March 7, 2014
Genetic cause found for premature ovarian failure
(Medical Xpress) – A team led by researchers from the Spanish National Research Council and the University of Salamanca has found a genetic cause for premature ovarian failure, a disorder affecting 1 percent of women that provokes the loss of ovarian function years before menopause. The results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine and Human and Molecular Genetics journals, demonstrate for the first time that mutation in STAG3 gene is the major cause of human fertility disorders as it provokes a loss of function of the protein it encodes.
Wombs for rent: The Indian baby farms transforming the lives of poverty-stricken women who are paid to carry babies for wealthy foreigners
(Daily Mail) – Indian ‘baby farms’ are thriving as demand from couples from developed countries, including the UK, soars. Infertile couples are turning to women in India to carry and give birth to their children, as commercial surrogacy is not legal in certain countries, or if it is legal, can be prohibitively expensive. The money these women are earn – as much as £4,700 per pregnancy – is transforming communities.
March 6, 2014
Study comparing injectable contraceptives DMPA and NET-EN finds HIV risk higher with DMPA
(Medical Xpress) – Women who used an injectable contraceptive called DMPA were more likely to acquire HIV than women using a similar product called NET-EN, according to a secondary analysis of data from a large HIV prevention trial called VOICE, researchers from the National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) reported today at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston. An unexpected finding in the study was that the combination of being positive for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and using DMPA for contraception was associated with a higher risk of HIV compared to women using NET-EN and who were also HSV-2 positive.
March 4, 2014
The breast cancer racial gap
(New York Times) – A troubling racial divide in breast cancer mortality continues to widen in most major cities around the country, suggesting that advances in diagnosis and treatment continue to bypass African-American women, according to new research. An analysis of breast cancer mortality trends in 41 of the largest cities in the United States shows that the chance of surviving breast cancer correlates strongly with the color of a woman’s skin.
Women’s health harmed as medical studies miss gender differences
(Chicago Tribune) – Scientists continue to neglect gender in medical research, endangering women’s health by focusing on males in studies that shape the treatment of disease, according to a report released Monday. The lack of attention to gender differences occurs at all stages of research, from lab to doctor’s office, according to the report released by the Connors Center for Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at George Washington University in Washington.
March 3, 2014
Revealed: Surrogate births hit record high as couples flock abroad
(The Independent) – Record numbers of British children are being conceived through surrogacy, according to official figures seen by The Independent on Sunday. The number of babies registered in Britain after being born to a surrogate parent has risen by 255 per cent in the past six years, amid mounting concerns that legislation has not kept up with demand.
The rent-a-womb boom
(The Daily Beast) – They’ve been called “baby factories,” conjuring up images of poor, illiterate women packed into bunks and forced by their husbands to bear surrogate children for Westerners. And they make up a vital industry in India—since 2002, when surrogacy was legalized in the country, a U.N.-backed study estimates that the surrogacy business has raked in more than $400 million a year.
Multiple sclerosis linked to contraceptive pill: Risk could be up to 50% higher in women who take it
(Daily Mail) – Taking the contraceptive Pill may increase a woman’s chance of developing multiple sclerosis, researchers warn. The risk of MS could be up to 50 per cent higher among women on the Pill, according to a new US study. The findings also show young obese women are at greater risk of the disease, probably because they produce higher levels of a hormone known to regulate appetite. Previous research had suggested that oral contraception could cut MS risk, or delay its onset.
February 26, 2014
Tel Aviv University scientists target drug-resistant ovarian tumors with nanotechnology
(News-Medical) – Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, one in 72 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and one in 100 will ultimately die of the condition. Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, one in 72 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and one in 100 will ultimately die of the condition.
February 25, 2014
Study: Women with BRCA1 mutations should remove ovaries by 35
(CNN) – A new study on healthy women with genetic mutations that sharply increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer supports the old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The report, published online Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, studied nearly 5,800 women with specific genetic mutations called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Researchers found that women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations who protectively had their ovaries removed reduced their risk of ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer by 80%, and their overall risk of death by 77%.
February 21, 2014
A New Edition of Human Reproduction is Available
Human Reproduction (Volume 29, No. 3, March 2014) is now available online by subscription only.
- “Eyes wide shut: the illusory tale of ‘occult’ microscopic endometriosis” by Elizabeth Naomi Hopton and David Byron Redwine
- “Does anonymous sperm donation increase the risk for unions between relatives and the incidence of autosomal recessive diseases due to consanguinity?” by Jean-Louis Serre, et al.
- “Effect of in vitro culture period on birthweight of singleton newborns” by Jinliang Zhu, et al.
- “Occult microscopic endometriosis: undetectable by laparoscopy in normal peritoneum” by Khaleque Newaz Khan, et al.
