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Women’s health refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the treatment and diagnosis of diseases and conditions that affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. Some of the sociocultural factors that prevent women and girls to benefit from quality health services and attaining the best possible level of health include:

  • unequal power relationships;
  • social norms that decrease education;
  • an exclusive focus on women’s reproductive roles

Symptoms

Being a man or a woman has a significant impact on health, as a result of both biological and gender-related differences. The health of women and girls is of particular concern because, in many societies, they are disadvantaged by discrimination rooted in sociocultural factors. For example, women and girls face increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS.

When to see a doctor

The women’s health services team includes doctors and health care providers from different specialties. The team may include:

  • Obstetrician/gynecologist (ob/gyn) — A doctor who has received extra training in the treatment of pregnancy, reproductive organ problems, and other women’s health issues.
  • General surgeons specializing in breast care.
  • Perinatologist — An ob/gyn who has received further training and specializes in the care of high-risk pregnancies.
  • Radiologist — Doctors who received extra training and interpretation of different imaging as well as performing different procedures using imaging technology to treat disorders such as uterine fibroids.
  • Physician assistant (PA).
  • Primary care doctor.
  • Nurse practitioner (NP).
  • Nurse midwives.

Causes

Women’s health includes a wide range of specialties and focus areas, such as:

  • Birth control, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and gynecology
  • Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other female cancers
  • Mammography
  • Menopause and hormone therapy
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Sexual health
  • Women and heart disease
  • Benign conditions affecting the function of the female reproductive organs

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