Virtually every woman is affected by a gynecological condition or infection at some time during her life. Consider the following:
Aside from AIDS, the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases among women is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). In the U.S., more than 1 million women experience an episode of acute PID each year, with teenagers having the highest rate of infection.
It is estimated that 5 million women and girls of childbearing age in the U.S. have endometriosis. Endometriosis is one of the three major causes of female infertility.
Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted vaginal infection, is the most frequently reported infectious disease in the U.S. However, 75 percent of women have no symptoms and may not seek health care. Left untreated, 40 percent of women will develop PID and many of these women will become infertile.
Consider the following gynecological cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society:
Cancer of the endometrium is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs. It is estimated that 47,130 new cases of endometrial cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012, and about 8,010 women will die from endometrial cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women. It is estimated that about 22,280 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2012. Ovarian cancer accounts for 3 percent of all new cancers in women and causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. It is estimated that there will be about 15,500 deaths from ovarian cancer during 2012.
The mortality rates for cervical cancer have declined sharply as Pap screenings have become more prevalent. About 12,170 cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. during 2012. It is estimated that 4,220 women will die from cervical cancer during 2012.
When vulvar cancer is detected early, it is highly curable. It is estimated that about 4,490 cases of vulvar cancer will be diagnosed and 950 women will die from this cancer in the U.S. in 2012.
Vaginal cancer is relatively rare. It is estimated that approximately 2,680 cases of vaginal cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. during 2012. This year, 840 women will die from vaginal cancer.