Cerebrovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in women in the United States. Pregnancy and hormonal therapy have been associated with an increased risk of stroke in young women. Other conditions, more common in women, such as migraine headaches, rheumatologic disorders and antiphospholipid antibodies predispose women to cerebral ischemia. Women may also respond differently to antiplatelet therapy. The identification and treatment of such conditions will improve outcome in women with stroke and may prevent recurrent cerebrovascular events.