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Women's Health Archive

Articles

Postpartum anxiety is invisible, but common and treatable

Published July 30, 2021

It’s not unusual for women to feel down or depressed after giving birth, but if the feelings persist or become debilitating, it’s cause for concern. Many of the symptoms overlap between postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, but some women do not respond as well to some treatments for depression, so it’s important to establish the correct diagnosis.

Ready for your routine medical checkup?

Published July 28, 2021

Before the pandemic did you schedule a routine, in-person health checkup every year? Is this necessary or can you safely skip a year or consider a telehealth visit or a combination of in-person and virtual care? There are pros and cons to these options and no single solution will work for everyone.

Breast centers out of step with federal mammography recommendations

Updated June 1, 2021
Breast centers and the federal government often differ when it comes to breast cancer screening recommendations.

Is a "normal" blood pressure reading too high for women?

Updated June 1, 2021
A study published Feb. 16, 2021, in Circulation found that women with blood pressure readings in a normal range may still be at higher risk for cardiovascular events. For example, heart attack risk in women rose at a systolic (the upper number) reading of 110 to 119 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and was the same at this level as men with a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg. But experts say it’s too soon to change blood pressure recommendations for women until more research confirms the results.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect my mammogram?

Updated June 1, 2021
The COVID-19 vaccine may cause a harmless temporary swelling of lymph nodes that could be mistaken for cancer on a mammogram or other imaging test.

Period equity: What it is and why it matters

Published June 1, 2021

Menstruation is a basic fact of human existence, yet millions of people in the US struggle to afford –– or can’t afford –– products like tampons and pads, a problem known as period poverty. Menstrual hygiene products are necessities, not luxuries, and period equity addresses this.

Pregnancy problems may predict heart health decades later

Published May 26, 2021
Growing evidence suggests women who experience certain health complications during pregnancy face a higher risk for cardiovascular disease later in life, such as heart attack and narrowing arteries. Lifestyle changes can help.

Understanding and treating pelvic organ prolapse

Updated May 1, 2021

This common problem is often ignored or misunderstood.

Roughly half of women over age 50 have pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which the uterus, bladder, small intestine, or rectum bulges into the vaginal wall or drops down through the vagina. But unlike with other common health conditions, many women don't talk about it — even with their doctors. For some, this may stem from embarrassment, but in other instances, it's because they think it's just something they need to deal with as they age.

"Women will say to me, 'I thought this was normal because I had kids.' But it's not normal. Not everyone who has had a vaginal delivery or is over 65 has urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse," says Dr. Emily Von Bargen, a Harvard Medical School instructor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology. Pelvic organ prolapse is treatable, and it's not something women have to live with, says Von Bargen.

Polycystic ovary syndrome and the skin

Published April 29, 2021

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of infertility in women. In many cases, women with PCOS have skin and hair issues such as acne, hair loss, or excessive hair growth in places where they normally do not have hair. Treatment options vary depending on the symptoms and each woman’s preferences.

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