stroke risk factors for women to know

Nothing is more vital to a woman’s sense of well-being than knowing how to avoid illnesses or medical emergencies that threaten her overall health. For many, awareness is the key to a healthy life — meaning you’re already off to a great start since you’ve landed on this page. However, many women don’t know the stroke risk factors for women.

Strokes are a leading health complication for women that create potentially life-changing and detrimental effects on patients. When you put yourself in a position to avoid this dangerous health risk, you ensure yourself a healthier future — beginning with the efforts that you take today.

But what are the stroke risk factors for women that you should be on the lookout for, and how do you avoid them? Below, we’ll delve into all of the information you’ll need to know to give you a much-needed peace of mind when it comes to your health.

4 Stroke Risk Factors for Women

You may know that a stroke happens when a blockage occurs in the blood flowing to the brain. But, do you know what factors put you at a higher risk of experiencing this health complication? Below, we’ll outline the top 4 risk factors that you should consider when looking to reduce your likelihood of having a stroke.

1. Pregnancy

When a woman’s going through a pregnancy, she wants to ensure that her body’s in optimal health for both herself and the baby. Unfortunately, the bodily changes associated with pregnancy may put her at a higher risk of experiencing various health complications — stroke included.

Pregnancies are associated with a higher risk for stroke because the rising estrogen levels can lead to blood clots — which is one of the top stroke risk factors for women. If a woman has a family history of blood clotting, she may find it beneficial to go on blood thinners before planning a pregnancy.

Any patient preparing for childbearing should talk with their OBGYN or doctor in greater length about the risk factors for stroke during pregnancy to ensure a sense of optimal health.

2. High Blood Pressure

Most patients with high blood pressure know that this condition can negatively impact their health. But, few know that abnormally high blood pressure levels can increase their likelihood for stroke, too.

Managing high blood pressure is vital for a woman’s health. If left unchecked, this condition can weaken the arteries and maximize the likelihood of clogged or burst blood vessels to the brain. Women worried about the health risks of their high blood pressure should incorporate regular exercise into their daily routine while eating a healthy diet. A medication plan may be necessary to keep stabilizing blood pressure levels, too.

3. Birth Control

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 16 percent of women of childbearing age use hormonal birth control. While many women rely on this medication to reduce an unwanted pregnancy or to regulate their menstrual cycle, the pill also comes with its risk factors, too.

One of the top stroke risk factors for women is blood clots. Unfortunately, oral contraceptives increase the likelihood of blood clots — maximizing a woman’s susceptibility to strokes in effect. Any woman who has a family history of strokes or blood blotting should consider using an alternative contraceptive medication to avoid experiencing this health complication.

4. Migraines With Sensory Disturbances

Nearly 28 million of the 39 million Americans who suffer from migraines are women — making it a prominent health problem that impacts the lives of countless women scattered throughout the country.

But, not all migraines are the same. A woman who experiences headaches in addition to aura (visual or sensory disruptions) is at an increased risk for stroke due to the narrowing of the blood vessels that occur during an attack.

Early Warning Signs of Stroke for a Woman

Strokes are one of the top three causes of death in women, which means knowing more about the symptoms of this medical emergency can save your life. Some of the top early warning signs of stroke for a woman include:

  • Speech impairments — any slurring or alternatives in one’s speech 
  • Difficulty breathing — a labored or impaired ability to breath 
  • Arm numbness — a weakness or numbing in one arm 
  • Weakness or fainting — feeling abnormally fatigued or losing consciousness

Any patient experiencing the early warning signs of stroke for a woman outlined above should consider seeking immediate medical attention

Ensuring a Healthy Sense of Well-Being

Regardless of your age, ethnicity, or general health, you’ll find it beneficial to learn about stroke risk factors for women today. Since strokes can occur suddenly and impact a woman at any point in her life, it’s vital to take action as soon as possible to guarantee a long and stroke-free life.

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