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What is a Women's Hospital?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A women's hospital is a medical facility which focuses on providing care for women and newborns. Women can opt to seek treatment at such a facility for a variety of reasons, ranging from a desire to access leading specialists in a particular field to a preference for medical facilities which focus on women's issues. In addition to providing care in obstetrics and gynecology, many women's hospitals provide a range of general services which are customized for women, such as cardiac care.

Women have been receiving specialized treatment at women's hospitals since the 1800s, when such facilities focused primarily on obstetrics and gynecology. Over time, the offerings at such facilities expanded, recognizing new discoveries in medicine and the unique needs of female patients. Many are designed to provide complete care to women, from birth to death, and they have a variety of medical specialists on staff along with the ability to access experts who can visit the hospital for consultations with specific patients.

Gynecology can include basic gynecological care, gynecological oncology, infertility treatment, and treatment of urinary tract disorders and related conditions. Obstetrics includes everything from routine obstetrical care to the management of high-risk pregnancies, along with treatment of neonates. A women's hospital can also offer care in surgery, oncology, dermatology, psychology, and any other medical fields with providers who specialize in caring for women.

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In a general hospital, women can sometimes face inequalities in care due to a lack of understanding from medical providers, or prevailing attitudes about medical care for women. For example, women can be at risk for receiving substandard cardiac care which can put them at risk of serious complications. In a women's hospital, the care providers work solely with women, and they focus on providing care which is customized for their patients. They also pursue continuing education so that they are informed about the latest developments in the field of caring for women.

Many women's hospitals attract the leading specialists in gynecology, obstetrics, and related medical fields, and they provide a full range of services to their clients. Women may find themselves referred to such a facility to deal with complex or high-risk medical conditions. It is also possible to seek out care from specific providers at a women's hospital, as in situations when women might want second opinions from highly experienced and skilled care providers. At a women's hospital, care can also include psychological consultations and other forms of support which address specific concerns which women may have about their medical care, such as dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.

Some women's hospitals are affiliated with medical schools and universities, in which case students are provided with learning opportunities which allow them to learn about unique aspects of caring for women. Others are standalone facilities, and they are typically run as private hospitals.

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