According to (The Specialty Practice of Rehabilitation Nursing: A Core Curriculum 7th Edition), stroke is the 4th leading cause of death and disability in the United States, the third cause of death among women, and it affects and kills more women than men. Approximately 55,000 more women than men have strokes each year. Some stroke symptoms are common to men and women, but there are some unique symptoms of stroke in women: fainting, general weakness, vertigo, hiccups, disorientation and confusion or memory problems, fatigue, and nausea or vomiting. These unique symptoms can easily go unrecognized as symptoms of a stroke. Therefore, treatment is often delayed in these types of situations. Symptoms vary from person to person. These symptoms will be discussed below.
A short video on stroke warning signs in women.
Fainting can easily be dismissed as a symptom of stroke since other conditions can lead to fainting. However, fainting of any cause should be cause for great concern and should be addressed immediately.
Fatigue/Tiredness, confusion, or general weakness might be experienced initially, rather than weakness on one side of the body, that people more readily recognize as a sign of a stroke. Even amid anxiety, immediate help is not sought as these symptoms can easily be attributed to something else. The time-lapse can result in stroke, severe disability, or death.
Vertigo is one of those stroke symptoms in women that is not well known but is more common in women. One suffering from vertigo usually experiences nausea and vomiting. Immediate help should be sought especially if this is a new experience. I know of two individuals who were treated for vertigo and sent home and within 24 hours they suffered from a severe stroke. Unfortunately, this unique stroke symptom in women is sometimes overlooked by physicians, as being a sign of stroke. You know your body better than anyone. Therefore, you should plead with the doctor to further investigate your condition.
Seizure: Emergency help should be sought with the sudden onset of a seizure. A stroke needs to be ruled out. This is especially important if you never experienced a seizure before.
Hiccups accompanied by chest pain can be a stroke symptom in women. Most persons, however, may not see hiccups as being a stroke symptom. Get help immediately.
Disorientation and Confusion or Memory Problems: Confusion can happen in both sexes but is more common in women suffering from a stroke.
Nausea or vomiting may also occur.
Remember, in addition to general stroke symptoms, unique symptoms of stroke in women such as fainting, fatigue/tiredness, confusion, or general weakness, vertigo, seizures, hiccups, disorientation, confusion, or memory problems, and nausea or vomiting can occur. Please call 911 if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they are unusual. Quick action can help to prevent decreased disability caused by a stroke, or worse, death. Every second counts if a stroke is taking place.
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