The burden of cardiovascular disease in women is being increasingly appreciated. Nevertheless, both clinicians and the general public are largely unaware that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide in women in all countries and that outcomes after a heart attack are worse for women than men. Of note, certain types of cardiovascular disease have a predilection for women, including spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) and fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD). Although uncommon, SCAD is being increasingly recognised as the cause of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and can recur. It is a potentially fatal, under-diagnosed condition that affects relatively young women, who often have few traditional risk factors, and is the commonest cause of a myocardial infarction associated with pregnancy. In contrast, FMD often remains silent but when manifested can also cause major sequelae, including renal infarction, stroke, cervical artery dissection and gut infarction. Here we provide an update on the diagnosis, aetiology and management of these important disorders that overwhelmingly affect women.Copyright © 2020 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.