How many healthy, young women discuss fertility with their OBGYNs at their routine check-ups? Many OBGYNs and primary care doctors spend considerable time counseling patients about contraceptives and preventing pregnancy, but how often do we think about the flip side? Maja Zecevic, PhD, MPH, was in her late 20’s when she was first faced with considerations relating to fertility. Her journey led her to found Opionato, the world’s first digital fertility clinic.
Anyone who meets Surbhi Sarna knows she’s a woman who gets things done. I had the pleasure of first meeting Surbhi in 2015 at the Fogarty Institute, where she was building a start-up with one goal in mind: improving women’s health by helping detect ovarian cancer earlier. As every OBGYN knows, early detection of ovarian cancer has proven to be a difficult goal to achieve. Despite numerous studies trying to use biomarkers and ultrasound screening techniques, a reliable, effective, and efficient solution remains evasive.
The basic technologies used on Labor & Delivery units are, in a word, ancient. Given my passion for innovation in the L&D space, you can imagine how much I love this week’s featured Women’s Health Innovator: Bloomlife. With a major update to our old-school contraction monitors, Bloomlife is ushering in a new age of pregnancy monitoring and peace of mind.
Materna had its start at the Stanford Biodesign program. While a student in the program, Mark began working on Materna’s childbirth device (Materna Prep) to prevent maternal tearing and pelvic muscle injuries during childbirth. Mark explains, “The root of the problem seemed to be biomechanical in nature, and there weren't many people working to solve such a big problem. That is what inspired me to get involved.”
Dr. Amy Baxter knows about treating pain of all kinds; she is a double boarded pediatric emergency physician. From routine childhood vaccinations to major trauma in the emergency room, Dr. Baxter has seen it all. She's also taken treating pain to the next level by inventing multiple non-invasive solutions. Many women experience pain on their fertility and pregnancy journeys, from injections for IVF to low back pain during pregnancy. Fortunately, Dr. Baxter's company Pain Care Labs is there to help women with all of these issues.
I am pleased to introduce you to genneve and founder Jill Angelo for the first edition of our new series featuring the incredible innovators making strides in women’s health! As many of you know from personal experience – either from your own or your patients’! – menopause is no joke, and navigating this transformational period has its ups and downs.
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.