Women's Health

Women have many unique health concerns — menstrual cycles, pregnancy, birth control, menopause — and that's just the beginning. A number of health issues affect only women and others are more common in women. What's more, men and women may have the same condition, but different symptoms. Many diseases affect women differently and may even require distinct treatment.

We tend to think of breast cancer and osteoporosis as women's health diseases, but they also occur in men. Heart disease in a serious concern to both men and women, but risk factors and approaches to prevention are different. Women may also have specific concerns about aging, caregiving, emotional health issues, and skin care.

Women's Health Articles

An aspirin a day for your health?

Low-dose aspirin use has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. But it’s not right for all women and can lead to serious complications, including gastrointestinal bleeding. A thorough risk analysis should be conducted by your doctor before you consider starting a low-dose aspirin regimen. (Locked) More »

Gender equality? Not when it comes to alcohol and the brain

Men and women are not created equal when it comes to alcohol. Women may be more prone to negative health effects related to drinking. A new study shows alcohol may also affect their brains differently, specifically the reward center of the brain. This may mean that women need gender-specific treatments for alcohol-use disorders. (Locked) More »

Is my bruising normal?

If you find that you are bruising more easily, it may be due to aging, which causes changes to your blood vessels and skin that make bruising more likely. More »

How clean should your skin be?

Probiotic skin products, which are designed to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria, are promising options for treating skin conditions in the future. However, there is no scientific evidence that currently available probiotic skin products are effective. More »

Getting a start on growing stronger

Strength and power training can slow muscle loss and can also help prevent or control arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis and improve cognitive function. The exercises described can be performed at home with minimal equipment. More »

Should you have an annual pelvic exam?

Expert groups disagree over the value of an annual pelvic exam for healthy women without symptoms of pelvic diseases. Women should discuss the potential risks and benefits as well as their personal preferences with their doctors. (Locked) More »

When an SSRI medication impacts your sex life

The popular medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs (see box) can help lift people out from under a dark cloud of depression. But there are some side effects from antidepressants, including those that can affect your sex life. In addition to reducing interest in sex, SSRI medications can make it difficult to become aroused, sustain arousal, and reach orgasm. Some people taking SSRIs aren't able to have an orgasm at all. These symptoms tend to become more common with age. If you experience any sexual problems while taking an SSRI medication, talk with your doctor or therapist. About 35% to 50% of people with untreated major depression experience some type of sexual dysfunction prior to treatment. So, in some cases, sexual difficulties may stem not from the SSRI, but rather from the underlying depression. If medication is the problem, sexual side effects sometimes subside with time, so it's worth waiting a while to see if problems diminish. This is a particularly good strategy if the medication is easing your depression significantly. But if side effects from antidepressants persist, your doctor or therapist may suggest one of the following strategies, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Understanding Depression: More »