A woman’s body is an intricate melding of complex systems. Strong and resilient, sensitive and nurturing, a woman embodies every human potential, including the capacity to produce new life. The organs and bodily processes that make a woman uniquely female need specialized care. With key medical resources brought together under the banner of Women’s Health, women are assured of a better continuity of care for all their health concerns at every stage of life.
Issues of Health Unique to Women
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth are fundamental concerns for many women. The health issues and medical services that fall within the scope of Reproductive Medicine are numerous and far reaching, and are covered in the Maternity Services section of our site.
Cancers can occur in any part of the female reproductive system--the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. However, effective management of gynecologic cancers can make the difference between mere survival and a return to good health.
Breast disorders may be noncancerous or cancerous. Noncancerous disorders include breast pain, cysts, fibrocystic breast disease, fibrous lumps, nipple discharge, and breast infection. Cancerous disorders include several types of breast cancer and Paget's disease of the nipple. When breast cancer is detected early and treated promptly, the outlook for the patient is usually good.
Osteoporosis is a progressive decrease in the density of bones that weakens them and makes them more likely to fracture. After about age 30, bones naturally begin to decrease in density. If the body isn't able to regulate this decrease, the bones become fragile. Osteoporosis is far more common among women than men. Today, access to information, identifiable risk factors and revolutionary advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment have made osteoporosis a much more manageable disease.
Urinary incontinence, the uncontrollable loss of urine, affects twice as many women as men. Many different abnormalities can result in a disruption of the natural ability to control urination, resulting in urinary incontinence. The overall incidence of the condition progressively increases with age.
The field of Women’s Health encompasses many other gynecologic problems. Some of the most common ones, caused by such conditions as infections, injuries or hormonal changes, include pelvic pain; inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, or vulva; and noncancerous uterine growths, such as fibroids. Other common problems include premenstrual syndrome and pain during menstrual periods. Although some mild problems may correct themselves, other more serious conditions, such as infections, often require medical attention.
At NorthShore University HealthSystem, our Center of Excellence in Women’s Health strives for excellence in all aspects of women's health care through patient and physician education, cutting-edge research, and dedicated clinical service. Women from throughout the region seek preventive care, evaluation, and treatment at one of four clinical sites: Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park and Skokie Hospitals. Our services constitute a continuum of care for women from adolescence through pregnancy, and from mid-life through menopause.
Use this web site to learn more about women’s health, get information on specific procedures, find a physician, and more. Our “Care Path” to the left will guide you through each step of the way whether you are gathering more information on a specific condition or are looking to maintain your overall health.