

While it’s certainly possible for a new born baby to contract the virus, there has been no evidence that points towards the baby being affected while it’s still in the womb. Research has shown that newborns may be less likely to catch any serious forms of the virus, as well as show symptoms of it. Regardless of this, it’s important to protect not only yourself while you’re pregnant but the baby when it’s first born, so be sure to take precautions when first bringing the baby home.

Should I Change Labor and/or Delivery Plans?

Being in a hospital during a pandemic can be extremely stressful, especially as so many of them have suffered from overcrowding. This may make you think you’ll have to change your deliver and labor plans, but the first thing you should do is sit down and speak with your doctor about it. Many hospitals are adjusting things in order to limit the chance of exposure for patients such as expecting mothers, and many believe that delivering in a hospital is still the safest course of action regardless of the state of things.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have COVID-19 or Have Been Diagnosed?

If you think you’re sick, you’ll want to seek out the advice of your healthcare provider. If you actually get diagnosed with the virus, you’ll want to not only speak with your OB-GYN but also read what the CDC has to say about having the virus while pregnant. This will likely mean quarantining yourself as much as possible, only going out for medical care, and avoiding congested public places such as transportation.

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