Every Stage of a Women's Life
Women’s Health at Indiana University Health has comprehensive services designed to care for women in every stage of their lives. We provide gynecological exams and help young women learn about screenings, vaccinations and habits for healthy living. We also have personalized, comprehensive treatment for gynecological conditions.
For women in their reproductive years, in addition to continuing gynecological exams, we offer fertility and maternity services. Expectant mothers receive the highest quality maternity care services from our board certified obstetricians and gynecologists at IU Health. Through our affiliation with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, we offer extensive services for high-risk infants and premature births.
Women’s Health at IU Health has skilled specialists who focus on menopausal and bone health issues. We also offer comprehensive cancer services with both surgical and non-surgical treatments. To maintain strong health, it is important to continue annual exams to manage and treat chronic conditions.
Adolescencetime period from onset of puberty up until full maturity
During this phase, a young woman’s body experiences many changes and progressions during puberty, which set the foundation for her life. This is a vital stage for acquiring knowledge about screenings, vaccinations and setting up habits for a healthy lifestyle.
Our strong relationships with the primary care locations and Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health provide expertise and comprehensive care in both general adolescent gynecology and more complicated gynecological conditions. Annual exams are your number one prevention tool for early detection of gynecological diseases and conditions to improve treatment options and overall outcomes. Annual exams become important as your body changes during puberty. Exams allow you to become actively involved in your healthcare, giving you the chance to ask your physician about any changes your body is going through during puberty or to discuss any private issues. Annual exams allow you to consult with a physician to set up healthy lifestyle habits - such as calcium and vitamin D intake for bone health. Adolescence is your last time to lay down active bone growth to prevent bone diseases later in life.
Adolescence is a key time for young women to receive vital vaccines to prevent against sexual diseases and other gynecological issues that may occur later in life. Screening and tests can also potentially identify a health issue in its early stages, leading to higher overall outcomes. Screenings and vaccines are recommended for women based on age, but it is important to talk to your physician if you are considered high-risk for a particular health condition or have any questions. View the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists’ A Guide to Women's Health Screenings & Tests to see exams and screenings recommended for your age group.
If a problematic gynecological condition arises, such as abnormal uterine bleeding, Indiana University Health Women’s Health is here to develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan and guide you through your treatment options. Our capabilities and specialty services at our locations allow for minimally invasive procedures for fertility sparing techniques, better overall outcomes and shorter recovery times.
Reproductiveindicated by regular menstrual cycles, full physical maturity
These years are vital to maintaining good health and optimizing reproductive health. Indiana University Health has a wide range of comprehensive women’s health services to prepare you for pre-conception, care for you and your baby during your pregnancy and post delivery, or help you address any fertility issues.
Even when not actively reproducing, women should optimize their reproductive health through annual gynecological exams. Women need to be vigilant and proactive with their exams. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists along with the American Cancer Society recommend women with no pre-existing health concerns receive a regular pap screening every three years. Women should also increase vitamin uptake as necessary (such as prenatal vitamins to increase folic acid) and attend counseling and educational offerings on how to optimize health (such as weight control, exercise and not smoking). Our board certified physicians at IU Health believe in the importance of annual exams to check for cancer and abnormalities throughout the reproductive years. Our physicians are all board certified, indicating they completed advanced degrees, intensive training in all aspects of the specialty and have kept up to date on best practices in order to comply with recertification requirements.
Expectant mothers can be reassured they are receiving the highest quality maternity care services from our board certified obstetricians and gynecologists at IU Health. For low-risk pregnancies, our highly skilled obstetricians offer a wide variety of services for normal birthing needs. For high-risk cases, our Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists can effectively manage pregnancies, keeping the baby healthier and decreasing the likelihood of premature birth. We are associated with one of the nation’s top ranked pediatric hospitals, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, providing access to the only Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in the state. Our Level 4 NICUs provide advanced medical and surgical care to extremely high-risk and critically ill infants. Indiana University Health LifeLine aircraft and mobile intensive care units are available to transport critically ill infants throughout Indiana and neighboring states to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health or the closest, most appropriate NICU.
Difficulty conceiving is an issue many couples face. IU Health understands this struggle and is here to help you find answers. Our fertility and endocrinology specialists can help determine what factors may be causing fertility issues. Many times causes of infertility can be determined through diagnostic testing such as blood tests, imaging tests or laparoscopic procedures. Other times it is much more difficult to find the cause of infertility. Regardless of your situation, our fertility specialists and reproductive endocrinologists will work with you through the entire process to create a personalized approach for your reproductive challenges.
Menopausal/Post-Reproductivethe slowing/ ceasing period of menstrual cycles
During menopause, a woman’s body experiences many changes. After a woman’s menstrual cycle has stopped for one year, she is unable to reproduce and a woman moves into the post-reproductive years. Throughout the menopausal and post-reproductive years, the changes a woman’s body goes through may cause problematic menstrual cycles, an increased rate of cancer and bone health issues.
Through the menopausal/post-reproductive years, it is important to see a physician annually for a physical exam and every three years for pap screenings. In the last few years of a woman’s menstrual cycle, periods can become more problematic, possibly causing fibroids (noncancerous uterine tumors) and abdominal bleeding. Any sort of bleeding after menopause is not normal, and it is important to see a physician immediately. Indiana University Health Women’s Health has skilled specialists who focus on menopausal issues, such as hot flashes. These specialists can provide medical and holistic treatments for any conditions you may experience.
After menopause and into the post-reproductive years, cancer rates increase due to age and other factors. Prevalent forms of cancer during these years include breast, endometrium, ovarian and cervical cancer. The IU Health Gynecology Oncology program offers comprehensive cancer services through both surgical and non-surgical treatments. Many times at this stage in life, surgical intervention is necessary for treatment. The Indiana University Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center provides innovative and minimally invasive surgical techniques leading to overall better outcomes. The IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center also brings together advanced technologies and the latest in research all under one convenient roof for the most comprehensive cancer care.
Mature/Post-Menopausalfinal stage of a woman's life cycle
To maintain strong health throughout later years, it is important to continue annual exams to manage and treat chronic conditions as well as more serious conditions such as pelvic floor disorders and cancer. Indiana University Health provides a wide array of comprehensive services, from gynecology to urogynecology, to help you identify these conditions and develop a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
During and after menopause, it is vital to maintain regular annual exams to protect your whole body against chronic and more serious conditions. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol become more prevalent and can damage vital organs if left untreated. It is important to maintain bone health with screenings to protect against and detect signs of osteoporosis. Staying active also maintains muscle mass, strength, flexibility and mobility, and prevents fractures. Annual exams help diagnose and treat more serious conditions including cardiac and cancer conditions–both becoming more prevalent with advanced age. Regardless of your condition, IU Health continues to offer comprehensive gynecological services and treatments in your aging years.
Changes over time, related to events such as childbirth and menopause, can cause issues known as pelvic floor disorders. Pelvic floor disorders [link to pelvic floor vignette section] include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic floor pain. These are common disorders affecting many women and it is important to know these disorders should be treated and not just tolerated. IU Health offers comprehensive urogynecology services through surgical and non-surgical treatments for pelvic floor relaxation and urinary issues, as well as pelvic floor reconstruction board certified physicians.