Women’s Health Services Q&A
If you would like to know more about women’s health and how we can help, contact Beckley Internal Medicine located in Beckley, WV today!
What is Women’s Health?
Women’s health is the area of medicine dedicated to the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of diseases and conditions that affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being
What does a Women’s Healthcare Doctor do?
A women’s healthcare doctor does annual physical exams, pelvic exams, pap smears, family planning as well as providing other services such as hormone replacement therapy and preventive vaccinations to help with overall health and well-being.
What are some Women’s Health issues?
Even though men and women can both develop certain conditions, some are more common in women and affect them differently. Women have particular health concerns such as breast, ovarian or cervical cancer, menopause, and pregnancy. Among the conditions most common in women, the following pose the most risk:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is responsible for one in every four deaths among women in the U.S. Although heart disease affects males and females nearly equally death from heart attacks is higher in women compared to men.
- Breast cancer is the most aggressive cancer affecting the global female population and tends to be more common in developed nations due to women living longer.
Ovarian and Cervical Cancer
- Ovarian cancer is very complex. It starts in the fallopian tubes and causes similar pain to cervical cancer although other symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague.
- Cervical cancer originates in the lower part of the uterus and causes pain and discharge during intercourse.
Pap smears are able to detect cervical cancer but not that of the ovaries.
- Bleeding and discharge are a normal part of the menstrual cycle, however, added symptoms during menstruation may indicate underlying health issues. Unusual symptoms, such as bleeding between periods and frequent urinating, can mimic other health conditions such as endometrial cancer, cystitis or diabetes. Vaginal problems could also indicate serious problems such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or reproductive tract cancer. If left unchecked mild infections can lead to kidney failure or infertility.
- Additional areas of concern my include female sexual dysfunction which includes vaginal dryness, painful intercourse and other concerns.
- Autoimmune diseases are becoming more prevalent in today’s society and it is still unknown why women are more prone to developing them than men. While there are many different autoimmune diseases, most share symptoms such as, exhaustion, low grade fever, pain, skin irritation or vertigo. As much of the autoimmune system is located in the stomach, many people choose to take self-help preventive measures such as consuming less fat and sugar, reducing toxins typically found in processed and fast food, limiting alcohol and tobacco use and lowering stress.
- Also known as “brittle bone disease” osteoporosis is a condition in which bone mass is broken down causing them to weaken and break easily. This, again, occurs mostly in women and can be caused by several factors, such as:
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain prescriptions
- Lack of exercise
- Low body mass
- Steroid use
While there is no cure, treatment can slow its progression, which might include dietary supplements, healthy lifestyle choices, or prescription medication.
Depression and Anxiety
- Natural hormonal fluctuations during a woman’s life can lead to depression or anxiety. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is common among women of menstruating age, while premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) presents similar, but greatly intensified, symptoms. Many mothers experience a short but intense form of depression called the “baby blues” shortly after giving birth, while post-partum depression causes similar but longer lasting issues such as mood swings, sadness, and tiredness. Perimenopause, the period leading into menopause, can also cause depression.
Some other women’s health related conditions are:
- urinary tract problems, including pelvic floor disorders and urinary incontinence
- bacterial vaginosis and vaginitis
- uterine fibroids
- vulvodynia – acute pain or discomfort around the vulva
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS),
- primary ovarian insufficiency –when the ovaries stop working before a woman is 40.
We are located in Beckley WV and serve patients from the surrounding areas. Call or book an appointment online – we look forward to meeting you! We serve patients from Beckley WV, Stanaford WV, Lester WV, Baylor WV, Bradley WV, and Beaver WV.