Traumatic brain injuries may result in brain damage that affects how a victim thinks, moves and acts. People with traumatic brain injuries also face difficulties with thinking, reasoning, memory, talking, walking and understanding words. Often, a victim’s senses are also affected, causing problems with sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing. Changes in behavior are another common after-effect of TBI.
A comprehensive study of women’s health following brain injuries, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, showed that women suffering from TBI must deal with difficulties common to both sexes, in addition to facing their own unique set of challenges.
Reproductive Health Concerns for Women Post-TBI
The study, conducted by the University of Toronto, is considered the most complete and up-to-date analysis regarding the health concerns of women post-TBI. By studying the effects experienced by pre-menopausal women, five to 12 years after undergoing a moderate to severe TBI, researchers were able to make several conclusions. The University of Toronto study found that:
- Women who suffered TBIs described poor physical and mental health. They cited problems such as a lack of emotional support and lower overall income.
- Menstrual troubles such as amenorrhea, or the absence of a period, and irregular cycles are more common in women with TBI.
- Compared to women without TBI, they were more likely to experience postpartum complications and depression.
- Women with a history of brain injury reportedly have fewer children, despite the study’s conclusion that women with TBI have no biological problems becoming pregnant.
The last finding suggests there may be emotional or financial reasons why women with TBI have fewer children. Women with TBI are likely to suffer from depression and fatigue, affecting their ability to meet the physical and mental pressures of raising a child. In addition, women with TBI may experience financial difficulties that influence their decision not to have children. Raising a child trying in itself, but the multi-tasking required might prove too difficult for those with long-term cognitive impairments.
Recurring Headaches in Women Post-TBI
According to a report published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, recurrent headaches are common within the first year after undergoing a TBI. These headaches are reported more frequently among women, especially those with a history of headaches pre-injury. When added to the stresses of motherhood and financial hardships for women with TBI, it becomes easier to see why women with TBI may not want to have more children.
Women Suffering from TBI: What Can We Do?
These studies have made apparent the need for long-term care and support for women recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Focus should be placed on helping women who are suffering from post-injury headaches, along with supporting those who wish to become pregnant or who are experiencing postpartum difficulties.
If you or a woman close to you suffers from complications following a traumatic brain injury, contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation. The law limits the time available to file a claim for damages, so it is important to act quickly. Our experienced staff will help you evaluate your options and rights to compensation for your injury.