Keeping You Healthy

Women’s Health

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Women’s health encompasses all functions related to their mental and physical wellness from puberty through women’s life stages.  As women age their health concerns are likely to change.  The women’s health program is designed to raise awareness of women’s health and to promote activities that will improve the health and safety of women.

    What is a Well Women Exam?

    Well woman exams are the foundation for wellness, health promotion and disease identification and management throughout your life. It is no secret that healthy living and early detection of disease increases not only your length of life but, more importantly, your quality of living. A periodic well woman exam for all ages is not just about good medical care, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn more about beneficial health habits, counseling and community support services as well as an overall view of the best ways to take care of yourself and your family for a lifetime. 

    How often should I have a Well Women Exam?

    Every woman who is sexually active or over the age of 21, should make an appointment every year to have a Well-Woman exam. 

    What Happens during a Well Women Exam?

    The well women exam includes: 

    • Review of personal and family medical history 

    • Discussion of birth control needs, preconception care, and or pregnancy

    • A pelvic exam

    • A thyroid exam

    • Height, weight and blood pressure measurements

    •  A breast exam for breast cancer screening

    A Pap test to test for cervical cancer screening  

    • Tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if you believe that you have been exposed
       to an STI.

    • Immunizations

    • Colon cancer screening

    Why do I need a Well Women Exam?

    A Well woman visits provide an opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have with your provider.


     

    If you would like more information about Women’s Health, please call 313-871-6593, or click here for responses by email.

     

  • Preconception Health and Pregnancy

    What is preconception health?

    Preconception Health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It focuses on the conditions and risk factors that could affect a woman if she becomes pregnant. Preconception health applies to women who have never been pregnant, and also to women who could become pregnant again. Preconception health looks at factors that can affect a fetus or infant. These include factors such as taking prescription drugs or drinking alcohol. The key to promoting preconception health is to combine the best medical care, healthy behaviors, strong support, and safe environments at home and at work.

    What is prenatal care?

    Prenatal Care is the process of regularly monitoring your health and the health of your unborn child during your pregnancy.  Every pregnancy is different if you have other children and early prenatal care will assist your medical provider to identify and address any problems that may arise.

    It is important to see your doctor at your scheduled appointment times so that he/she can monitor your pregnancy. It is also important to have a dental check-up during your pregnancy because pregnant women are at increased risk for cavities and gum diseases. Inform your dentist that you are pregnant.

    What is postpartum care?

    Postpartum Care is the visit that you make to your doctor approximately 6-8 weeks after you deliver. You will be examined to make sure that your body has recovered from the pregnancy and that you are not having any problems. If you had a cesarean delivery, your doctor may ask you to return sooner to check your stitches.

     

  • Breast Cancer

    What is breast cancer?

    Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. The disease occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. Most breast lumps are not cancerous; that is, they are benign. These lumps should still be examined to confirm that they do not have cancer.

    Why should I be screened for breast cancer?

    Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and too many women die from the disease. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Michigan. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Michigan women.  Screening means checking your body for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The routine performance of screening tests may find many kinds of cancer early, when treatment is likely to work best.

    What screening tests are available?

    Early detection of breast cancer is the key to survival.  Mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage—an average of 1–3 years before a woman can feel the lump. Mammography, the most common method of breast cancer screening locates cancers too small to be felt during a routine breast examination.

    How often should I have a mammogram?

    All women between the ages of 40-69 should receive a mammogram every one to two years, unless they have had a mastectomy. Women with a higher risk of breast cancer should talk with a doctor about the best early detection plan for them.  Risk factors are something that may affect your chance of getting cancer: sex, age, race, or family histories are examples. This might mean starting mammograms when you younger, having extra screening tests, or having more frequent exams.


     

    To find out more about breast cancer and mammography screening, visit one of the following websites:

    www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/breast

     

  • Cervical Cancer

    What is cervical cancer?

    Cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix, the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus is the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows during a woman’s pregnancy. The cervix forms a canal that opens into the vagina (birth canal), which leads to the outside of the body.

    What causes cervical cancer?

    Cervical cancer is caused by several types of a virus called Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV). The virus spreads through sexual contact. Most of the time, a woman’s body is able to fight HPV infection; sometimes the virus leads to cancer. Being a smoker, have many children, using birth control pills for a long time and having first sexual intercourse at a young age, puts you at higher risk for cervical cancer.  Generally, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms in the beginning; some women may experience pelvic pain or bleeding in the vagina.  It takes several years for the cervical cancer to develop; however, the chance of recovery is better when the cancer is found early.

    What screening tests are available?

    There are several tests to find and diagnose cervical cancer. Your doctor can detect abnormal cells that may turn into cancer cells by performing a Pap test (Pap smear) and pelvic exam or referring you for other tests. These abnormal cells can be treated before they turn into cancer.

    How often should I have a Pap test?

    It is recommended that all women between the ages of 18 and 65 who are sexually active have a
    Pap Test at least every three years. Women who are at increased risk may need to be tested more often.


     

    For more information, please visit the following websites:

    http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/

     

  • Colon Cancer

    What is colorectal cancer?

    Colorectal Cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer in the U.S. If everyone age 50 or older had regular screening tests, at least one third of the deaths from this cancer could be avoided. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer.

    What causes colorectal cancer?

    The exact causes of colorectal cancer are not known. However, studies show that certain factors increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal cancer. Examples of risk factors include age, personal history, family history, diets and exercise.

    What screening tests are available?

    Screening for Colorectal Cancer can save your life. Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps (growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early. When it is found early, the change of being cured is good.



    For more information, please visit the following website:

    www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/

     

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

    What are sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

    Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection.

    What causes sexually transmitted infections?

    The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including:

    > Chlamydia

    > Gonorrhea

    > Herpes Simplex

    > HIV / AIDS

    > HPV

    > Syphilis

    > Trichomoniasis

    How do you get an STI?

    You can get an STI by having intimate sexual contact with someone who already has the infection. You can’t tell if a person is infected because many STIs have no symptoms. But STIs can still be passed from person to person even if there are no symptoms. STIs are spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex or during genital touching. So it’s possible to get some STIs without having intercourse. Not all STIs are spread the same way.


     

    For information about these and other sexually transmitted infections, please visit the following website:

    http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/sexually-transmitted-infections.cfm

     

  • Immunizations

    What are immunizations?

    Immunizations are just as important for adults as they are for children. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control state that the need for immunization remains just as strong as when we were children. Vaccine (immunizations) recommendations for adults are based on a variety of factors, including age, overall health status and medical history. Immunizations protect you from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Why do I need to be immunized as an adult?

    Childhood immunizations do not protect you for the rest of your life. As adults, we must continue to maintain our own health because we are also affecting the health of our families. Talk to your doctor about vaccines that you may need before and after a pregnancy, including the flu and pneumonia vaccines.

    Where can I get the immunizations I need?

    Contact your primary care doctor.  He or she will determine the vaccines you need.


     

    For more information about immunizations schedules, please visit the following website:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/default.htm