From menstruation to sexual problems and pain, find out about what affects you uniquely as a woman.
Premenstrual syndrome, commonly called PMS, is a medical condition that has symptoms that affect many women of childbearing age.
Lots of women get pelvic pain and cramping, but your period isn't always to blame. Cysts, constipation, pregnancy -- even cancer -- can make it feel like your monthly visitor is about to stop by.
Women have about 450 periods during their lifetimes. Even so, your period can still manage to surprise you, and not just by showing up when you least expect it.
Don't let your period derail your life. You can still do everything that you would during the rest of the month, if you know how to manage the baggage your monthly visitor may bring.
Menstrual cramps are the leading cause of absenteeism in women younger than 30 years. Although over half of women who have menstrual periods experience some discomfort, 10% are temporarily disabled by symptoms.
Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, or menorrhagia, are the most common type of abnormal bleeding from the uterus.
Periods vary widely from woman to woman. Some periods are punctual, some are unpredictable. On average, a woman gets their period every 21 to 35 days. A period usually lasts about three to five days. Irregular periods may require treatment.
If your menstrual blood varies in color and consistency throughout your monthly period, it's very likely that it's perfectly normal.
There’s a lot of buzz about this eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. But what is a menstrual cup?
Most women have spotting between their periods at some point. Usually, it’s nothing to worry about. A number of things can cause it to happen.
Breasts can go through changes during a menstrual cycle. They get tender, and even seem to shift a bit in size and shape.
Mittelschmerz is the pelvic and lower abdominal pain that some women experience during ovulation.
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a sudden, potentially fatal condition caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph. TSS affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons.
TSS symptoms usually come on quickly, about 2 days after the bacteria infects you. The way TSS affects your body depends on the type of bacteria causing your condition.
Vaginal yeast infections are common. Yeast infections, sometimes called candidiasis, develop where a moist environment encourages growth of the yeast fungus, such as the genitals.
Yeast infection symptoms -- such as vaginal itching, burning, and occasional vaginal discharge -- can also be caused by sexually transmitted diseases and other vaginal infections.
Anyone who's had a yeast infection knows the unbearable vaginal itching it can bring. Other vaginal infections share some of the same symptoms, so only your doctor can make a diagnosis by running a lab test on sample fluid and cells from the vagina.
Your doctor may diagnose a vaginal yeast infection based on your description of symptoms and possibly a vaginal exam.
In many cases, you can safely treat a vaginal yeast infection with an over-the-counter medication. You can also try treating a yeast infection at home with these tips for self-care to relieve itching, burning, and other symptoms.
You can treat most vaginal yeast infections with an over-the-counter vaginal cream or suppository. You can buy these nonprescription vaginal creams and suppositories at most large drugstores and supermarkets.
You can treat many yeast infections with over-the-counter creams or suppositories that you can buy at a drugstore. But for some women with severe or persistent infections, a different yeast infection treatment may be needed.
While you can't always avoid a yeast infection, you can lower your risk of getting one. Follow these guidelines to avoid the itching, burning, and other discomforts.
Try these following tips to prevent yeast infections.
The cervix is a cylinder-shaped neck of tissue that connects the vagina and uterus.
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix -- the lower end of the uterus that opens into the vagina.
A number of different conditions, from cysts to tumors, can cause ovarian pain.
Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled pockets in or on your ovary. They’re common, especially in women who are pregnant or who haven’t gone through menopause yet.
PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of childbearing age and can lead to issues with fertility.
Many conditions can cause chronic pelvic pain. All can have similar symptoms, and that often makes it hard to figure out the source of the pain. The main symptom is pain that lasts for more than 6 months, but there are usually other symptoms as well.
Your pelvic pain may not have an obvious cause. It may take some time and effort to figure it out. But with the right diagnosis, you can get relief.
When you've been diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain, you and your doctor should work together toward your well-being. Don't be afraid to ask any questions you have about your condition and your care.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the organs of a women’s reproductive system. They include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix.
Pelvic organ prolapse, a type of pelvic floor disorder, affects almost 3% of U.S. women. Some women have more than one pelvic floor disorder.
Kegel exercises are exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You might also hear them called pelvic floor exercises.
Vaginoplasty is a procedure that aims to "tighten up" a vagina that's become slack or loose from vaginal childbirth or aging. Labiaplasty changes the size or shape of the labia, typically making them smaller or correcting an asymmetry between them.
Vaginismus is when the muscles of a woman’s vagina squeeze or spasm when something is entering it, like a tampon or a penis. It can range from mildly uncomfortable to quite painful.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus (the endometrium) breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus (the myometrium).
An enlarged uterus is common and can be a symptom of a variety of medical conditions, some of which require treatment.
Your uterus (or womb) is normally held in place inside your pelvis with various muscles, tissue, and ligaments. Because of pregnancy, childbirth or difficult labor and delivery, in some women these muscles weaken. Also, as a woman ages and with a natural loss of the hormone estrogen, their uterus can drop into the vaginal canal, causing the condition known as a prolapsed uterus.
Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining.
A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus. This surgery may be done for different reasons.
After a hysterectomy, you will have a brief recovery time in the hospital. Your recovery time at home -- before you can get back to all your regular activities -- will vary depending on the procedure you had.
If you have painful periods with excessive bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, or another pelvic health problem, you should know that there are alternatives to hysterectomy to consider.
Some objects are designed for use in a woman's vagina. These include tampons, vaginal suppositories, and medications delivered through the vagina. Others are not intended to be inserted and may be placed there accidentally or intentionally.
Learn the leading causes and types of vaginal infections -- and what to do about them.
You can find cysts just about anywhere on the body, including the vagina. A vaginal cyst is usually located on or under the lining of the vagina.
An estimated 20% to 40% of American women between ages 15 and 44 say they use a vaginal douche.
Most of the time, vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. The amount can vary, as can odor and hue, depending on the time in your menstrual cycle.
It may seem like a minor irritation. But the lack of vaginal moisture can have a huge impact on your sex life. Fortunately, several treatments are available to relieve vaginal dryness.
A vaginal fistula is an unusual opening that connects your vagina to another organ.
Vulvodynia is a chronic pain condition of the vulva (outer female genitals). It usually lasts more than 3 months and there’s no known cause.