Cancer is a condition in which cells within the body rapidly grow out of control. The type of cancer is determined by the site where it began, regardless of whether it has spread. There are six main types of female reproductive cancers including vulvar, vaginal, cervical, uterine, fallopian and ovarian. Ovarian cancer is the second most common reproductive cancer and the deadliest gynecological tumor in the Unites States.
Medical and technological advancements over the last century have resulted in substantial improvements in health for people of all genders in the United States. However, Black women continue to have poorer health outcomes and higher mortality rates than other U.S. women. According to Black Demographics, despite being younger (36.1 years) on average than U.S. women overall (39.6 years), Black women have a higher prevalence of acute and chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, stress and pregnancy-related morbidity (Chinn et al. 2021).
Cancer screening guidelines have largely contributed to reduced cancer mortality in recent medicine. Mammograms, colonoscopies and Pap smears have aided in early detection and treatment. However, the guidelines set by the United States Preventative Services Task Force and American Cancer Society are limited to cisgender individuals. There are not currently any clear guidelines about cancer screening in transgender individuals.
Did you know that one in five college-aged women experience pain with sexual intercourse? In fact, nearly three out of four women have pain during intercourse at some point during their lives.1,2 Does this mean that its normal and should be tolerated? No.
Transmasculine people on testosterone may experience atrophic vaginitis. It is thought to be due to the suppressive effects of testosterone on estrogen, leading to an estrogen-deprived state that appears to be similar to the experience of many post-menopausal cis women. Atrophic vaginitis is a reflection of poor skin barrier function and low tissue resilience, and is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States; approximately 14 million Americans become infected each year. Although HPV most often presents asymptomatically and clears without major clinical consequence, it can persist and progress to anogenital warts, precancers or even cancers of the cervix, other anogenital tract and oropharynx. In the United States, over 40,000 cancers are diagnosed each year in both men and women that are attributed to HPV infection. In women, HPV is thought to be linked to greater than 90% of cervical cancer cases and approximately 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers.
In the shadows of COVID-19, there was another pandemic arising, that unfortunately was masked by the pressing nature of the COVID pandemic. This is now termed the “Shadow Pandemic”: the increasing rates of violence against women and children since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.
We have all heard the hashtags (#TreatYourself) and ad campaigns to promote self-love, and its benefits on our emotional and mental well-being. However, the effects of stress on mental well-being have never been more pertinent. With the rising stresses of the COVID pandemic, researchers have found that women have been especially susceptible to the mental health consequences. Studies show women are almost three times as likely as men to report suffering from significant mental health consequences, including anxiety, loss of appetite, insomnia and trouble completing everyday tasks1. The practices of mindfulness and self-compassion have often been employed by counselors and practitioners as a method to manage stress.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common GI condition that is classically associated with chronic or recurrent abdominal pain and/or discomfort and associated changes in bowel habits. The type of IBS is categorized as IBS with diarrhea, IB with constipation or IBS with mixed bowel habits. The symptoms can range from mild to disabling. With IBS, these symptoms are present without any visible sign of damage or disease in the digestive tract. This syndrome is a type of functional gastrointestinal disorder, also known as disorder of gut-brain interaction.
Vaginitis is defined by a combination of any of the following symptoms: abnormal vaginal discharge, abnormal odor, itching, burning and irritation. While this condition can cause embarrassment, it is very common, and most women have at least one episode in their lifetime. Vaginitis occurs due to an imbalance of healthy bacteria and change in vaginal environment because of age, sexual activity, hormonal status, immunologic status and underlying disease states. Vaginas commonly have normal physiologic discharge, which for most people is clear to white, not associated with discomfort or itching, and will vary in quantity throughout the menstrual cycle. “Normal” discharge varies from person to person.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Edition-5 (DSM-5) is the most recent publication by American Psychiatric Association to guide in the diagnosis and classification of mental health disorders. The DSM-5 contains sets of diagnostic symptoms grouped into disorders, which assists clinicians and researchers with effective diagnosis and treatment.
We often hear of the multitude of health benefits breastfeeding has for a baby. This is likely one of the most motivating factors for people to breastfeed. However, there are also several important health benefits for breastfeeding parents. These benefits include both short-term and long-term influences on a person’s health. Since being a parent to a newborn baby requires a lot of giving, it is empowering for patients to be aware that making the decision to breastfed can also be for themselves and their own health.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has many definitions. For this discussion, consider the website Medscape’s definition: victimization of a person with whom the abuser has or has had an intimate, romantic or spousal relationship. Forms of violence are varied and can include physical assault, psychological abuse, stalking, cyberstalking, financial and sexual abuse.
About cancer screening for women including cervical cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and other cancers.
Medical professionals are regular people, too, which means we struggle with the same problems that everyone else does. For me, I struggle with my weight. Really, I struggle with my self-image, a very common issue for many people. Thousands of dollars of medical education has taught me that its actually not healthy to hate your body.