Women’s health refers to a branch of medicin that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions that affect a woman’s well-being.
Women have unique health issues, including pregnancy, menopause, and conditions of the female organs. Women can have a healthy pregnancy by getting early and regular prenatal care. They should also get recommended breast cancer, cervical cancer, and bone density screenings.
Women and men also have many of the same health problems. However, these problems can affect women differently. For example,
- Women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men
- Women are more likely to show signs of depression and anxiety than men
- The effects of sexually transmitted diseases can be more serious in women
- Osteoarthritis affects more women than men
- Women are more likely to have urinary tract problems.
Areas of Focus
Women’s health focuses on the following conditions and health issues:
- Conditions affecting the female reproductive organs, including endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and pelvic pain
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Menopause and hormone replacement therapy
- Sexual health, including contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Bladder care, including urinary incontinence, overactive bladder and bladder prolapse
- Cancer, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer.
- Heart disease
Preventative care for women includes the following:
- Regular gynecological checkups
- Breast cancer screening, including mammography
- Pap smear
- Bone density testing
- Risk assessments for heart disease, colon cancer and other conditions
Women Health Specialists
A variety of medical professionals may be involved in providing womens health services, including the following:
- Obstetrician/gynecologist (ob/gyn)
- General surgeons that specialize in breast cancer treatment
- Perinatologists that specialize in high-risk pregnancies
- Nurse midwives that may provide care during routine pregnancies