October 2012

Beware of on-line pharmacies

Ninety seven percent of online pharmacies don’t follow U.S. pharmacy laws. If you buy from one of these online pharmacies, you run a high risk of receiving counterfeit or substandard drugs. You also put your personal and financial information at risk.

Beware of an online pharmacy that shows these signs of being fake:

Institute pushes for changes to federal reproductive health research

A team of Northwestern University scientists including a member of our Institute team met October 18, with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)in Washington, D.C., to advocate for important changes in the agency’s guidelines for reproductive health research.

“The problem is current research assessing the risk of toxins on reproductive health is not being uniformly investigated in both sexes and across the lifespan,” said Kate Timmerman, program director of the Oncofertility Consortium at Northwestern University. The reproductive health guidelines have not been updated since 1996 and need to be revised to reflect new research findings.

The Northwestern team asked the EPA to expand the definition of reproductive health beyond pregnancy to include the lifespan of an individual.

Benefits and risks of incontinence treatments

Oral medication for treating a type of incontinence in women is roughly as effective as Botox injections to the bladder, reported researchers who conducted a National Institutes of Health clinical trials network study, with each form of treatment having benefits and limitations.

After six months, women in both treatment groups said that the average number of daily episodes had declined from about five per day to about 1-2 per day.

Sexually abused women skip pap smears

A recent study reported that girls who were sexually abused often avoid cervical cancer screenings as adults.  Not surprising, most of the girls who completed the study survey avoid the screening test not just because of embarrassment of being abused, but because of physical scars of abuse that would be seen by the screener.  For an in-depth review of this issue and recommendations for health providers who provide these tests, we’ve included a Download Complimentary Source PDF 


Scientists journey to US Environmental Protection Agency to advocate for women’s health

Our success as researchers is measured by our ability to translate our findings, according to the often-used phrase, from bench to bedside.  In other words, if we can apply our basic science findings to clinical care, we have the ability to impact countless lives.  This pipeline is a national priority, and in fact, many Academic Medical Centers have established programs to facilitate rapid clinical translation.  However, equally as important, and perhaps less appreciated is the need to translate basic science findings into relevant policies that protect and influence the general public.

Young Women with the BRCA Mutation Face Complex Life Decisions

Study Explores Psychosocial Implications Related to Relationships, Marriage and Childbearing

Young women who learn they have BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations feel differently about options for relationships, treatment, childbearing and careers. Women who inherit a BRCA1 mutation have a significantly increased risk of developing breast, ovarian cancer or both. A mutation in BRCA2 increases risk of melanoma and cancers of the pancreas, stomach, and gallbladder. While genetic testing may help a woman manage her risk, it may also cause her to face complicated, life-altering decisions.

Concerns about mesh used for pelvic organ prolapse

Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) affects approximately 30- 50 percent of all women between the ages of 49 and 80. It’s a condition that usually occurs in women as they approach and move through menopause. Women who have given birth are more likely to be diagnosed with POP, as are Caucasian women, smokers, women who are overweight, and women who have suffered severe pelvic injuries.

Study Cites Exercise as an Aid in Lowering Breast Cancer Risk

Moderate to intense exercise and maintaining a healthy weight has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer found a study conducted by the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and published in the journal Cancer.  The results still held up if women did not actively exercise in their younger years, but started a regimen later in life.