Woman’s Guide

Our Women’s Guide provides a convenience resource for medical topics and conditions that affect women of all ages.  We will continue to update this area to keep you better informed.

Scroll and click over the categories below to see expanded content for each, including resourceful external links.

Vaginal Yeast Infections – Yeast Vaginitis

Yeast vaginitis is an infection of the vagina caused by a fungus known as Candida and is characterized by itching, burning, soreness, pain during intercourse and/or urination, and vaginal discharge.


Pelvic Exams

A pelvic exam is a way for doctors to look for signs of illness in certain organs in a woman’s body. The word “pelvic” refers to the pelvis. The exam is used to look at a woman’s:

  • Vulva (external genital organs)
  • Uterus (the womb)
  • Cervix (opening from the vigina to the uterus)
  • Fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs to the womb)
  • Ovaries (organs that produce eggs)
  • Bladder (the sac that holds urine)
  • Rectum (the chamber that connects the colon to the anus)


Pap Smear

A Pap smear (also known as the Pap test) is a medical procedure in which a sample of cells from a woman’s cervix (the end of the uterus that extends into the vagina) is collected and spread (smeared) on a microscope slide. The cells are examined under a microscope in order to look for pre-malignant (before-cancer) or malignant (cancer) changes.


HPV – human papilloma virus

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that may be spread from one person to another even when the genital sores are not visible. Many sexually active people are carriers of HPV, very often without even knowing they are carriers. It is estimated that up to 60% of sexually active women harbor this virus on their cervix or in their vaginal area. It is not unusual for a woman to be unaware that she has HPV— only to find out that her Pap smear shows evidence of HPV.



A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure whereby the uterus (womb) is removed. Hysterectomy is the most common non-obstetrical surgical procedure of women in the United States. Approximately 300 out of every 100,000 women will undergo a hysterectomy.



Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells (endometrial cells) similar to those that form the inside or lining the tissue of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus. Endometrial cells are cells that are shed each month during menstruation. The cells of endometriosis attach themselves to tissue outside the uterus and are called endometriosis implants. These implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines, and on the surface lining of the pelvic cavity.



Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when menstrual periods cease. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period.


Perimenopausal Bleeding or Bleeding After Menopause

The years leading up to Menopause are called perimenopause meaning “around menopause”. This phase can last for up to 10 years. During Permienopause, shifts in hormone levels can affect ovulation and cause changes in the menstrual cycle.


Self Breast Exams

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. Every woman should know the symptoms and signs of breast cancer and any time an abnormality is discovered, a healthcare professional should be seen to evaluate and suggest next steps. While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to familiarize yourself with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes.


Tubal Ligation or Postpartum Sterilization

Tubal ligation, often referred to as “having your tubes tied,” is a surgical procedure in which a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked, tied, or cut.


Birth Control Options

There are many different types of birth control methods available to women today which include the following categories; the natural method, barrier methods (that block sperm such as a condom), mechanical method (IUD), hormonal method, (such as the pill), and permanent methods (such as tubal ligation or vasectomy). The following pdf links from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website will provide more detailed information specific to each method.


Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become thin, brittle, and susceptible to fractures.

Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease and can be prevented with a healthy diet and staying physically active. You may be surprised to learn that many factors contribute to the condition.


Diabetes & Women

Diabetes can be especially hard on women. The burden of diabetes on women is unique because the disease can affect both mothers and their unborn children.


High Blood Pressure & Women

Many people mistakenly believe that high blood pressure, also called hypertension, is more common among men. The truth is nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women.


Depression & Women

Everyone sometimes fees sad, but these feelings usually pass after a few days. When a woman has depression, she has trouble with her daily life for weeks at a time and more women than men get depression.



A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray exam of the breasts to look for changes that are not normal. The results are recorded on x-ray film or directly into a computer. A mammogram allows the doctor to have a closer look for changes in breast tissue that cannot be felt during a breast exam. It is used for women who have no breast complaints and for women who have breast symptoms, such as a change in the shape or size of a breast, a lump, nipple discharge, or pain. Breast changes occur in almost all women. In fact, most of these changes are not cancer and are called “benign,” but only a doctor can know for sure. Breast changes can also happen monthly, due to your menstrual period.