Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Women and men share many similar health problems but women also have their
own health issues, which deserve special consideration.
Women's lives have changed over the centuries. Historically, life was
particularly difficult for most women. Aside from the numerous dangers and
diseases, women became wives and mothers often when they were just emerging from
their own childhood. Many women had a multitude of pregnancies which may or may
not have been wanted. In the past, childbirth itself was risky and not
infrequently, led to the death of the mother. Most women in the past did not live
long enough to be concerned about menopause or old age.
In 1900, a
woman's life span was about 50 years. Now, in the new millennium, life
expectancy for American women is 82 years of age, and continuing to rise. Not only are
women living longer, but they also have the possibility of enjoying a better
quality of life throughout their span of years. But to do this, it is essential
that women take
charge of their own bodies and comprehend how they can maximize their
health and fitness. It is also helpful that men understand and are supportive of
the health concerns of the women.
is the primary branch of medical science concerned with
women's health issues. The word "gynecology" is a word consisting of
"gyneco," meaning "woman," and "logic," meaning "knowledge." Taken
together, it is "woman knowledge."
It is important that every woman has access to knowledge related to the
spectrum of women's health issues, not only about her reproductive system, but
about all aspects of her body.
Women's General Health and Wellness
There is credible information available to women not only on such problems as eating
disorders, stress, alcoholism, addictions, and depression, but also on basic topics
such as good nutrition,
heart health, and exercise. For example, it is beneficial that a woman
maintain her optimum weight. If a woman's waist size measures more than 35
inches (89 cm), she is more likely to develop
pressure, and diabetes. Eating sensible meals,
eliminating after- dinner snacks, and making
physical activity a part of daily
life are significant ways to help control weight and lower the risk of a long
list of health problems.
Smoking is detrimental to a woman's
health (or to anyone else's). Unfortunately, women continue to smoke despite the known health risks. Even though the number of women smoking is declining, still about 19% of women in the U.S. were smokers in 2003. Women are smoking in spite of the well-publicized risks of lung disease including cancer, heart disease, and innumerable other health problems now linked to smoking.
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol is also harmful to health.
Although women typically begin drinking at a later age than men and
tend to drink somewhat less, lower doses of alcohol before
developing alcohol are required for women to develop alcohol-related medical
problems including alcohol toxicity,
Women should be aware that they metabolize a number of drugs
differently than men. In some cases and for some medications, the
rate may be slower, and in other cases, faster. It is, therefore,
essential that women are well informed about the kinds and correct
dosages of drugs they are taking.
Medical Author: Melissa Stoppler, M.D.
William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Bacterial vaginosis is a mild infection of the vagina.
This condition is caused by an imbalance in the growth of the bacteria that are normally populate
the vagina. It is not known exactly why this imbalance in bacterial growth
This condition used to be called Gardnerella vaginitis, because
Gardnerella is a type of bacteria that sometimes causes
the infection. We now know that overgrowth of other types of bacteria can also cause bacterial
transmitted infections , this infection results from bacteria
that are normally found in the vagina. A woman does not get the infection from a
sex partner. It is most common in sexually active women, but women who are not
sexually active also can develop the condition.
About half of women with bacterial vaginosis have no
symptoms. Others have variable amounts of vaginal discharge that usually has an unpleasant odor. The
discharge is generally grayish-white but can be of any color or consistency.