Helping Rural Women Prioritize Their Health

A mother with her daughter on the farm

“If you have other expenses that need to be addressed, you tend to de-prioritize your health. This is particularly true for women.”

-Yesmean Wahdan , MD, U.S. Medical Affairs at Bayer

Nowhere is this more true than on the farm. There, women wear many hats, taking on the workload of an entire family along with their own. As the so-called “invisible load” of women gets more attention in the press and spotlighted on social media, women in ag press forward.


On the farm, they’re pulling the planter, running the auger cart and driving the grain truck. But at home and in the community, they’re raising the next generation, chairing the community board, helping with homework, running the operation, and more. Women keep everything moving, and Bayer knows they can forget to prioritize the support they need—and we want to help out.


Throughout their lives, women in ag give back to their families, to the farm, to their career, to their communities. Bayer aims to support them from the start, with a multi-pronged approach that starts with education. “I strongly believe that with education comes empowerment,” says Cecilia Caetano, Gynecologist/Obstetrician and Director of Menopause Management at Bayer.  “We need to educate women – and men – whenever there is a chance – starting in school with young girls and continuing throughout women’s lives, since even adult women often lack knowledge on topics like heavy menstrual bleeding or menopause. The more girls and women who know about their bodies and their health, the better they can assess when something is not normal.”


One in three women will suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding at some point in their lives, yet many will never seek relief—they’ll just deal with it. They may not know this symptom can be a sign of diseases like uterine fibroids or bleeding disorders, and that when accompanied by pain, endometriosis could be a cause. Knowing women often won’t act on their health unless they have a concrete sign and if finding that sign is easy, Bayer developed FlowCyclo, an app that helps women quantify menstrual bleeding and help them understand whether their situation is normal or if it’s time to discuss deviations with their doctor.


Similarly, women often don’t act when the bleeding stops. In many countries, menopause is still considered taboo or even a deficiency for women. About 47 million women enter this new phase every year, but few will recognize it, or know how to manage their symptoms. 


“Menopause is still a taboo topic, where discussions are focused on coping with symptoms, and women are often hesitant to seek support,” Caetano says. Menopause symptoms can be debilitating and life changing, and if asked, most women say those symptoms affect their work. In the UK, women over 50 are the fastest growing segment in the workplace—and the most impacted by menopause. Bayer takes the stand that coping and managing aren’t enough. We’re actively working to broaden treatment choices for women to significantly reduce or alleviate symptoms.


Living better extends to every aspect of women’s health, including helping women in ag nourish their bodies to ensure they have the energy to fill the many roles they fill. This includes working to provide more nutritious foods and ideal supplements. Vegetables by Bayer offers more than 20 different crops and thousands of innovative vegetable seed selections to help women live a healthier life. And Bayer supports a healthy lifestyle by helping women find the right vitamins and supplements to optimize mental and physical energy, support their immune systems, enable healthier pregnancies, and more.


Women are the proverbial backbone of ag, and Bayer is making it our goal to strengthen and support them the way they nurture their families and their industry.