Women's Health is a column wirtten by Women's Health Services staff at Cooley Dickinson and appears monthly in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
As women enter the later stage of their life, they begin the natural process called menopause. Menopause is the permanent stopping of all ovary functions, including monthly periods. This also signifies the end of their reproductive years, as they no longer are able to become pregnant. Menopause typically occurs in mid-life, around 42-58, with the average just short of 52 years. Menopause is caused by a major reduction in female hormones, as the woman’s ovarian early eggs are depleted and is just part of the normal aging process.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammation of the bladder wall, which may cause symptoms of pelvic pain, urinary frequency, and pain with intercourse. These symptoms may be persistent, or they may be triggered by the menstrual cycle, stress, long periods of sitting, or sexual intercourse. It is a frustrating illness, because it is often misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection. While interstitial cystitis often goes undiagnosed, more than 1% of women may have it.
Many women have grown up hearing that an essential part of their health care includes a yearly Pap test. But in the last year, these recommendations have changed and, in this instance, the right way to take care of yourself can be confusing.
A young woman's first gynecological exam can be filled with anxiety and fear.
This is often based on embarrassment or inaccurate information about what the exam feels like and what testing will be done.
If you have an idea for a women’s health column, e-mail us.
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