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Women's Health Issues

Breast and gynecological health are two issues that women are most concerned about but heart disease and osteoporosis are also critical.

Breast Health

  • Understanding Breast Health
  • Routine care is the best way to keep you and your breasts healthy. Although detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages is the main goal of routine breast care, benign conditions are often discovered through routine care.
  • Breast Tests & Procedures
  • High-quality screening mammography is the most effective tool available to doctors in detecting breast cancer before lumps can be felt or symptoms of cancer appear.
  • Common Breast Questions
  • Benign conditions that affect the breasts include cysts, fibroadenomas, breast infection or pain, and fibrocystic breast changes. Some of these conditions are associated with a woman's monthly menstrual cycle.
  • About Breast Cancer
  • Any woman may develop breast cancer, but risk factors such as advancing age and family history may increase the likelihood of its occurrence.
  • Breast Cancer Treatment
  • Treatment can control the breast cancer and improve your quality of life by controlling symptoms of the disease. You and your doctor will discuss your treatment options and what’s best for you.

Gynecological Health

  • Gynecological Conditions
  • Common gynecological conditions include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine fibroids.
  • Gynecological Cancer
  • Cervical cancer is one type of gynecological cancer. It can be prevented by getting a routine, annual pelvic exam and Pap test.
  • Gynecology Tests & Procedures
  • Laparoscopy, pelvic ultrasound, and colposcopy are some of the more common tests and procedures available for assessing and treating gynecological conditions.

Heart Disease & Stroke

  • Heart Disease
  • The risk for heart attack increases with age, especially after menopause. For most women, though, heart disease is preventable by making lifestyle changes.
  • Stroke
  • Although stroke occurs more frequently in men, more women die from stroke. You can reduce your risk by keeping your blood pressure under control.
  • Cardiovascular Tests & Procedures
  • A number of tools and procedures are available to help your doctor diagnose and treat your heart disease.

Obesity

  • Understanding Obesity
  • In many ways, obesity is a puzzling disease. How the body regulates weight and body fat is not well understood.
  • Obesity & Other Health Problems
  • Obesity puts you at risk for other health conditions, from type 2 diabetes to sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Treating Obesity
  • Weight loss is the goal in obesity treatment. Your treatment depends on your age, health, medical history—and how much weight you need to lose.
  • Deciding on Surgery
  • Bariatric surgery should be used only in select cases. This is major surgery, sometimes requiring that your bowel be cut and rearranged.

Osteoperosis

  • Understanding Osteoperosis
  • Osteoporosis affects more than 10 million Americans, with women four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. An additional 34 million have low bone mass, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis.
  • Orthopedic Tests & Procedures
  • Your doctor has a range of tests and procedures—from bone scans to MRIs—to help diagnose and treat osteoporosis.

Plastic Surgery

Conditions of Concern to Women

Sports Injuries

A Woman's Journey

From adolescence to pregnancy to menopause, a woman's gender gives her a unique health perspective on life.

Adolescence

  • Growth & Development
  • When a girl enters puberty, many changes occur….her hips widen, her menstrual cycle begins, and hair grows on her legs and under her arms.
  • Gynecological Conditions
  • Common conditions that may affect teen girls include painful periods, premenstrual syndrome, and vaginitis.
  • Adolescent Health Problems
  • Weight issues are common for teens—some adolescents struggle with obesity, and others with eating disorders that leave them too thin.
  • Adolescent Sports Injuries
  • Estrogen appears to affect a female athlete's ligaments, making them more relaxed and boosting the risk for injury.

Childbearing Years

  • Menstrual Health Conditions
  • Most women have normal menstrual cycles, but some have painful periods or are affected by premenstrual syndrome.
  • Pelvic Conditions & Care
  • Getting a regular gynecological checkup can help you head off problems before they become serious.
  • Sexual Health & Infertility
  • A woman has many contraceptive choices today. One important factor in the decision should be to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Pregnancy

  • Preparing for Pregnancy
  • Take steps now to prepare for pregnancy—schedule a pre-pregnancy exam with your doctor to ensure you are in optimal health.
  • Now That You're Pregnant
  • Good prenatal care is essential for a healthy pregnancy. You can see an OB/GYN, a family doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse midwife for care.
  • Your Growing Baby
  • For a healthy baby, make wise lifestyle choices during pregnancy: No smoking and no alcohol are two of the most important.
  • Your Changing Body
  • The hormones of pregnancy bring on a number of changes, from nausea to fatigue. Your growing, developing baby, too, has a profound effect.
  • Pregnancy Tests & Procedures
  • A range of tests and procedures is available to help monitor you and your developing child.

