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Improving Women's Health

Below are several ways you can help improve women’s health through your clinic, practice, community, or organization. Whether you want to take on one project as an individual or several as a group, there’s something for anyone interested in encouraging women to practice prevention to be healthy and safe.

Promote Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment

Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
CDC provides high-quality screening and diagnostic services to detect breast and cervical cancer at the earliest stages through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).  The program helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women (ages 40-64 years), gain access to breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.

Woman consulting with a doctor

DES Exposure
Research shows that women exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero (DES Daughters) were at increased risk of the development of clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina and cervix. CDC's DES Update has been specifically designed to help health care providers learn more about DES exposure and its known health effects to facilitate identifying, managing, and counseling DES-exposed patients.

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness
Help raise awareness of the five main types of gynecologic cancer: cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar. When gynecologic cancers are found early, treatment is most effective. Know the central messages of the campaign, and use the fact sheets to increase awareness.

Sun Protection
Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays appears to be the most important environmental factor involved in the development of skin cancer. When used consistently, sun-protective practices can prevent skin cancer. People with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop skin cancer.

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Take Continuing Education Courses

Women's Health Continuing Education for Health Professionals
View a listing of selected CDC continuing education programs related to women’s health and other topics.

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Start a Needed Program in Your Community

Assuring Healthy Caregivers- A Public Health Approach to Translating Research into Practice: The RE-AIM Framework
Those concerned with caregivers and their family and friends can use this framework in their work on caregiving. It suggests additional resources for those interested in pursuing the use of RE-AIM for caregiver support programs and policies.

Preventing Falls: How to Develop Community-Based Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults
This “how-to” guide is designed for community-based organizations who are interested in developing their own effective fall prevention programs. This guide is designed to be a practical and useful tool, and it provides guidelines on program planning, development, implementation, and evaluation. See also Preventing Falls: What Works- A CDC Compendium of Effective Community-Based Interventions from around the World.

WISEWOMAN
Well–Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) provides low-income, under- or uninsured 40- to 64-year-old women with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to improve diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle behaviors to prevent, delay, and control cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. The interventions may vary from program to program, but all are designed to promote lasting, healthy lifestyle changes. See also Wise Interventions.

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Use Resources

Women's Health Podcasts
Take one to six minutes to listen to a podcast to learn more about issues impacting women's health and safety, including cancer, reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, and violence. See also CDC Podcasts.

Women's Health Professional Resources
View a variety of resources for health professionals, including campaigns, continuing education, slidesets, videos, and more.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Success Rates Report
The goal of this report is to help potential ART users make informed decisions about ART by providing some of the information needed to answer the following questions: What are my chances of having a child by using ART? Where can I go to get this treatment?

Bleeding Disorders in Women
The most common bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease (VWD). VWD results from a deficiency or defect in the body's ability to make von Willebrand factor, a protein that helps blood clot. Although VWD occurs in men and women equally, women are more likely to notice the symptoms because of heavy or abnormal bleeding during their menstrual periods and after childbirth. Certain women should be tested.

Breastfeeding
Newborn infant Crib Cards can be used by hospitals for recording a newborn’s vital information. It can also help parents be better informed about breastfeeding and help make this important infant feeding decision at the pertinent time.

Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence Victimization Assessment Instruments for Use in Healthcare Settings
This publication includes a comprehensive inventory of assessment tools that will help practitioners identify victims of intimate partner violence and sexual violence victimization in clinical/healthcare settings and make appropriate referrals for additional services.

Prenatal Testing for HIV Infection
The One Test. Two Lives. campaign focuses on ensuring that all women are tested for HIV early in their pregnancy.  One Test. Two Lives. provides quick access to a variety of resources for providers and patients to help encourage universal voluntary prenatal testing for HIV.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment Guidelines
Keep up with the latest guidelines on the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. These guidelines were developed by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs. The guidelines are updated periodically.

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Be a Role Model

Be Physically Active
Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles. Participating in moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity physical activity on a regular basis can lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and colon cancer by 30–50%. Active people have lower premature death rates than people who are the least active. 

Eat Healthy
Health professionals recognize the benefits associated with a healthful eating plan based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including decreased risk of overweight and obesity; decreased risk of micronutrient deficiencies; and decreased risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers.

Be Smoke-Free
People who stop smoking greatly reduce their risk for many chronic diseases and for dying prematurely. Make this the year you quit smoking for good.

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