Women’s services



Specializing Institutions

Women’s health services are dedicated to treating women’s unique biological and physiological needs. Obstetrics, gynecology and family planning are areas of focus in women’s health. Women’s services cover a wide range of services, from annual procedures like PAP tests, to mammograms, urinary tract care, menopause, birth plans and delivery. The leading causes of death in women are heart disease, cancer and stroke. Other major health conditions women suffer from are diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic lower respiratory diseases. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy and physical activity, reduce women’s health risks.

Women can find a full continuum of mother and baby care at the South Texas Medical Center. Our institutions offer state-of-the-art labor and delivery rooms designed with women and children in mind. Additional women’s services available at our institutions include breast cancer diagnoses and treatment, pregnancy testing, mammograms and all the non-invasive procedures performed using daVinci Gynecologic Surgery systems. Robotically assisted gynecologic surgeries include, but are not limited to, the treatment for cervical and uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse and menorrhaiga or excessive bleeding.

Institutions at the South Texas Medical Center offering women services take a family-centered approach to maternity care and offer a comprehensive range of obstetrical and gynecological services. Our institutions are also equipped with neonatal intensive care units to care for mothers experiencing special or high-risk deliveries.

Women’s Health Articles

  • CORRECTED-FDA approves ADHD drug Vyvanse for binge-eating disorder

    (Corrects to show disorder affects 2.8 million people, not 28 million, in fifth paragraph)

    By Toni Clarke

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the stimulant lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse, Shire) to treat binge-eating disorder, the first product to be approved for the condition.

    Vyvanse is currently approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Binge-eating disorder, characterized by repeated episodes of uncontrolled eating, accompanied by guilt and shame, affects roughly 2.8 million people in the United States, according to Shire.

    "Binge eating can cause serious health problems and difficulties with work, home, and social life," said Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the FDA's division of psychiatry products. "The approval of Vyvanse provides physicians and patients with an effective option to help curb episodes of binge eating."

    In clinical studies, patients taking Vyvanse were shown to have significantly fewer binge days per week than those taking a placebo.

    At the time of entry to the study, the average number of binge days per week was 4.79. At week 12, average binge days per week had fallen to less than one. Patients taking a placebo, by comparison, saw a reduction of little more than 2 days a week.

    Vyvanse is an amphetamine which, like other amphetamines, carries the potential for abuse and addiction. They also have been associated with increases in blood presssure and heart rate, sudden death, stroke, heart attack, insomnia and psychiatric side effects such as hallucinations and mania.

    The drug is not approved for weight loss.

  • CORRECTED-FDA approves ADHD drug Vyvanse for binge-eating disorder

    (Corrects to show disorder affects 2.8 million people, not 28 million, in fifth paragraph)

    By Toni Clarke

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the stimulant lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse, Shire) to treat binge-eating disorder, the first product to be approved for the condition.

    Vyvanse is currently approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Binge-eating disorder, characterized by repeated episodes of uncontrolled eating, accompanied by guilt and shame, affects roughly 2.8 million people in the United States, according to Shire.

    "Binge eating can cause serious health problems and difficulties with work, home, and social life," said Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the FDA's division of psychiatry products. "The approval of Vyvanse provides physicians and patients with an effective option to help curb episodes of binge eating."

    In clinical studies, patients taking Vyvanse were shown to have significantly fewer binge days per week than those taking a placebo.

    At the time of entry to the study, the average number of binge days per week was 4.79. At week 12, average binge days per week had fallen to less than one. Patients taking a placebo, by comparison, saw a reduction of little more than 2 days a week.

    Vyvanse is an amphetamine which, like other amphetamines, carries the potential for abuse and addiction. They also have been associated with increases in blood presssure and heart rate, sudden death, stroke, heart attack, insomnia and psychiatric side effects such as hallucinations and mania.

    The drug is not approved for weight loss.

  • POM Wonderful loses bid to tout health benefits in drink ads

    By Reuters Staff

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pomegranate juice maker POM Wonderful cannot advertise that its pomegranate drinks treat or prevent heart disease or other ailments unless it has proof, a U.S. appeals court said Friday, upholding an order by the Federal Trade Commission.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit largely upheld a 2010 order by the Federal Trade Commission, which found that POM Wonderful's advertising was misleading in claiming its products would treat or reduce the risk of diseases ranging from heart disease to prostate cancer to erectile dysfunction.

    The advertisements that the FTC challenged appeared in Parade, Fitness and Prevention magazines, as well as online, and on product tags, the FTC said.

    "Many of those ads mischaracterized the scientific evidence concerning the health benefits of POM's products with regard to those diseases. The FTC Act proscribes - and the First Amendment does not protect - deceptive and misleading advertisements," the court said in its ruling.

    But the appeals court said the FTC went too far in requiring two human clinical trial studies to support any health claims in advertising, saying there was "inadequate justification" for that demand.

    POM said it was pleased with this portion of the decision.

