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

Emergencies and First Aid - Bleeding

While a minor cut will eventually stop bleeding, a severe injury may require elevation and direct pressure on the wound. The goals of first-aid treatment are to control bleeding and prevent infection. If disposable surgical gloves are readily available, use them. Butterfly Bandages How to Stop a Nosebleed More »

Emergencies and First Aid - Heimlich Maneuver on a Child

Stand behind the child. With your arms around his or her waist, form a fist with one hand and place it, thumb side in, between the ribs and waistline. Grab your fist with your other hand. Keeping your arms off the child's rib cage, give four quick inward and upward thrusts. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out.     More »

Emergencies and First Aid - Heimlich Maneuver on an Adult

If the person is sitting or standing, stand behind him or her. Form a fist with one hand and place your fist, thumb side in, just below the person'’s rib cage in the front. Grab your fist with your other hand. Keeping your arms off the person’'s rib cage, give four quick inward and upward thrusts. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out. If the person is lying down or unconscious, straddle him or her and place the heel of your hand just above the waistline. Place your other hand on top of this hand. Keeping your elbows straight, give four quick upward thrusts. You may have to repeat this procedure several times until the obstructing object is coughed out.     More »

Emergencies and First Aid - Heimlich Maneuver on an Infant

1 Place the infant face down across your forearm (resting your forearm on your leg) and support the infant'’s head with your hand. Give four forceful blows to the back with the heel of your hand. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out. 2 If this does not work, turn the baby over. With two fingers one finger width below an imaginary line connecting the nipples, give four forceful thrusts to the chest to a depth of 1 inch. You may have to repeat this several times until the obstructing object is coughed out.     More »

Emergencies and First Aid - How to Splint a Fracture

For a lower arm or wrist fracture (left), carefully place a folded newspaper, magazine, or heavy piece of clothing under the arm. Tie it in place with pieces of cloth. A lower leg or ankle fracture (right) can be splinted similarly, with a bulky garment or blanket wrapped and secured around the limb. More »

Emergencies and First Aid -— Broken Bones

Broken bones (fractures) are usually not life-threatening. A fracture may not be visible to you through the skin. Symptoms include intense pain, swelling, increased pain when trying to move the injured area, or bleeding. A broken bone always requires medical attention. Immediate careCall out for someone to get help, or call 911 yourself. Do not move or straighten the broken bone. Splinting is not necessary unless the person needs to be moved without assistance from ambulance personnel or unless the fracture has blocked blood supply to the limb. If the fracture site is deformed and the skin beyond the site of the fracture is cold, pale, and blue, pull gently lengthwise on the limb to straighten the fracture and then splint the limb. How to Make a Sling More »

When You Visit Your Doctor - Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

Do you have regular menstrual cycles? When was your last period? Is your bleeding always heavy or prolonged? How old were you when you started menstruating? How long ago did you develop abnormal bleeding? Are you sexually active? How many times have you been pregnant? What was the outcome of each pregnancy (live births, miscarriages, cesarean sections)? Have you ever had difficulty getting pregnant? What medications are you taking (including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies such as ginseng)? Are you taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills? Have you ever had medications injected (Depo-Provera or Norplant) for birth control? Have you ever taken estrogen or tamoxifen? Are you taking warfarin or other blood thinners? Have you ever had an abnormal Pap smear? Blood pressure, heart rate, weight Abdominal examination Pelvic exam Pregnancy test Blood tests such as complete blood count, coagulation (clotting) studies, and certain hormone tests (such as thyroid stimulating hormone, cortisol, prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, testosterone) Pelvic ultrasound Pap smear Endometrial biopsy.   More »

When You Visit Your Doctor - Pregnancy: 1st Trimester

Your age and how it will affect your pregnancy. Have you been pregnant before? If so, what was the outcome of each pregnancy. Did you have a full-term pregnancy (your baby was born close to your due date)? Did you give birth via a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section ("C-section") surgery? If you had a C-section, what type of C-section was it? Did any of your pregnancies end in miscarriage, voluntary abortion, or an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy? Does this pregnancy come at a good time for you? When was the first day of your last menstrual period? What is the usual length of your menstrual cycle? Do you have any medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, asthma, tuberculosis, epilepsy, or heart disease? Have you ever had any sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, or human papilloma virus (HPV)? Do any medical problems tend to run in your family such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, or hemophilia? Are you taking any medications (including over-the-counter medications)? If so, what are they? Do you smoke? If so, how many packs per day? In an average week, how many alcoholic beverages do you consume? Do you use any recreational drugs? Did you have any problems getting pregnant? Do you eat a well-balanced diet? Are you taking any vitamins, including folic acid (folate)? Do you exercise regularly? What is your home situation like? Who do you live with? Is your partner supportive of this pregnancy? If not, has your partner hit or threatened you? Are you having any problems with morning sickness (that is, nausea and vomiting)? Are you having any bleeding from your vagina? Temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight Chest exam Heart exam Abdominal exam Pelvic exam with Pap smear and cervical cultures Leg exam Confirm pregnancy with blood or urine test Complete blood count and blood type Blood tests for syphilis, rubella antibodies, hepatitis B, HIV Urinalysis Portable Doppler instrument or stethoscope to measure fetal heart sounds Urine culture "Triple screen" (also known as "AFP-3" or "Enhanced AFP" Genetic testing   More »