A Woman's Journey

    Adolescence

      Adolescent Health Problems

        Acne in Children
        Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are the areas around the base or root of each hair. Sebaceous glands are the tiny glands that release oil (sebum) into the hair follicles. The sebum moistens the skin and hair. The sebum and hair get to the skin surface through tiny holes called pores.

        Adjustment Disorders
        Adjustment disorders are quite common in children and teens. They are characterized by an excessive reaction to stress.

        Anorexia Nervosa in Children
        Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is a form of self-starvation. A child or teen with anorexia has abnormally low body weight, a distorted body image, and an intense fear of gaining weight.

        more...

      Adolescent Sports Injuries


      Growth and Development

        Anatomy of Female Pelvic Area
        The female pelvic area contains a number of organs and structures: the endometrium, uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, and vulva.

        Anatomy of the Breasts
        Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

        Cognitive Development in Adolescence
        Cognitive development means the growth of a child’s ability to think and reason. This growth happens differently from ages 6 to 12, and ages 12 to 18.

        more...

      Gynecological Conditions

        Amenorrhea in Teens
        Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition in which a woman's menstrual periods are absent for more than three monthly cycles. Pregnancy is one possible cause of amenorrhea.

        Breast Conditions in Young Women
        Some breast changes or conditions are related to a young woman's menstrual cycle, but others may occur at any time. Most breast conditions are benign.

        Dysmenorrhea in Adolescents
        Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual condition marked by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain. Dysmenorrhea can be either lifelong or caused by another medical condition.

        more...

    Childbearing Years

      Menstrual Health and Conditions

        Amenorrhea
        Amenorrhea means you haven't had your period for more than 3 cycles. It can be caused by a variety of things including overexercising, being overweight, or due to an ovulation problem.

        Anatomy of Female Pelvic Area
        The female pelvic area contains a number of organs and structures: the endometrium, uterus, ovaries, cervix, vagina, and vulva.

        Anatomy of the Breasts
        Each breast has 15 to 20 sections (lobes), which are arranged like the petals of a daisy. Each lobe has many smaller lobules, which end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.

        more...

      Pelvic Conditions and Care

        Cervicitis
        Cervicitis is irritation or infection of the cervix. It can be caused by a number of different sexually transmitted diseases.

        Endometriosis
        The tissue that lines the uterus is called the endometrium. Normally, if a woman doesn’t get pregnant, this tissue is shed each month during her period. In endometriosis, tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus.This can cause pain, heavy periods, and infertility.

        Hysterectomy
        Hysterectomy is surgery to remove the uterus. Your healthcare provider may also remove one or both ovaries, and the fallopian tubes. In some cases, he or she may remove other parts of the reproductive system.

        more...

      Sexual Health & Infertility

        Infertility

          Infertility
          Infertility is a problem of the reproductive system. It impairs the body's ability to reproduce. It could be caused by a problem with the man’s system, the woman’s system, or both.

          Infertility Risk Factors for Men and Women
          Age, chronic diseases, and endometriosis are common factors for women. For men, they are STDs, toxic substances at work, and cigarette smoking.

          Male Infertility
          Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It makes a person unable to have children. It can affect a man, a woman, or both. Male infertility means that a man has a problem with his reproductive system. It means you cannot start a pregnancy with your female partner.

        Contraception/Birth Control
        You have a lot of options when it comes to birth control. Some methods don't require a doctor's visit, but others, like oral contraceptives, are available only by prescription.

        Safer Sex Guidelines
        The only safe sex is no sex, most health care providers say. But certain precautions and safe behaviors can minimize a person's risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

        Vasectomy
        Vasectomy is surgery a man may choose if he does not want to father any more children. It's permanent male birth control.

        more...

    Menopause & Living Well

      Estrogen's Effects on the Female Body
      In addition to regulating the menstrual cycle, estrogen affects the reproductive tract, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain.

      Introduction to Menopause
      When a woman permanently stops having menstrual periods, she has reached the stage of life called menopause. This stage signals the end of a woman's ability to have children.

      Menopausal Hormone Therapy
      If you use or are considering using hormone therapy, discuss the possible benefits and risks with your health care provider.

      more...

    Pregnancy

      Now That You're Pregnant

        Calculating a Due Date
        First, determine the first day of your last menstrual period. Next, count back 3 calendar months and add 1 year and 7 days to that date.

        Pregnancy and Oral Health
        Regular dental checkups and cleanings, along with brushing and flossing often, are important for a healthy mouth and a health pregnancy.

        Pregnancy Over Age 30
        Many women today are waiting until later in life to have children. In the United States, birth rates for women in their 30s are at the highest levels in four decades.

        more...

      Pregnancy Tests and Procedures

        Amniocentesis
        Amniocentesis is a procedure used to take out a small sample of the amniotic fluid for testing.

        Biophysical Profile
        A biophysical profile is a test that is sometimes used during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is often done if there is a question about the baby’s health. This may be because of other test results or certain pregnancy symptoms, or because your pregnancy is high risk.

        Cesarean Section
        Cesarean section or C-section is the surgical delivery of a baby through a cut (incision) made in the mother's abdomen and uterus.

        more...

      Preparing for Pregnancy

        Components of Food
        When trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition.

        Folic Acid for a Healthy Baby
        Getting enough folic acid can reduce the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) and may also reduce the risk for other serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

        Nutrition Before Pregnancy
        You need about 300 extra calories a day after the first trimester to maintain a healthy pregnancy. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.

        more...

      Your Changing Body

        Common Discomforts During Pregnancy
        Nausea and vomiting are common in the first trimester, as is fatigue. Other common discomforts are hemorrhoids and heartburn.

        Exercise During Pregnancy
        If you exercised before pregnancy, you can safely continue exercising. If you were inactive or you have medical complications, talk with your healthcare provider before beginning to exercise.

        First Trimester Fatigue
        For many women, the extreme tiredness of the first trimester is quite a surprise. And it’s an especially hard transition for those who are normally go-getters with lots of energy.

        more...

      Your Growing Baby

        Anatomy: Fetus in Utero
        Definitions of terms related to the anatomy of a fetus in utero.

        Common Tests During Pregnancy
        Certain tests and screenings may be scheduled during your pregnancy. Your health care provider will advise you on which tests you'll need.

        First Trimester
        A healthy first trimester is crucial to the normal development of your baby. You may not be showing much on the outside, but inside, all the major body organs and systems of the fetus are forming.

        more...