- “Is ovarian hyperstimulation associated with higher blood pressure in 4-year-old IVF offspring? Part I: multivariable regression analysis” by Jorien Seggers, et al.
- “Is ovarian hyperstimulation associated with higher blood pressure in 4-year-old IVF offspring? Part II: an explorative causal inference approach” by Sacha La Bastide-Van Gemert, et al.
- “Quality of care in an IVF programme from a patient’s perspective: development of a validated instrument” by Herborg Holter, et al.
- “Large baby syndrome in singletons born after frozen embryo transfer (FET): is it due to maternal factors or the cryotechnique?” by A. Pinborg, et al.
February 19, 2014
Maternal deaths still high in Ethiopia: Strategies for improving mother’s health around the world
(Medical Daily) – With limited resources, developing countries continue to have a hard time keeping mothers and newborns alive and healthy during — and after — childbirth. Highlighting the problems mothers in Ethiopia face, a special issue of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health published online Feb. 18, explores how community-based methods maintain the health of mothers and their newborn children.
February 18, 2014
Progress review: Contraception use among adolescent girls
(The Guardian) – Empowering adolescent girls to access and use contraception is a global public health priority. High unmet need for contraception translates into high numbers of unintended pregnancies, and into high maternal mortality in countries with poor maternal health care systems. That is why reducing the unmet need for contraception is a key target in millennium development goal five.
February 17, 2014
Educating young men could expand ‘morning after pill’ use
(Reuters) – Young men know even less about emergency contraception than young women do, which may be limiting access to an effective means of preventing unwanted pregnancies, researchers say. “The big finding in our study is that young men had a lot less knowledge about emergency contraception than the young women that we surveyed, and even among the young women, knowledge wasn’t great,” Sheree Schrager, a member of the study team, told Reuters Health.
Breakthrough highlights lack of women in science
(University World News) – National euphoria over a young female scientist who led a groundbreaking stem cell research project has quickly turned into anguished soul-searching in Japan, where similar success stories remain woefully inadequate. “Japan has highly talented female scientists reflecting quality education in the country. Yet the harsh reality is researchers usually end [up] as assistants to male heads in their departments, a critical reason for the low rate of women entering this profession,” said Dr Mariko Ogawa of Mie National University in western Japan.
February 13, 2014
A New Edition of Qualitative Health Research is Available
Qualitative Health Research (Volume 24, No. 2, February 2014) is now available online by subscription only.
- “The Troubles of Telling: Managing Communication About the End of Life” by Alex Broom, et al.
- “Blessed Alienation: The Christian Monastery as a Caring and Restorative Environment” by Nadya T. Eriksson and Lena Wiklund-Gustin
- “Paramedics’ Experiences and Coping Strategies When Encountering Critical Incidents” by Nira Avraham, et al.
- “Perinatal Depression Treatment Preferences Among Latina Mothers” by Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, et al.
- “On Ethical (In)Decisions Experienced by Parents of Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care” by Michael A. van Manen
Potential for targeting aggressive breast cancers shown by new UK study
(Medical News Today) – A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researcher Peter Zhou shows that targeting Twist, a nuclear protein that is an accelerant of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program in human cells, may provide an effective approach for treating triple-negative breast cancer.
Big gains made on women’s health, but access still unequal, says UN
(The Guardian) – Efforts to ensure women’s access to family planning, and to reduce the number of maternal and child deaths, have achieved significant results over the past 20 years, but progress has been unequal and fragmented, according to the UN. The number of women dying in pregnancy or childbirth has dropped by almost half, and total global fertility rates have fallen by nearly a quarter. But access to health services remains patchy, particularly in rural areas of Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia, and sex discrimination remains deeply entrenched.
February 12, 2014
Long-term study questions benefits of mammogram screening
(CNN) – The debate over annual mammogram screenings continues this week, as follow-up data from a long-term study come under fire. Researchers with the Canadian National Breast Screening Study conducted a 25-year follow-up with their participants and concluded that “annual mammography in women aged 40 to 59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available.”
February 7, 2014
Uterine surgical technique is linked to abnormal growths and cancer spread
(New York Times) – Concerns are increasing among doctors about the safety of a procedure performed on tens of thousands of women a year in the United States who undergo surgery to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the entire uterus. The procedure, morcellation, cuts tissue into pieces that can be pulled out through tiny incisions.
Study on stroke in women focuses on risks from pregnancy
(The Wall Street Journal) – Controlling high blood pressure and other risk factors related to pregnancy and use of birth control can significantly reduce a woman’s chance of suffering a stroke later in life, according to guidelines published Thursday. The recommendations, issued by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, are the first from those groups to specifically address preventing strokes in women. While men and women share many risk factors for the disease, the guidelines underscore how events during a woman’s reproductive years mean such factors also can differ between the sexes.