Overview of women's health services
As a woman, you have specific health care needs and face unique issues. At Dignity Health, our women’s services department will connect you with a doctor who can help you prevent, treat, and manage a variety of conditions.
Dignity Health doctors provide specialized women’s health care and services in a variety of treatment areas, including:
- Annual exams: annual exams assess your overall health, allow you to discuss your health with your doctor, and provide a chance to complete screening exams for preventative health. Annual exams can also include family planning services.
- Cancer care: Dignity Health offers comprehensive screening, diagnosis, and treatment for most types of cancer, including mammograms and other diagnostic services to identify and stage breast cancers and gynecological cancers, and advanced therapies for diagnosed cancers, including radiation, chemotherapy, experimental treatments, targeted therapies, and surgery.
- Cardiovascular care: Cardiac symptoms sometimes appear differently in women than they do in men. Woman-focused cardiovascular care provides individualized screening and treatment for cardiac symptoms. Women’s services help to identify, manage, and treat cardiovascular concerns, including high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke.
- Maternity care: Mothers receive customized care through Women’s Services, including support for new mothers through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postnatal care. . Our services range from basic care for uncomplicated pregnancies to complex care for high-risk pregnancies, and we offer specialized care from neonatal specialists and maternal-fetal medicine doctors.
- Gynecological care: Gynecological exams assess your reproductive health. Gynecological treatments at Dignity Health include screening or treatment for STDs, fertility treatments, gender reassignment, and treatment for reproductive disorders and pelvic pain.
Our doctors in women’s services commonly diagnose and treat the following symptoms and conditions:
- Abnormal uterine bleeding, including heavy or irregular periods
- Bladder issues, including urinary incontinence and infections in the urinary tract, bladder, or kidneys
- Cardiovascular disease and the signs symptoms of heart disease, including arrhythmia, chest pain, shortness of breath, and high blood pressure
- Cervical dysplasia
- Cancer, including breast cancer and gynecological cancers such as uterine cancer, vulvar cancer, and cervical cancer
- Sexually transmitted diseases and infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, and HIV
- Infertility evaluation and treatment
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pregnancy and delivery-related conditions such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and multiple gestations
- High-risk pregnancy and delivery, including vaginal birth after cesarean
- Fetal conditions such as birth defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, and cystic fibrosis
- Symptoms of menopause and perimenopause
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or ovarian cysts
- Pelvic pain and vulvodynia (pain in the vulva or vagina)
- Hormone imbalance and hormone-related disorders
- Yeast infections
- Uterine prolapse or pelvic organ prolapse
- Uterine fibroids
If you have or think you may have one of the conditions mentioned above, find a clinic near you.
Common procedures and tests
At Dignity Health, your medical team of nurses, technicians, and radiologists may use imaging and/or diagnostic tests to pinpoint the cause of symptoms and guide treatment. These tests and scans are frequently performed in the radiology, women’s imaging, or women’s diagnostic imaging department of our clinics.
Although women share many common health concerns, no two women are alike. Your doctor will carefully assess your health and take the time to learn about your family history, past medical history, lifestyle, personal preferences, and concerns. Your doctor will answer your questions and carefully explain any proposed tests or treatments. These may include diagnostic tests and women’s health services treatments, such as:
- Bone density scan, a low radiation imaging test that checks bone health
- BRCA (breast cancer gene) testing, to determine whether or not a woman with risk factors for breast cancer has a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, which increases her chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer
- Breast biopsy, the removal and examination of tissue to diagnose or rule out breast cancer
- Breast MRI, a test used to screen for breast cancer or to follow up on an abnormal mammogram or breast ultrasound
- Stereotactic biopsy, a type of breast biopsy that uses mammogram technology to pinpoint the spot to be biopsied
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy, which uses ultrasound imaging to guide the biopsy needle to a precise location
- Colposcopy, which can directly see precancerous and cancerous lesions on the cervix
- Cone biopsy, a surgical procedure used to screen for and treat cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia
- Gynecological ultrasound, or the use of ultrasound (sound waves) to see and evaluate the female reproductive organs
- Pelvic ultrasound, which is done by moving an ultrasound probe over the skin of the lower stomach or pelvis
- Transvaginal ultrasound, which uses an ultrasound probe that is inserted into the vagina
- Laparoscopy, a procedure that allows health care providers to see inside the body using a lighted scope, which is inserted into the body through tiny incisions
- Pelvic laparoscopy, the use of a laparoscope to examine the organs inside the pelvis
- Mammography (3D digital), a high-resolution x-ray of the breast used to look for breast cancer
- Presurgical needle or wire localization, a procedure used to mark an area in the breast during imaging so doctors can quickly and easily find it during surgery
- Hysterectomy, a procedure used to remove the uterus
- Endometrial ablation, a procedure used to treat abnormally heavy menstrual periods by removing some of the uterus lining (endometrium)
- Fibroid removal, in which noncancerous tumors are removed from the wall of the uterus
- Hormone testing and therapy, a way to restore female hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone in women who have gone through menopause or early menopause, or who may be experiencing bone loss caused by osteoporosis
- Bladder and urology surgeries to relieve urinary incontinence and other urinary tract symptoms
Dignity Health’s women’s services doctors have many years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology. We offer the most effective and medically advanced treatments and techniques, including bioidentical hormone therapy and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
While women experience some specific healthcare conditions, every person is unique. Dignity Health provides personalized care to help you achieve your health care goals and fit your specific lifestyle and needs.
Our doctors offer individualized women’s services. Find a Doctor near you and make an appointment today.
The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.