Blog

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

Apple and Facebook Announce Egg Freezing Health Coverage

In a groundbreaking announcement today, Apple and Facebook now will offer health coverage for their women employees to freeze their eggs. Egg freezing enables women to protect and preserve their fertility until they are ready to become parents—and with the steep price of $10,000+, this coverage may be seen as a significant investment in women. Climbing the corporate ladder while raising a family can be a significant barrier for many women and the coverage to freeze one’s eggs provides women with the choice and freedom to devote time to work and to one’s family.

Pregnancy Possible during Perimenopause

Perimenopause  is the time when a women naturally starts having menopausal symptoms.  This natural change usually lasts about a year and is often referred to as the ‘menopause transition’.  At  this time, fertility declines but a woman may still get pregnant, and effective birth control should be used if she does not want to have a mid-life baby.  Generally, after a year of no menses, a woman can be considered infertile and menopausal.

There are several appropriate birth control methods recommended for perimenopausal women:

Northwestern Medicine to focus on fibroids

Uterine fibroids are the most common noncancerous tumors in women of childbearing age and the second most common reason these women undergo surgery. Uterine fibroids can lead to significant pain, bleeding, and fertility problems. Treatment options include watchful waiting; treatment with drugs or hormones, embolization, or ultrasound; and invasive procedures such as partial or total hysterectomy. However, there is little evidence about the effectiveness of these therapies or their outcomes, including fibroid reoccurrence and women’s ability to have children.

OTC Medication Can Affect your Driving

Last Spring, CBS 60 Minutes, highlighted the fact that a popular prescription sleeping pill, Ambien, was causing next morning impaired driving in women.    This finding eventually resulted in the FDA halving the recommented dosage for women on the label.  Had the drug been well studied in both sexes, this difference would have been noted earlier in the discovery process with less adverse effects reported.  Now, there are steps being taken at the NIH and FDA to ensure both sexes are adequately included in drug and devices studies.

How much sugar is too much?

Who doesn’t like something sweet like a cupcake?   But how much is too much?  Our bodies need one type of sugar:   glucose!  It’s an important source of fuel for the body.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and, in the city of Chicago there are many ways to get involved.  Classes, races, walks, performances, and seminars are scattered throughout the month of October.

Research May Indicate HIV Diagnosis Reversal at Birth

A new drug treatment administered to HIV positive babies at birth shows high success rates in reversing an HIV positive diagnosis. While HIV positive mothers in the United States rarely pass HIV along to their children (due to preventative drugs and procedures), the likelihood of HIV positive babies being born in other parts of the world is still troubling. Research indicates that roughly 330,000 babies are infected with HIV each year. Women in less-developed countries are less likely to be treated during pregnancy, and therefore a post-birth option for HIV prevention or remission could be groundbreaking.

President Obama Supports Women in STEM

President Obama’s speech on economy delivered today at Northwestern University emphasized the support of women as one tactic to improve our economy. President Obama stated, “Let’s inspire and support more women in growing fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.” Women are still underrepresented in certain STEM fields and medical disciplines. Furthermore, despite women outpacing men with undergraduate and graduate diplomas, they are still entering the workforce with lower salaries than men.