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Women’s health IS different to mens…why?

Disclaimer; try not to get mad when you read this! My intention is purely to provide insight into why we must know without a doubt that we are not little men. Science, media or any other literature or person may insinuate that we are but you will know (after this brief little read), that you are NOT.

Did you know that until 1993 almost all clinical studies were conducted on men (ie. not women)?

1 of the reasons for this, was that women added a confusing layer of complexity. Hmmmm?? (yes we are complex but it blows my mind that this equalled exclusion)

There was also the thalidomide tragedy that unfortunately branded women as a ‘vulnerable’ group and therefore they were excluded for ‘safety’. Sometime in the 1970’s the FDA banned all women from clinical trials. Leading to a lack of relevant research on female bodies. So here we are in 2022, with a bucket load of drugs, medicines and protocols (20ish years worth) for men and women that were only tested on men!

In 1993 the US National Institute of Health (NIH), passed an act of congress, ensuring the inclusion of women in clinical trials and the FDA lifted its ban. (humble pie doesn’t seem sufficient to counteract the 20+years of irrelevant female research, but at least we’re now in the game)

Even now this is still an area that is not equal. The reasons are mainly research based. It’s an intricate, costly and time consuming business accounting for the variables in women’s hormones. Research is a fast paced world, where the biggest rewards go to researchers who publish big, simple, headliner papers that apply to all people. Funding, support & praise is not favoured for papers that say…’this happens to women and this happens to men’. (*times are changing with more & more & more incredible women becoming research scientists but its slow)

1 example of the difference is; the distribution, metabolism and excretion of a drug is different depending on gender. Such as aspirin…great for mens heart health, likely not great for women (discovered in earl 2000’s)

I think it is a good time to mention that women are not just small men, as was assumed prior to 93.

Many clinical trials ran under an unspoken assumption that the only difference between women and men was their sexual and reproductive organs. Women were, in essence, considered small men. Dr. Regine Douthard

Genders are separated in athletic performance for a reason. hell, they are even separated at the hairdressers, so why do we not look at womens health differently to mens!? (in science it is slowly changing but if you spread what you now know, it may help someone ‘on the ground’, ie. not in a lab)

We all have a heart, brain, lungs, stomach, liver, kidneys etc but the differences in our reproductive organs does not just mean one can grow and baby and one can’t. There is so much more super cool, incredibly fascinating depth to it than that.

I like to visualise, so I liken the male body to driving a manual car and the female body to the cockpit of a plane (dials bloomin everywhere!!)

This isn’t to say that some male health concerns are not complex but it crudely portrays the consideration required to be able to support the female body around the fluctuating hormones (pre/peri/post menopausal too) that men quite simply do not have. Women have higher rates of migraines, UTI’s, anxiety, depression. Greater risk of arthritis, strokes and alzheimers. When you add PMS, pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause to this picture it is crystal clear…Womens health is different to mens.

On a side not: Ovulation is such an important monthly process that we should be taught about at school. We get Sex Ed…I say we should get Female Body Ed (although, would I have been interested as a teenager?? Maybe not but I wasn’t interested in history and I remember some of that).

Finishing Facts

  • Protecting your health is gender neutral.

  • We all need to look after ourselves.

  • Females require vastly different healthcare to men.

I offer 1-1 nutrition packages for both men and women but because I know the above, you will be treated differently. Please contact us if you need pointing in the right direction or you need to chat something through.

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