For Women Only NBCC, NASW approved.


Health Notes was originally published by the California State Board of Pharmacy’s Consumer Education and Communication Committee to assist healthcare providers to be better informed on subjects of importance to their patients.

Course Description

One of the greatest triumphs of twentieth century medicicne in the United States has been the dramatic increase of human longevity. For females, this extended lifespan is even more dramatic than for men. Outliving their male counterparts, on the average, a minimum of seven years, females now account for well over fifty percent of the U.S. population.

Female’s longer life expectancy, combined with the overall aging of the population, indicates that women’s health issues will become increasingly important.

It is not surprsing that many of the quetsions asked of healthcare providers involve some aspect of women’s health. Females are vulnerable to virtually all of the diseases that affect men, plus a host of additional concerns. From puberty onward, many women will experience: menstrual problems including premenstrual syndrome, infertility challeneges and the health problems that can accompany pregnancy, yeast infections, cervivitis,pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, urinary tract infectiuons, and menopause, including complications related to osteoporosis.

In addition to most forms of cancer that men face, women also confront dangers of breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer. Fully a third of females over the age of 65 suffer from cardiovascular disease, with nearly half a million women a year dying from this illness.

Nurses can have a valuable influence on the health care of women by assisting them in understanding early signs and symptoms of various diseases special to women and seeking appropriate diagnosis and interventions leading to effective treatment.

This publication specifically deals with following women’s health issues:

  • Drugs during pregnancy and lactation
  • Contraception
  • Yeast infections
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Breast Cancer
  • Epithelial ovarian cancer
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hormone replacement therapy

We hope this guide helps you communicate important information about women’s health issues to your patients.

Learning Objectives

  1. Outline the steps a pharmacist should take to assess risk factors of medications when taken by pregnant women.
  2. Outline the steps a pharmacist should take to assess risk factors of medications when taken by breastfeeding women.
  3. Recognize factors which should be considered in the selection of a contraceptive method.
  4. Compare and contrast the various menthods of contraception and risks and benefits of each.
  5. List atleast four non-contraceptive benefits of the use of oral contraception.
  6. Compare the differences between primary and secondary dysmenorrhea.
  7. List three OTC products to treat primary dysmenorrhea.
  8. Identify three counselling pearls which should be shared when making OTC recommendations to patients.
  9. Identify appropriate candidates for OTC therapy of vaginal yeast infections.
  10. Describe products available for OTC treatment of vaginal yeast infections.
  11. Distinguish vaginal yeast infections from bacterial yeast infection.
  12. Recognize the risk factors for coronary artery disease in women.
  13. Describe the symptons most likely to present in women with coronary artery disease.
  14. Discuss the medical management of coronary aretry disease in women.
  15. Identify which patients diagonsed with breast cancer are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy if given their clinical presentation.
  16. List the most common cytotoxic agents used in adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.
  17. Compare and contrast the various therapeutic choices available for the treatment of breast cancer.
  18. State the survival rates associated with the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer at early and advanced stages.
  19. List at least six risk factors for the development of ovarian cancer.
  20. Identify and describe the treatments used for ovarian cancer, differentiating between those that are considered first line, those used for persistent or recurrent disease, and those that are considered palliative in nature.
  21. Distinguish the advantages and disadvantages of each type of antidepressant.
  22. Describe three factorsto consider when using antidepressants in women.
  23. Describe the socioeconomic impact of fractures related to osteoporosis.
  24. Compare and contrast the various drug therapies currently used for treatment of osteoporosis.

Course Contents

  • Part – I A Woman’s World of Pregnancy, Lactation and Contraception
    • Risk Assessment of Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
    • Contraception: A Review of Current Methods
  • Part – II When Health Problems Arise, Medications Can Help
    • Difficult or Painful Menstruation
    • Yeast Infections: A Focus on Nonprescription Drug Therapy
    • Coronary Artery Disease in Women
    • Breast Cancer Treatment
    • Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
  • Part – III Achieving Emotional Health
    • Depression-Case Studies
  • Part – IV Menopause, A Special Time for Special Care
    • Update on Osteoporosis
    • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Post Test