Women's Health: Women's health has been described as their reproductive health, including maternal and child health, genital health and breast health, and endocrine (hormonal) health, including menstruation, birth control and menopause. Conditions that affect both men and women, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, also manifest differently in women. Women's health issues also include medical situations in which women face problems not directly related to their biology, such as gender-differentiated access to medical treatment and other socioeconomic factors. Women's health is of particular concern due to widespread discrimination against women in the world, leaving them disadvantaged.
Women also need health care more and access the health care system more than do men. While part of this is due to their reproductive and sexual health needs, they also have more chronic non-reproductive health issues such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Women experience many unique health issues related to reproduction and sexuality and these are responsible for a third of all health problems experienced by women during their reproductive years (aged 15–44), of which unsafe sex is a major risk factor. Reproductive health includes a wide range of issues including the health and function of structures and systems involved in reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth.
Breast cancer symptoms and signs include
· a lump in the breast or armpit,
· bloody nipple discharge,
· inverted nipple,
· orange-peel texture or dimpling of the breast's skin,
· breast pain or sore nipple,
· swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpit, and
· a change in the size or shape of the breast or nipple.
Breast cancer can spread when the cancer cells get into the blood or lymph system and
are carried to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer is diagnosed during a physical exam, by self-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy.
Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type of cancer and its stage (0-IV) and may involve surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
The most common reproductive cancers in women are:
· Uterine - begins in the uterus (womb), the organ where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
· Cervical - begins in the cervix, the lower end of the uterus that attaches to the vagina.
· Ovarian - begins in the ovaries, the two organs that make and house a woman's eggs.
· Vaginal - begins in the vagina, the hollow channel that leads from the uterus to the outside of the body.
· Vulvar - begins in the vulva, the area around the opening of the vagina.
Each type of reproductive cancer has different symptoms.
· Uterine-vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal, pressure or pain in the pelvic area.
· Cervical-vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal.
· Ovarian-vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal, pressure or pain in the pelvic area, belly or back, bloating.
· Vaginal-vaginal bleeding or discharge that is not normal.
· Vulvar-pressure or pain in the pelvic area, itching, burning, rash, or sores around the opening of the vagina.
Pregnancy is diagnosed by measuring human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the body. Also referred to as the pregnancy hormone, hCG is produced upon implantation, but it may not be detected until after you miss a period. Levels of the hormone increase rapidly after your missed period. The hormone hCG is detected through either a urine or blood test.
A healthy pregnancy typically lasts for 40 weeks. Premature births can result in many health problems, from low birth weight and jaundice, to a lack of development of the organs.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, the chance for a miscarriage is still quite high. More than 1 in 4 pregnancies result in miscarriage before the 12-week mark. After 12 weeks, the odds of miscarriage drop dramatically. Also during the first trimester, your doctor will check to make sure the developing fetus has a heartbeat by using a Doppler machine.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, an anatomy scan ultrasound will likely be performed. This milestone checks the tiny body of your developing baby for any developmental abnormalities. This test also can reveal the gender of your baby, if you wish to find out before the baby is born. Somewhere in the middle of the second trimester, you will most likely be able to feel your baby’s movement inside your uterus in the form of little kicks and punches.
At 27 weeks, a baby in utero is considered “viable,” meaning that it would have a good chance of surviving outside of your womb. During the third trimester, your weight gain will accelerate and you may feel more tired. As labor approaches, you may feel pelvic discomfort. Excess blood and water retention may cause your feet to swell. Contractions that do not lead to labor, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, may start to occur in the weeks before you deliver.
The menstrual cycle, which is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next, isn't the same for every woman. Menstrual flow might occur every 21 to 35 days and last two to seven days.
Your menstrual cycle might be regular - about the same length every month or somewhat irregular, and your period might be light or heavy, painful or pain-free, long or short, and still be considered normal.
Menstrual cycle irregularities can have many different causes, including:
· Pregnancy or breast-feeding
· Eating disorders, extreme weight loss or excessive exercising
· Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
· Premature ovarian failure
· Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
· Uterine fibroids
Some of the more common problems are
The following are common GYN procedures and surgeries
There are several other causes that can manipulate the endocrine system in a way to create problems with female reproduction including: