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

How to perform Kegel exercises

Pelvic floor strengthening exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, are known to be effective for stress urinary incontinence in women, with cure rates of up to 80%. Here are 7 tips to help you perform them properly. (Locked) More »

Radiation risk from medical imaging

Given the huge increase in the use of CT scans, concern about radiation exposure is warranted. Patients should try to keep track of their cumulative radiation exposure, and only have tests when necessary. More »

Calcium beyond the bones

Though calcium is essential for bones and muscles, it can accumulate in the body in unwanted places. There is concern that calcium intake may be to blame for calcium buildups in joint and tendons as well as kidney stones and breast calcifications. So how does calcium get deposited beyond the bones? Here's what we know so far. More »

Managing postmenopausal vaginal atrophy

After menopause, many women experience vaginal dryness and discomfort. There are a variety of products available to treat this condition, including vaginal moisturizers and estrogen medications. (Locked) More »

Treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Women who experience severe premenstrual symptoms may have a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Antidepressants may relieve these symptoms and, depending on the person, can be taken intermittently instead of daily.   More »

Dealing with the symptoms of menopause

You could argue that the physical and mental changes that occur during menopause aren't really "symptoms." The term is usually associated with a disease, which menopause is not. Also, it is often hard to say which changes are a direct result of a drop in hormone levels and which are natural consequences of aging. Some of the symptoms overlap or have a cascade effect. For example, vaginal dryness may contribute to a lower sex drive, and frequent nighttime hot flashes may be a factor in insomnia. Hot flashes and vaginal dryness are the two symptoms most frequently linked with menopause. Other symptoms associated with menopause include sleep disturbances, urinary complaints, sexual dysfunction, mood changes, and quality of life. However, these symptoms don't consistently correlate with the hormone changes seen with menopause transition. Also called vasomotor symptoms, hot flashes may begin in perimenopause, or they may not start until after the last menstrual period has occurred. On average, they last three to five years and are usually worse during the year following the last menstrual period. For some women they go on indefinitely. More »

Osteopenia: When you have weak bones, but not osteoporosis

Like their names suggest, osteopenia and osteoporosis are related diseases. Both are varying degrees of bone loss, as measured by bone mineral density, a marker for how strong a bone is and the risk that it might break. If you think of bone mineral density as a slope, normal would be at the top and osteoporosis at the bottom. Osteopenia, which affects about half of Americans over age 50, would fall somewhere in between. The main way to determine your bone density is to have a painless, noninvasive test called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) that measures the mineral content of bone. The measurements, known as T-scores, determine which category — osteopenia, osteoporosis, or normal — a person falls into (see graphic). More »