Women's Health

(In)Fertility Journey Leads Founder to Help Others

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.

Women in Women's Health: Who Holds the Leadership Roles?

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?

Cervical Dysplasia Now... Pregnancy Complications Later?

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.

Guidelines for Diagnosing Early Pregnancy Loss Emphasize Reduction in False Positives

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.

Is Spermicide a Good Choice for Your Patient? A New Quiz

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!

Seeing Double: How Do Twins Form?

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.

With 1,116 Period Tracker Apps, How Can You Choose?

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.

A Balancing Act: Ideal Delivery Timing & Chronic Hypertension

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. 

Plasma Energy Ablation, A New Option for Treating Endometriomas

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. 

How exactly does obesity affect fertility?

The obesity epidemic is a popular topic in the media. Our news feeds are flush with articles about the dangers of obesity: hypertension, sleep apnea, cancer, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. In the OBGYN world, every month brings new journal articles about the dangers of obesity during pregnancy, everything from birth defects to obstetric complications to a higher risk of obesity in offspring. Recently, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a committee opinion on the ways in which obesity affects fertility. So, how, exactly, does obesity affect fertility?