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

Menstrual cycle hormones influence seizure frequency

Monthly hormone cycle changes

Researchers are exploring how hormone levels impact certain brain activity during the menstrual cycle and the results may influence how birth control pills doses are prescribed to women with conditions like epilepsy in the future.

Increased levels of certain reproductive steroids correspond to more frequent generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) in women with epilepsy, according to new research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Marilyn Monroe sculpture: icon or sexism

It’s the talk of Chicago:   the new 26 foot tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe on Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue.   Sculpted by Seward Johnson, known for his massive figures taken from famous paintings and photos, this highly visible piece of art is drawing lots of comments : “Beautiful”— “it exploits women”— “she was an icon and a piece of history”—”hey, you can see her panties!”   Even some of my favorite columnists are suggesting that if they want to feature important women, why Marilyn?

Take steps to keep mosquitos and ticks from bugging you this summer

Summer allows more time for children to play outdoors, but when kids (and grown-ups, too) are covered with bug bites after spending time outside, we start to worry about disease spread by ticks, such as Lyme disease, or by mosquitoes, such as West Nile virus. Luckily, there are simple steps to prevent bites and diseases spread by bugs.  The US Center for Disease and Prevention Control offers some good suggestions.  Click HERE to see the fact sheet.  It also provides information on Lyme disease and maps that show West Nile activity.

Sex Differences in GI Surgery Outcomes

In the first study to consider the impact of gender on patient outcomes in major gastrointestinal surgeries, researchers at UC San Diego Health System have found that women are more likely to survive after the procedure than men. The pattern is even more pronounced when comparing women before menopause with men of the same age.

Results, now published online in the Journal of Surgical Research in a paper titled “The Battle of the Sexes: Women Win Out in Gastrointestinal Surgery,” shed light on major differences between patients which impact treatment success, and open pathways to creating new therapies aimed at improving survivability of surgical patients.

Women are tough when it comes to soccer injury

With the Women’s World Cup in full swing (congrats to the US team for upsetting Brazil in the semifinals!), soccer fans can now rest assured that women are less likely than men to fake on-field injuries, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center published in the July issue of the journal Research in Sports Medicine.

Global Health: Make Contraception More Available

Improving maternal health has been a primary goal of the international community led by three United Nations Agencies (UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank and the World Health Organization) since they launched the Safe Motherhood Initiative in 1987.  Over the years their goals have been reviewed and updated, and in 2007, in recognition to the close links between maternal health and other reproductive conditions, a second target–ensuring universal access to reproductive health services was added to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

Facial Wrinkles May Predict Bone Density

“In postmenopausal women the appearance of the skin may offer a glimpse of the skeletal well-being, a relationship not previously described,” said Lubna Pal, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

The study demonstrates only an association between bone density and skin wrinkling. However, Dr. Pal called these findings noteworthy.”This information,” Pal said, “may allow for the possibility of identifying postmenopausal women at fracture risk at a glance, without dependence on costly tests.”