June 2014

Hormone Treatment Restores Bone for Young Women with POI

Researchers have found that hormone replacement therapy in young women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) led to increases in their bone mineral density, restoring levels to normal.

The findings provide important treatment information for women with POI and their physicians.  Researchers at the NIH examined scans of the hip and lower spine to determine the effects of hormone treatment on bone mineral density of women with primary ovarian insufficiency.

Article “Gender Equity Transforms Medicine” Receives Award of Excellence

In an article featuring Dr. Melina Kibbe, Dr. Teresa Woodruff and Dr. Amy Paller, among others, Sandra Guy gives voice to the gender equity movement in medicine. The article, featured in the Fall 2013 edition of Society for Women Engineers, detailed the various roles sex differences play in research and medicine. Enumerating sex differences from cancer detection to skin disease to artificial limbs, Guy follows the journey of discovery and advocacy towards better science where sex is examined as a research variable.

Oncofertility Decision-Making Publications

Yesterday we announced our NEW Oncofertility Decision Tool Web Portal. This online portal serves as a one-stop-shop for health care providers in need of tools to facilitate fertility preservation conversations with their patients whose disease, or its treatment, threatens fertility. In addition to decision tools and aids, we have collected and organized the existing literature discussing oncofertility communication strategies and provided online access to the publications in our web portal. Many of the publications come directly from Dr. Woodruff’s various Oncofertility books- the same books you may have read chapter summaries about in this very blog. The web portal has taken all of those book chapters, along with journal articles, and compiled them for health care providers. They are organized by publication year and patient population.

Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know.

The FDA and the EPA are revising their joint fish consumption Advice and Questions & Answers to encourage pregnant women, those who may become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children to eat more fish and to eat a variety of fish from choices that are lower in mercury. This is a DRAFT for which you may provide comment. Once finalized, it will replace the current advice which was issued in 2004.

WTTW Feature: Ending the Gender Bias in Research

Dr. Teresa Woodruff and Dr. Melina Kibbe of the Women’s Health Research Institute’s Leadership Council were featured recently on WTTW Chicago Tonight. They discussed their activism for the inclusion of males and females in pre-clinical research studies. The recent shift by the NIH to include both genders in NIH-funded basic research, will help minimize gender biases in devises and medications once studies reach the clinical phase. Dr. Woodruff and Dr.

Fertilization Fairytale: ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ Sperm and ‘Damsel in Distress’ Eggs

Despite the fact that fertilization requires mutual, active participation by both eggs and sperm, gender roles are often projected onto reproductive biology, leading to the portrayal of eggs as passive and sperm as active. For example, the opening credits in the 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking portray a common perception of fertilization. As the Beach Boys’ song “I Get Around” plays in the background, we see sperm inside a women’s reproductive tract moving toward her egg. The scene is narrated by one of the sperm, though we can hear some of the other sperm talking.