    "We are grateful that the court substantially reduced the requirement that the FTC tried to enforce on us to conduct multiple double-blind, placebo-controlled studies," the company said in a statement.

    The FTC said the decision was a victory for consumers.

    "It is in keeping with established law that advertisers who market products for serious health conditions must have rigorous science to back up those claims," wrote FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement. "The court specifically recognized that this applies to food and dietary supplement marketers such as POM."

    The advertisements that most concerned the FTC were discontinued in 2005 and others were halted in 2007, said lawyer Thomas Goldstein when he argued for POM Wonderful before the judges in May 2014.

    The case is in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. It is POM Wonderful, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission and is No. 13-1060.

  • U.S. government releases draft plan for electronic health data

    By Reuters Staff

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Friday proposed a plan to move most doctors, hospitals and their patients to national standards for handling electronic clinical data by the end of 2017.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as part of an effort to propel the $2.9 trillion U.S. healthcare system away from a costly fee-for-service system, released a report draft aimed at establishing an inter operable health information technology system that can be accessed by patients and their healthcare providers.

    Policy experts say that national health IT standards would lead to transparency in medical data, prices and provider performance, while helping support hospitals and medical practices in pursuing care-delivery models that emphasize care quality and savings over quantity.

    Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced the goal of moving 50 percent of fee-for-service Medicare payments to quality-care focused providers by the end of 2018.

    An industry task force has also been formed to facilitate a similar transformation for the private healthcare sector.

    HHS said the new IT roadmap "focuses on actions that will enable a majority of individuals and providers across the care continuum to send, receive, find and use a common set of electronic clinical information at the nationwide level by the end of 2017."

    The release was warmly received by consumer advocates who support the administration's care-delivery goals.

    "We are especially pleased that the new roadmap focuses on interoperability not just among providers, but also patients and their family caregivers, recognizing them as equal partners in the continuum of care," Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a statement.

    The document covers core technical standards and functions, certification, privacy, security and governance. Public comment period on the draft closes April 3.

    HHS released a separate advisory listing available standards and implementation specifications. Public comment on the standards advisory closes May 1.

  • Regular walking can help ease depression

    By Janice Neumann

    (Reuters Health) - Moderate-intensity exercise, or even just walking, can improve quality of life for depressed middle-aged women, a large Australian study suggests.

    Women who averaged 150 minutes of moderate exercise (golf, tennis, aerobics classes, swimming or line-dancing) or 200 minutes of walking every week had more energy, socialized more, felt better emotionally and weren't as limited by their depression when researchers followed up after three years.

    They also had less pain and did better physically, although the psychological benefit was greater.

    With depression so prevalent, "there is an urgent need" to identify treatments, including non-medical options that people can do themselves, said Kristiann Heesch, who led the study.

    Heesch, senior lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, and her colleagues point out in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that depression is expected to be the second-leading cause of global disease by 2030 and the leading cause in high-income countries.

    One in 10 U.S. adults suffers from depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women are 70 percent more likely to be depressed at some point in their lives than men, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

    In previous research, Heesch found that exercise and walking could boost physical and emotional health in women who are not depressed.

    In fact, Heesch said in an email, physical activity may have an even greater effect on psychological health-related quality of life in women in their 50s and 60s who are depressed.

    Her team analyzed data on 1,904 women born in 1946-1951 who answered questions about their exercise habits, physical health and mental health in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. In 2001, all of them had reported at least 10 depressive symptoms, indicating mild to moderate depression.

    But over time, their physical health, mental health, pain, physical functioning, vitality and social functioning all improved when they did 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 200 minutes of walking in an average week.

    More exercise was linked to greater improvements, but even low amounts of exercise had benefits.

    "The good news is that while the most benefits require 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 200 minutes of walking, even smaller amounts . . . can improve well-being," Heesch said.

    Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, who holds the Betty Jo Hay Distinguished Chair in Mental Health at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said the study had some major strengths, including its large number of women, their physical and psychological improvements over time and the estimate of how much exercise was needed to improve quality of life.

    Trivedi, who was not involved in the study, also noted that it focused on women at "the very age where risks (for depression) are high."

    "It does improve quality of life. That is not a new finding but there remains skepticism in the culture that walking really does anything for depression or vitality - and this shows that it does," said Trivedi.

    He noted that the benefits in the study were much stronger in the immediate future than in the long run, and that being consistently and vigorously active proved most beneficial.

    These days, "more and more of these larger prospective studies are beginning to show that people with depression benefit from this," he said.

    But, Trivedi noted, more research should be done on how much exercise is needed to lift depression. He said research could become more objective by using new technology, such as iPhones, to monitor physical activity instead of relying on self-reports.

    "My speculation is that those women who did not see the benefit probably stopped or reduced their activity . . . it may be those are the women who need a more vigorous exercise to benefit," Trivedi said.

    SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1Cdrh5o American Journal of Preventive Medicine, online January 13, 2015.