SHE is the caregiver and nurturer
so much so that her own health may often be overlooked.
As she grows from a child to a woman, she develops the ability
to do that one thing no man could ever do: give birth. Her biology
and psychology can make her mythical and mysterious to the
other gender. This continues as she matures and eventually
enters menopause, which brings new changes to both body
and mind. Juggling children, grandchildren, aging parents
and career adds to the robustness of her life.
When troubled, she prefers to turn to talk, sharing her thoughts
and experiences to relieve tension. Still, stress can build, paving
the way for illnesses such as heart disease, depression or cancer.
What’s a man to do?
Writer and registered nurse Marijke Vroomen Durning
asked experts in women’s and family health for insight into
understanding women’s health.
STSTST A TOUR “DOWN UNDER” TSTSTS
Women are mysteries to men, there’s no doubt about that. For many men, nothing is
more perplexing that a woman’s reproductive system, which includes the vagina, cervix,
uterus and ovaries—not so delicately referred to as “the plumbing.” • This system kicks
in when a girl hits puberty and the biggest milestone is the arrival of the menstrual
cycle—the monthly period. Myhealth.alberta.ca describes the menstrual cycle as “the
series of changes a woman’s body goes through to prepare for possible pregnancy.” The
passage into child-bearing years takes place between the ages of 11 and 15 in most girls.
And while girls can get pregnant at that age, Statistics Canada reports the average age of
first-time Canadian mothers in 2008 was 28.1 years old. • Because the monthly cycle is
something no man has ever gone through, swinging
hormones, shifting moods, cramping bodies
and certain cravings (can you say
chocolate or carbs?) that are
hallmarks of “that” time
of the month are
not always fully