The Woodruff Lab contributes to the Women’s Health Research Institute and Oncofertility Consortium blogs. Read the latest information disseminated from these blogs below:  

Depression During Pregnancy

Depression, especially in pregnancy, is a sensitive subject.  It impacts the woman, her child and her family and it affects between 14 and 23% women during pregnancy.  Because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, a woman may not realize she is suffering from depression.  A new, comprehensive guide about this condition that discusses symptoms and treatment to help  women and their family members understand and cope with this issue is now available from the a site called PsychGuides.   For a helpful resource visit   Living with Depression during Pregnancy

Heavy Bleeding during Menopause

Most women think menopause means low estrogen, hot flashes, and the end to regular and monthly periods. This may not be the case, however. Researchers have found that women may experience an increase in the amount and duration of bleeding, which may occur sporadically throughout the transition of menopause.

Researchers from the University of Michigan utilized data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, in which participants kept track of their episodes from 1996 to 2006. Women were of various ethnicities, including caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, and African-American. This was particularly unique in that previous studies have been limited to caucasians and were of shorter duration.

Safety issues with laparoscopic uterine/fibroid procedure

Today, FDA issued a safety communication discouraging the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy) in women.  This type of procedure poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, a type of uterine cancer.

Laparoscopic power morcellation is one of several available treatments for fibroids.  It is a procedure that uses a medical device to divide the uterine tissue into smaller pieces so it can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen.  Prior to treatment, there is no reliable method for identifying whether a woman may have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma instead of, or in addition to, fibroids.  Published studies suggest that morcellation of an unsuspected uterine sarcoma increases the risk of cancer spread.

Morning sun the new weight loss option???

A surprising new strategy for managing your weight? Bright morning light!!  A new Northwestern Medicine® study reports the timing, intensity and duration of your light exposure during the day is linked to your weight — the first time this has been shown.

Bladder Control Problems during Menopause

Loss of bladder control, or urinary incontinence, is a problem that millions of women face. The involuntary loss of urine can range in presentation; it can be minimal, from a few drops when you laugh, exercise, or cough. Or, it can be an accident when you suddenly urge to urinate and can’t keep it in. Most episodes of urinary incontinence are the result of altered pressures or stress on the muscles and nerves that help you pass or hold urine in. Hormone changes can also affect muscle strength. Like your vaginal tissue, the muscle tissue in and surrounding the bladder and urethra (the short tube that passes urine from the bladder out the body) requires estrogen to remain supple and strong. When estrogen levels drop in menopause, the tissue around the bladder and urethra thin and weaken,which can lead to incontinence.

Chicago Network Census Shows Lack of Senior Women in City’s Companies

Women continue to be underrepresented in senior roles in the sciences and in the corporate world. According to data from the NSF, there are nearly 5.4 million men and women employed as scientists and engineers in the United States, but women hold only 27% of these positions! The Chicago Network shows us that these disparities are present in upper-levels of the corporate world as well. Check out the shocking statistics below–it’s time to Make the Case for Inclusion in the science and corporate world! Click HERE to see the full-size image.

Alcohol related risk may be more deadly for women

The increased risk of death associated with alcohol intake is not the same for men and women. A study that compared the amount of alcohol consumed and death from all causes among nearly 2.5 million women and men showed that the differences between the sexes became greater as alcohol intake increased, as described in an article in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Women’s Health website.