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March 13, 2014

F.D.A. panel recommends replacement for the Pap test

(New York Times) – The Pap test, a ritual for women that has been the mainstay of cervical cancer prevention for 60 years, may be about to play a less crucial role. A federal advisory committee recommended unanimously on Wednesday that a DNA test developed by Roche be approved for use as a primary screening tool.

‘Love hormone’ may treat anorexia

(BBC) – A hormone released during childbirth and sex could be used as a treatment for the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, scientists suggest. Small studies by UK and Korean scientists indicated patients were less likely to fixate on food and body image after a dose of oxytocin. About one in every 150 teenage girls in the UK are affected by the condition. The eating disorders charity Beat said the finding was a long way from becoming a useable treatment.

2008-12: ADHD drugs prescribed for young women rose 85%

(UPI) – Among adults, women far outnumber men in their use of ADHD treatments — the reverse of childhood trends where only half as many girls as boys take ADHD medications. The number of males using ADHD drugs plummeted after age 18 while women ages 19 to 25 surpass younger girls’ use of these medications. The percentage of boys ages 12 to 18 using ADHD medications reached 9 percent in 2012, an 18 percent increase from 2008.

March 10, 2014

The ‘cursed’ women living in shame

(BBC) – In a rural central Ugandan village, 17-year-old Sulaina sits on the mud floor of the tiny home she shares with her mother and younger brother and sister. She wants to help provide for her family. But she can’t. She can barely leave her house. Wherever she goes, a sickly smell follows her. That’s because she is constantly leaking urine. The rags she has stuffed in her underwear are drenched quickly, and then the urine starts running down her legs. She has sores all over her thighs where the urine has burned her. Sulaina has a condition called obstetric fistula. She developed it after giving birth to a baby girl last year.

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.

Articles include:

  • “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.

Articles include:

  • “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.


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