There are common questions that we can answer about all health topics, such as "What is it?" and "How many people are affected." Answers to these questions are found under
Condition Information. Each health topic frequently has specific questions that pertain only to that topic. We have answered those in this section.
Getting early and regular prenatal care is important for a healthy pregnancy and birth. Before a woman gets pregnant, a preconception care visit can help her take steps for a safe and healthy pregnancy. This is important because early fetal development occurs often before women even know they are pregnant. Certain behaviors, such as exposure to tobacco smoke and drinking alcohol, can increase the risk for complications, while other behaviors, like taking the recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid a day, can reduce the risk for
neural tube defects, like spina bifida, by two-thirds.1
During pregnancy, a woman’s prenatal care visits will include education and counseling about how to handle different aspects of pregnancy, the importance of good nutrition and physical activity, and what to expect during labor.
The screenings listed above are just a few of the many tests that women should seek throughout their lives. Some screenings, such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks and colonoscopies (to screen for colon cancer) are important for both men and women. Other screenings, such as tests conducted during pregnancy at regular prenatal visits, help protect the health, and could even save the lives, of the mother and her fetus as well as prevent complications during pregnancy and beyond.
As many as 28 million American women have a disability, including physical,
learning, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.4 The challenges faced by women with disabilities increase as they age and their abilities become increasingly limited. Some of the challenges faced by women with disabilities include:
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