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

Report provides new insight into risks for stillbirths

Half of all stillbirths result from pregnancy disorders and conditions that affect the placenta, according to a new report. Risk factors already known at the start of pregnancy—such as previous pregnancy loss or obesity—accounted for only a small proportion of the overall risk of stillbirth.

Breast cancer patients often skip medications due to side effects

Why do so many postmenopausal women who are treated for estrogen-sensitive breast cancer quit using drugs that help prevent the disease from recurring?

The first study to actually ask the women themselves — as well as the largest, most scientifically rigorous study to examine the question — reports 36 percent of women quit early because of the medications’ side effects, which are more severe and widespread than previously known. The Northwestern Medicine research also reveals a big gap between what women tell their doctors about side effects and what they actually experience.

Institute director wins award for mentoring

Dr. Woodruff (in the red jacket) meets with President Obama

Teresa Woodruff, Director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research (creator of this blog site)  and the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring at the White House from President Barack Obama Monday, Dec. 12.

Shift work increases diabetes in women

Women who worked a rotating night shift had an increased risk of type 2 diabetes that was not completely explained by an increase in body mass index (BMI), according to results of a prospective study of women who were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Studies.  Nurses who had 1 to 10 years of night shift work  saw a 5% excess risk for type 2 diabetes compared to women who did minimal to no night shift work. That risk climbed to 40% after a decade of shift work, according to Frank Hu, MD, PhD, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues.

Mammography: Sometimes science tells us what we don’t want to hear

While mammograms certainly play an important role in the early detection of breast cancer (and women have responded to this selling point), when weighed against other issues related to quality of life, this benefit  becomes the question of debate among the scientific community.  While researchers have ways to measure quality of life via quality-adjusted life years (QALYS), how do women measure quality of life?  Some recent research done in the UK has caught my attention that found:    after 10 years of mammograms, a woman may get more harm than good from the screening.

Stress and the Holidays

Handling holiday stress is the focus of this month’s e-newsletter from the Institute for Women’s Health Research and can be accessed by clicking HERE.   It addresses why stress is handled differently in men and women.

We also thought the following tips on e-shopping might be helpful!.

Now that black Friday is over, many of you have likely decided to do the rest  of your shopping on-line.   Here are some tips to help you avoid problems when shopping from home.

Breaking News: FDA ruling on emergency contraception overruled

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today overruled federal drug regulators to block wider access to the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B.
A panel of scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that Plan B should be made available without a prescription to women of all ages, according to a statement from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. Hamburg agreed with their decision, but Sebelius intervened to block over-the-counter access.

FDA removes HCG weight loss products from market

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  and the Federal Trade Commission said over-the-counter weight loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are fraudulent and illegal, and the agencies have told seven manufacturers to stop selling them.  They have become a popular but fraudulent fad.

“There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction,” said Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s fraud unit for OTC products.