Menopause & Living Well

In Good Health

Healthy habits can help you live your life to the fullest - follow a well-balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, and keep stress under control.

Well Being

  • Stress & Depression
  • Everyone feels worried, anxious, or sad from time to time. But when a woman has a true mental health disorder, including depression, she finds it hard to function normally.
  • Moms & Family Life
  • Family time can take place spontaneously in many ways during ordinary interactions between parents and children, whether it's rocking a baby to sleep or driving a teenager to the mall.
  • Women and the Workplace
  • In order to reach your workplace goals, define a few key priorities and expend most of your energy supporting those priorities, instead of spreading yourself thin trying to keep up with too many concerns.
  • Sleep Health
  • If you feel good all day long—wide awake and alert—you're getting enough sleep. If you feel drowsy after lunch and it's hard to get up in the morning, you've got a sleep debt.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Although eating disorders typically appear in girls ages 11 to 13, they are expanding to affect younger children, as well as women in midlife.
  • Personal Safety
  • If you are being harassed at work, carefully document the incidents, including dates, times, places and names, and report the harasser to the appropriate person in your department.

Sexual Health & STDs

Diet & Exercise

  • Eating Well
  • One way to improve your diet is to eat more fruits and vegetables. Two cups of fruit and 2-1/2 cups of vegetables a day may lower your risk for heart disease and some cancers, and bolster your immune system.
  • Being Active
  • To get started with exercise, first figure out your fitness goals: Endurance? Weight management? Try to find an exercise routine that you enjoy, then commit to doing it.

Preventative Care

You and Your Healthcare Provider

Age-Specific Concerns

Newborn? Toddler? Teen? Here's where to find answers to questions you have about the particular stage your child is going through.

Infants & Toddlers

Pre-School and School Age

Adolescents & Teens

  • Female Sexual Development
  • For girls, puberty begins from age 8 to 13. There is a great amount of variation in the rate of physical and sexual maturity that may occur during adolescence.
  • Male Sexual Development
  • In boys, it is difficult to know exactly when puberty is coming. Changes occur, but they do so gradually over a period of time rather than as a single event.
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Sexually transmitted diseases are among the most common infectious diseases in the US. Find out the facts about STD’s and learn how to protect your teen.
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia and bulimia are much more common in girls than in boys, but both genders are at higher risk in certain sports that emphasize thinness or that have weight restrictions.
  • Mood Disorders
  • Parents may miss the signs of depression in a teen. Or, they may believe their child will “snap out of it” eventually. But if left untreated, depression can worsen.
  • Alcohol & Tobacco
  • Smoking and drinking can have a huge impact on teen health. Teens are more likely to become addicted to nicotine. And alcohol impairs judgment—a big problem for youths who already lack experience.
  • Drugs
  • Look here for information on commonly abused drugs, from methamphetamine to cough medicine and prescription medications.

The Healthy Child

You want what's best for your child, whether that's good nutrition, effective discipline or a breadth of life opportunities.

Physical Development

  • Growth & Development
  • Children progress to new stages of development when they are ready. That progress can differ by weeks or even months among children of the same age.
  • Stages of Play
  • An infant enjoys playing alone. By the time, a child becomes a preschooler, he or she enjoys watching and imitating others, with only some interaction during play.
  • Promoting Intellectual Growth
  • Reading is an excellent way to help your child grow intellectually. It provides time for special attention between parent and child, encourages the child's later reading success, and fosters language and speech development.

Nutrition & Eating

  • Infant Nutrition
  • Breast milk is best for your baby and is beneficial even if you only breastfeed for a short amount of time, or part-time.
  • Nutrition for Pre-school Children
  • Preschoolers are eager to learn, especially from other people. They need supervision at mealtime, as they are still working on chewing and swallowing skills.
  • Nutrition for School-age Children
  • School-aged children usually eat four to five times a day, including snacks. Many food habits, likes, and dislikes are established during this time.
  • Nutrition for Adolescents
  • Use the food pyramid as a guideline to help your adolescent eat a healthy diet. It's important that he or she eat a variety of foods while taking in the right amount of calories and fat.

