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Women and health

In modern Britain women are much more likely to go to their G.P. to report a health concern they may have. Generally women’s health issues are more commonly discussed in the print and television media, with the fight against diseases such as breast cancer being of a particularly high profile.

Sexual Health

Abortion

Female sexual health concerns have been a particular concern of the feminist movement. Since the rise of modern feminism in the 1960’s the issue of a woman’s right to have an abortion has become a big issue. Abortion has traditionally been considered a moral issue, in terms of whether it is considered morally wrong to take the life of an unborn child. Feminists would argue that it is the right of a woman to decide whether or not to continue with a pregnancy, because every woman has human and reproductive rights allowing her to make that decision.

Contraception

The issue of the availability of contraception is another area of sexual health that is of particular importance to modern women. Various forms of contraception have been developed over recent years including the morning after pill, which allows a woman to avoid pregnancy after having unprotected sex or a condom failure. Perhaps the most revolutionary form of contraception for women that has been developed in recent times is the contraceptive pill. “The Pill” as it is known has given women unprecedented control over their own fertility and therefore given them more control over when they decide to start a family.

As the pill became widely used in the 1960’s its effect became a point of debate amongst many in society. Some believed it encouraged promiscuity, as the risk of pregnancy was no longer a factor in women’s lives. It also changed a woman’s ability to pursue a career if she chose to. Unwanted pregnancies are no longer something that would force a woman to stay at home and bring up a child. In many developing countries where contraception is not readily available, feminists campaign for more education and availability to stop the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV. Men’s sexual health also plays a major part in terms of contraception. Men are able to have a vasectomy or even vasectomy reversal, and when it comes to contraception there are always to sides to the story.

Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world behind lung cancer, and is the most common cancer in women around the world. In the developing world cases of breast cancer are a lot lower than that of in developed countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., and this difference can be attributed to the lifestyles and diet of women in the developed world. However despite the relatively high number of cases in the developed world the success of treatment for breast cancer means that the majority of those who develop the disease do not die. There are several charities raising money to fight all forms of cancer, and every October is an international breast cancer awareness month. People affected by the disease traditionally wear a pink ribbon as a visible sign of their fight against the disease.


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