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
The cervix is a tubelike channel that connects the uterus to the vagina. Cervical polyps are growths that usually appear on the cervix where it opens into the vagina. Polyps are usually cherry-red to reddish-purple or grayish-white. They vary in size and often look like bulbs on thin stems. Cervical polyps are usually not cancerous (benign) and can occur alone or in groups. Most polyps are small, about 1 centimeter to 2 centimeters long. Because rare types of cancerous conditions can look like polyps, all polyps should be removed and examined for signs of cancer.
The cause of cervical polyps is not well understood, but they are associated with inflammation of the cervix. They also may result from an abnormal response to the female hormone estrogen.
Cervical polyps are relatively common, especially in women older than 20 who have had at least one child. They are rare in girls who have not started menstruating. There are two types of cervical polyps:
Ectocervical polyps can develop from the outer surface layer cells of the cervix. They are more common in postmenopausal women.
Endocervical polyps develop from cervical glands inside the cervical canal. Most cervical polyps are endocervical polyps, and are more common in premenopausal women.
Some women feel pain in the abdomen or pelvis during ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary. This usually happens midway between menstrual cycles. The medical term for this is mittelschmerz, which comes from the German words for "middle" and "pain." Some women don't feel anything when an egg is being released from an ovary. Other women may feel intermittent or constant discomfort or pain during ovulation.