Women’s Health

Being a man or a woman has a significant impact on health, as a result of both biological and gender-related differences. The health of women and girls is of particular concern because, in many societies, they are disadvantaged by discrimination rooted in sociocultural factors. For example, women and girls face increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

Women’s health refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of diseases and conditions that affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being.

Preventative care and screenings

Women’s health includes a wide range of specialties and focus areas, such as:

  • Birth control, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and gynecology
  • Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other female cancers
  • Mammography
  • Menopause and hormone therapy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Sexual health
  • Women and heart disease
  • Benign conditions affecting the function of the female reproductive organs

Breast self exam instruction may also be included.

Breast care services

Breast care services include the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, which may involve:

  • Breast biopsy
  • Breast MRI scan
  • Breast ultrasound
  • Genetic testing and counseling for women with a family or personal history of breast cancer
  • Hormonal therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy
  • Mammography
  • Mastectomy and breast reconstruction

The breast care services team may also diagnose and treat noncancerous conditions of the breast, including:

  • Benign breast lumps
  • Lymphedema, a condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling

Sexual health services

Your sexual health is an important part of your overall well-being. Women’s sexual health services may include:

  • Birth control (contraceptives)
  • Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually-transmitted infections
  • Therapies to help with problems with sexual function

Gynecology and reproductive health services

Gynecology and reproductive health services may include the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions and diseases, including:

  • Abnormal Pap smears
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Heavy menstrual cycles
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Other vaginal infections
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Uterine and vaginal prolapse
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Various conditions affecting the vulva and vagina

Pregnancy and childbirth services

Regular prenatal care is an important part of every pregnancy. Pregnancy and childbirth services include:

  • Planning and preparing for pregnancy, including information about proper diet, prenatal vitamins, and review of pre-existing medical conditions and medicines used
  • Prenatal care, delivery, and postpartum care
  • High-risk pregnancy care (maternal-fetal medicine)
  • Breastfeeding and nursing

Infertility services

Infertility specialists are an important part of the women’s health services team. Infertility services may include:

  • Testing to determine the cause of infertility (a cause may not always be found)
  • Blood and imaging tests to monitor ovulation
  • Infertility treatments,
  • Counseling for couples who are dealing with infertility or loss of a baby

Types of infertility treatments that may be offered include:

  • Medicines to stimulate ovulation
  • Intrauterine insemination
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): Injection of a single sperm directly into an egg
  • Embryo cryopreservation: Freezing embryos for use at a later date
  • Egg donation
  • Sperm banking

Bladder care services

The women’s health services team can also help diagnose and treat bladder-related conditions. Bladder-related conditions that may affect women can include:

  • Bladder emptying disorders
  • Urinary incontinence and overactive bladder
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Prolapse of the bladder

If you have a bladder condition, your women’s health specialist may recommend that you do Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor.

Other women’s health services

  • Cosmetic surgery and skin care, including skin cancer
  • Diet and nutrition services
  • Psychological care and counseling for women dealing with abuse or sexual assault
  • Sleep disorders services
  • Smoking cessation

Source – medlineplus.gov

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