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

Protect your bones with tai chi

Tai chi is a gentle exercise that helps prevent falls and may reduce the chance of a bone fracture. Those who perform tai chi see a 20% to 40% reduction in fall risk. In addition, there is some evidence that tai chi may help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, because it is a weight-bearing exercise that can stimulate bone growth. The practice helps reverse age-related changes such as muscle weakness and slow reaction time. More »

Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract. There are two main types: endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. Endometrial cancer is the most common type of uterine cancer. It occurs in the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. The disease generally strikes women between the ages of 50 and 65. Its cause is not fully understood. However, women who have high levels of the hormone estrogen that are not offset by the hormone progesterone are more likely to develop endometrial cancer. Since progesterone levels drop after menopause, postmenopausal women have a higher-than-normal risk of developing this cancer. Other women likely to have high levels of estrogen without enough progesterone include those who (Locked) More »

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the vagina (birth canal). Cancer that starts in the vagina is called primary vaginal cancer. Primary vaginal cancer is rare. More commonly, cancer cells in the vagina are from cancer that started somewhere else, such as the cervix. There are two main types of primary vaginal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The vast majority of vaginal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers arise from the surface of the lining of the vagina. They usually develop slowly, most often in the upper part of the vagina near the cervix. This type of cancer typically affects women between 50 and 70 years old. (Locked) More »

Your breasts may offer clues about your heart health

A mammogram may show calcifications (small calcium deposits) in the arteries of the breast. These may signal that a woman has a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Arterial breast calcifications become more common with age. Some research has found that if a woman has calcifications in her breast arteries, she has a 70% chance of having calcifications in the coronary arteries as well. (Locked) More »

Can I do anything to prevent urinary incontinence?

Not all cases of urinary incontinence can be prevented, but a woman can reduce her risk by maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. Kegel exercises can strengthen the muscles in the pelvis that support the bladder. (Locked) More »

Can I outwalk breast cancer?

Walking an average of an hour a day may reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. (Locked) More »

Rosacea can flare at menopause

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects some 16 million Americans, causing persistent redness, pimples, and dilated blood vessels on the face. Flushing makes the condition worse, and it can be exacerbated by hot flashes at menopause. Doctors typically diagnose rosacea by performing a skin examination and taking a medical history. The condition is treatable by avoiding triggers and using medications to reduce redness and swelling. (Locked) More »

Are you old enough to give up your screening mammogram?

There is no universal age to stop screening mammography, but women over 75 should discuss with their doctors whether to continue. Women who are in poor health, have a reduced life expectancy, or are unwilling or unable to tolerate cancer treatments may want to stop screenings. But screenings might be appropriate in older women who are in good health and are willing to undergo cancer treatments if needed. (Locked) More »