10/21/2016 This Week's Must Read Women's Health Articles

By Eva Martin, MD of Elm Tree Medical, Inc.

Last week's Top 5 list got lots of love from Twitter (thank you all!), so here is the next installment. I hope you enjoy this week's selection of popular articles. Topics include severe maternal morbidity, urogynecology surgeries, laboring down, male infertility, and delayed effects of Zika. The laboring down article is especially interesting and potentially practice-changing.

1. Severe Maternal Morbidity

Dr. Kilpatrick and Dr. Berg presented an excellent review article focusing on severe maternal morbidity in Contemporary OBGYN magazine. Severe morbidity is about 100 times more common than maternal mortality, so examining severe morbidity can give us insights into ways to prevent maternal deaths, which have been increasing in the United States. Severe maternal morbidity affects about 60,000 women a year, or 1.5% of all births.

2. Urogynecology Surgeries

By age 80, 20% of women undergo surgery for either urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. The demand for prolapse surgery is expected to increase by more than half over the next 40 years. Pessary, physical therapy, and surgery are all viable options, depending on each patient's specific circumstances and goals.

3. Laboring Down

A new study from the NIH, published in the Green Journal, delaying pushing for greater than 60 minutes (laboring down) was associated with a longer second stage and longer active pushing time. It was also associated with higher risk of cesarean delivery, operative vaginal delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, and blood transfusion. This new data, from a large cohort of first-time moms with singletons, certainly makes me re-think laboring down!

4. Male Infertility

Infertility affects 5 million men in the US and is unexplained in 30% of cases. This week, start-up Episona revealed their new diagnostic test for sperm genes. Always exciting to see innovation in the reproductive health space!

5. Delayed effects of Zika

If Zika was not already terrifying enough, new evidence shows that infants who do not display microcephaly at birth can still develop neuro-developmental delays during infancy.

We want to hear from you! Please post any comments on the above articles below or suggest other new women's health findings from this week that we all might like to read!