Dental Care

  • Dental Hygiene
  • Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every 6 months for children. At home, help your child brush his or her teeth as needed and encourage good oral hygiene.
  • Common Dental Problems
  • One of the first dental concerns that parents face is teething. Teething can make a baby uncomfortable and cranky - but it's a normal developmental stage for a child.
  • Dental Procedures
  • Most children have sealants applied to their back teeth to help protect them from decay. Older children may need braces or other devices to help with teeth alignment.

Hearing, Speech & Language

Vision Care

Sports Safety & Injuries

  • Sports Safety
  • High-quality screening mammography is the most effective tool available to doctors in detecting breast cancer before lumps can be felt or symptoms of cancer appear.
  • Sports Injury
  • Minor sports injuries that young players may experience include scrapes, cuts, sprains, and strains.

Activities & Exercise

About Sleep

Safety Injury & Protection

  • Home Safety From electrical outlet covers to proper storage of household chemicals, here's a wealth of ideas on how to keep your children safe at home.
  • Airway Obstruction Small children are at risk for choking from certain foods and toys. Supervise youngsters when they eat and check toys regularly for damage.
  • Bicycle & Skating Safety When shopping for a bike or skating helmet, take your child with you - a child will be more likely to wear a helmet if he or she picks it out.
  • Car Safety Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats until they're at least a year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. Toddlers need forward-facing seats, and older children, booster seats.
  • Fire & Firearm Safety To help prevent fires, keep flammable products such as matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
  • Toy & Product Safety When you give your child a toy, make sure it's appropriate for his or her age. The age recommendation is based on both the physical and mental ability of the child.
  • Falls & Water Safety Ways to prevent falls at home: Install window guards on windows above the first floor and use safety gates on stairs.

Parenting

Parenting is one of life's toughest jobs, but here's a range of advice on how to make it a little easier.

Children & Healthcare: Know What to Do

Knowing what to do when your child gets sick can make getting through the illness a little less stressful for both of you.

Childhood Injuries, Poisons & Burns

  • Minor Cuts, Scrapes & Skin Wounds
    Small cuts and scrapes are often viewed as part of childhood and growing up. Most cuts and scrapes are minor injuries that can be treated at home.
  • Superficial Injuries to the Face & Head
    A child's face and head are especially at risk for cuts, scrapes, and lacerations in part because a child has a much larger head than an adult, when compared with the rest of his or her body.
  • Eye Trauma
    Make sure your child wears recommended appropriate protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities.
  • Muscle & Joint Injuries
    Sprains and strains are uncommon in younger children because their growth plates are weaker than the muscles or tendons. Instead, children are prone to fractures.
  • Animal & Human Bites
    The most common type of animal bite is a dog bite. Almost a million Americans are attacked by dogs each year - and about half of them are children.
  • Insect Bites
    Most insect bites are annoying - not life-threatening. Still, if your child may be exposed to problem insects such as ticks, it's best to take precautions.
  • Poisons
    Store all household chemicals - cleaning supplies, medications, toiletries - in locked cabinets in their original, labeled containers.
  • Burns
    Although an open flame is the primary cause of burn injuries for adults, scalding is the leading cause for children.

Disease Prevention

When Your Child is Sick

Childhood Illness

  • Eye & Ear Conditions
    Ear infections are common in young children - more than 80 percent of youngsters have at least one episode by the time they are 3 years old.
  • Allergies, Asthma, Respiratory Problems
    Some children develop allergies, some develop asthma, and some kids end up with both conditions.
  • Skin Conditions
    Skin problems can be present at birth - birthmarks, for instance - or they can crop up in childhood - rashes and head lice are two examples.
  • Diabetes & Blood Pressure Problems
    The more common type of diabetes in children is type 1 diabetes. Some overweight children and teens, however, are developing type 2 diabetes, once seen only in adults.
  • Bone Conditions
    Several conditions in childhood can have an impact on spine health: scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis.
  • Infectious Diseases
    Measles, tetanus, whooping cough, and other infectious diseases that once affected children are now rare because of immunization.

Medications

Emotions & Behavior

More Resources