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Health Articles Category: Women's Health

HPV Vaccine Protects Against Certain Types of Cancers

The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine safely prevents cancer through protection against human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Certain types of HPV can lead to oral and genital cancers. HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection when given before initial exposure to the virus. Similar to the need to... Read more

Ways to Manage Menopause Symptoms

The time period before and after menopause is different for every woman. Some women experience very few symptoms, while others are plagued with mood swings, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness. There are many ways a doctor can help manage symptoms. “We will develop a plan... Read more

Avoid Anemia During Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, her blood volume increases by 40 percent to supply blood to the baby and placenta. This can lead to anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells are low, leading to fatigue. “Almost all pregnant women will experience anemia at some... Read more

NICU Saves Babies’ Lives

Some parents know before birth that their baby will need extra help in its first few weeks of life. But other times, complications can arise unexpectedly. Birth depression occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen and blood during delivery, and it can happen due... Read more

Midwife Provides Another Option for Pregnant Women

For Connie Skelton, a midwife was the perfect choice for two very important moments in her life: the births of her two children. Skelton gave birth to her first son, William, now 5, in New Mexico. It was her first experience with a midwife, and she appreciated... Read more

Keep Up to Date with Vaccinations During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, certain vaccinations lower your risk of becoming ill and, in turn, lower your baby’s risk. At about 28 weeks’ gestation, your doctor will talk to you about receiving a dose of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also... Read more

Avoid Gestational Diabetes in Second Pregnancy

If you had gestational diabetes during your first pregnancy, you are at an increased risk for developing the same problem in your second pregnancy. “After a woman with gestational diabetes delivers her baby, her doctor will check her blood glucose levels at six to eight weeks postpartum,”... Read more

A Midwife Gives Expectant Moms a Choice

Expectant mothers in the area now have the option of choosing a midwife to care for them during their pregnancy and delivery at Saint Francis Medical Center. Tracy Carr, MSN, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife who sees patients at Cape Primary Care, Cape Care for Women... Read more

Moms Deliver Vaginal Births After C-sections

Women who previously had a cesarean section (C-section) may be able to have a vaginal birth in subsequent pregnancies. Research shows that 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) are successful. “Whether a VBAC can work depends on a... Read more

Postpartum Anxiety 

While postpartum depression has received much attention in recent years, fewer people are aware of its cousin: postpartum anxiety. Postpartum anxiety occurs when a new mom experiences racing thoughts, worries continuously and has a constant dread that something terrible will happen. “It is normal to experience stress... Read more

High Blood Pressure Can Threaten Pregnancy 

If you suffer from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), talk with your doctor before trying to become pregnant. You may need to take extra precautions throughout your pregnancy. “People with hypertension have decreased blood flow to the uterus, which can affect a baby’s growth,” says Naomi L.... Read more

Understanding Bladder Infections 

While both men and women contract bladder infections (also called urinary tract infections, or UTIs), women are much more likely than men to experience this painful occurrence. Symptoms include pain during urination, blood in the urine and a frequent urge to urinate. “Bladder infections are not serious... Read more

Breast Cancer Support Group 

Area women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer can find encouragement and camaraderie through Saint Francis Medical Center’s Power of Pink Breast Cancer Support Group. The group, which meets Tuesday evenings for two six-week sessions in January and June, has been going strong since 2011.... Read more

Relieve the Pain of Endometriosis

Many women experience mild to moderate cramping during their period. But if your pain is considerably bad every month, talk to your doctor because you may have endometriosis. “Endometriosis occurs when the uterine, or endometrial, lining grows outside the uterus,” says Grant D. McWilliams, DO, FACOG, obstetrician... Read more

Pap Smears

If you are a woman between the ages of 21 and 65, you should be talking to your doctor about having a Pap smear performed at least once every two or three years. A Pap smear is the main screening for cervical cancer, and it involves... Read more

Faulty Thyroid

Untreated thyroid problems can cause depression, weight gain and loss of energy, and can put you at risk for heart disease, infertility and many other medical problems. The following are some classic signs of a thyroid issue: Fatigue – People with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) often feel like... Read more

Lactation Support in the NICU

When an infant is born premature, his parents often feel helpless. But there is one important way a mother can help her baby: pump breast milk. The lactation consultants at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Family BirthPlace and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) help mothers understand... Read more

Turning a Breech Baby

When a baby is breech (lying upside down or on its side rather than head down), it is unsafe for the mother to deliver vaginally. She has two options: schedule a C-section or ask her doctor to try to turn the baby. External cephalic version (ECV) is... Read more

Level III NICU Part of International Network

Parents whose newborns are in Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit need not feel alone: Neonatologists at Saint Francis use information gathered from nearly 1,000 NICUs to help optimize care for each infant. The Medical Center is part of the Vermont Oxford Network... Read more


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