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women's health

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A broad category of illnesses and health conditions associated with being female. The rise of the feminist movement in the second half of the 20th century gave a boost to assertive approaches, increasingly by women physicians and women patients who sought to eliminate the tendency to “medicalize” the normal physiological functions of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. By the late 20th century, women's health care was increasingly being provided by women physicians in all the English-speaking nations, where until early in the 20th century medicine was an almost exclusively male profession. The same trends affected the Scandinavian nations and the Netherlands a little earlier, and in some nations, such as India and Pakistan (where the term “lady doctor” is official terminology) and, more recently, orthodox Islamic nations, women's health care was a virtually exclusive preserve of female physicians. A comparable but lower-profile specialty of men's health has evolved, partly from genitourinary surgery, since the 1980s. Much useful information is available at

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