I am excited to introduce to you a new series of articles featuring innovative women's health technology companies. When I was practicing as an OBGYN resident, I had no way to learn about the incredible men and women who dedicate their lives to developing novel technologies-- digital tools, medical devices, and drugs-- to serve my patients. It has been my great privilege in my role as CEO of Elm Tree Medical to meet the awesome "Makers" who invent and develop the technologies that will help us and our patients in the future. I hope by highlighting these companies and businesspeople, I can help to bridge the gap between clinicians and emerging technologies.
The vast majority- 80%- of new OBGYN residents are women, and the proportion of male and female OBGYNs is quickly shifting to majority female. Now, women OBGYNs hold 57% of faculty positions. So, as women take over the majority of positions in the specialty, are they also taking over proportional leadership roles? Are female OBGYNs as likely as male OBGYNs to be given opportunities to lead in women's health? Or, do we still face the same inequalities in the topmost positions as we have in the past?
Screening for cervical cancer starts at a young age- 21 for most women- which often occurs before childbearing and pregnancy. When we screen women for cervical dysplasia and subsequently treat it, it's easy to get caught up in the primary objective (prevent or stop cancer) and to forget about considerations for long term health, such as the implications for future pregnancy. Since the cervix plays a key role in pregnancy (keeping the fetus safely in the uterus!), it follows that treating cervical dysplasia could affect pregnancy in the future. Read on to learn four ways treatment of cervical dysplasia can affect pregnancy outcomes.
Early pregnancy is one of the most exciting- and nerve-wracking- times for a new mother. Amidst the joy of expecting a new baby are usually worries about whether the pregnancy is healthy and normal. Early pregnancy loss occurs when there is an intrauterine pregnancy either with no embryo or with an embryo without a heartbeat, before 13 weeks. Early pregnancy loss occurs in 15% of clinically recognized pregnancies. Doctors can use levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG and ultrasound to assist in this diagnosis. But how certain is the diagnosis of a healthy versus nonviable early pregnancy? How can we be sure that we do not misdiagnose a viable pregnancy as an early pregnancy loss and intervene inappropriately? Read on to learn about the new ultrasound guidelines meant to increase certainty in diagnosing early pregnancy loss.
Are you a Rachel or a Monica or a Phoebe? What is your spirit animal? Is spermicide a risky choice for birth control? Just like a classic magazine personality quiz, researchers at Penn have created a simple quiz that can help women decide whether spermicide is a good contraceptive option for their specific situation. Read on to find out more!
There are few bigger surprises than learning that you are pregnant with twins. We can all picture the shocked mother and father looking at an ultrasound of two growing babies with wide eyes. The incidence of twins is on the rise, mostly due to the increased utilization of ART. With this increase, researchers have taken another look at the mechanisms that lead to twins, both "typical" and "atypical." This week, we cover the traditional and some new models for how twins form.
If you search for a period tracker app on the iTunes store, you will get about 1,116 results. That's what happened when a group of researchers from Columbia University decided to sort and rank existing menstrual cycle apps. Read on to learn about their favorites and findings.
Delivery, like all things in life, is a balancing act, especially in the case of pregnancies with complications. Depending on the complication, be it high blood pressure or diabetes, scheduled delivery earlier than labor starts naturally can be in everyone's best interest- if the risks & benefits balance. In the case of chronic hypertension, timing of delivery must balance the risks to the infant of being born too early with the risk of stillbirth as pregnancy continues. ACOG recommendations for timing of delivery for pregnancies complicated by chronic hypertension are broad (anywhere from 36 to 39 weeks), so a new study examined the risks and benefits of delivery at each week of gestation.
Endometriosis is the number 1 cause of infertility in the US. Endometriosis occurs when the endometrial tissue that makes up the inner lining of the uterus migrates to other places, like the ovary or pelvic wall. Endometriosis affects up to 10% of US reproductive-aged women, and, of women with endometriosis, about 35% experience infertility. So, what can we do to help women with endometriosis achieve pregnancy? Unfortunately, the number of medical treatments to increase fertility in the face of endometriosis are limited. Read on to learn about a promising new study of a new treatment, plasma energy ablation.
During my obstetric training, I was taught to delay cord clamping whenever possible for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. The simple idea was that it allowed the baby to receive one last infusion of blood from the cord, but not so much blood that it led to complications like jaundice. The reasoning was sound, and I found I could easily deliver a baby, hand him to mom for skin to skin, and then calmly cut the cord (or help a family member cut the cord) when the time came, without endangering anyone's wellbeing in the majority of deliveries. However, this practice was not always the norm. Only recently did ACOG publish support for delayed cord clamping for all healthy infants. Read on to learn more about this practice-changing recommendation.