Women's healthBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/womens-health/MY00379
Do you know the top women's health risks? Heart disease, cancer and stroke top the list. Although these are serious concerns, there's good news. Healthy lifestyle choices — such as eating a healthy diet and including physical activity in your daily routine — can go a long way toward reducing women's health risks.
For some women, breast health tops the list of women's health concerns. What's the best way to do a breast self-exam? What should you do if you find a breast lump? What's the best way to treat breast pain?
For others, women's health concerns include cosmetic surgery. And as you get older, your women's health concerns are likely to change. Could belly fat lead to health problems? Are Kegel exercises really necessary? Get answers to these and other women's health questions.
Breast health begins with breast awareness, or a sense of what's normal for your breasts. To promote breast health, do regular breast self-exams. With practice, you'll discover how your breasts vary in sensitivity and texture at different times during your menstrual cycle. You'll also learn how breast health changes during various stages of life.
For many women, breast health includes concerns about breast lumps, breast pain or nipple discharge. Know what's normal — and when to consult your doctor. It's also important to understand common screening and diagnostic tests for breast health, such as clinical breast exams, mammograms and breast ultrasounds.
If you're thinking about breast augmentation or breast reduction, understand the surgical process — including who's a candidate for surgery, what to expect from the procedure and possible complications.
Women's life stages
Women's life stages are based on the reproductive cycle, beginning with menstruation and ending with menopause.
To understand women's life stages, start with the biology. Every month an egg is released from the ovary during ovulation. It travels down the fallopian tube, where it may be fertilized by a sperm. If fertilized, it implants in the lining of the uterus. If not, the egg and lining are shed during menstruation. This continues until perimenopause — the time when a woman's body begins the natural transition to menopause.
Women's life stages are often marked by specific signs and symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, mood swings, hot flashes and weight gain. Understand how healthy lifestyle choices can help you feel your best at any stage — and know when to ask your doctor for additional suggestions.