Women’s Health

PrEP prevents HIV — so why aren’t more people taking it?

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily medication taken to prevent HIV infection. While multiple studies show PrEP is effective, relatively few of those who might benefit are taking it. Will a 10-year initiative to reduce rates of HIV and a new formulation of PrEP help?

Dense breasts on a mammogram? What to know and do

Mammograms look for signs of breast cancer. They can also provide information on whether a woman has high breast density, which slightly increases risk for developing breast cancer. Here’s what you need to know and do if you’re notified about this risk factor.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: What you should know about direct-to-consumer ads

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Direct-to-consumer advertising for health treatments pops up everywhere, yet the information shared is often incomplete, confusing, or biased. Our new Ad Watch series will help you understand adspeak and when to be wary.

A new drug for low sexual desire in women: Bremelanotide

Toni Golen, MD

Contributor

The FDA approved a new medication that may help some women experiencing low sexual desire, but there are restrictions on who can take it, and side effects to consider.

Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Reports of severe lung illness experienced by hundreds of people who were using e-cigarettes again raise questions about the safety of vaping. While evidence suggests vaping can help some people stop smoking, potential health risks likely outweigh any benefit.

Simple ways to wake up your workout

Steve Calechman

Contributor

Avoid boredom and boost the benefits you gain from exercise with these simple tips to wake up your weight or treadmill workout.

Talking to your doctor about your LGBTQ+ sex life

Talking about sexuality with a doctor can be uncomfortable. If you identify as LGBTQ+, it’s important to find a doctor who is attuned to the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community. This can make getting proper care easier.

Rising temperatures? How to avoid heat-related illnesses and deaths

Hotter summer temperatures and prolonged periods of intense heat can lead to heat-related illness — and even deaths. People who are elderly and those with existing health problems are especially vulnerable. Know what to do to protect yourself and others.

Do employee wellness programs actually work?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Do employee health programs lead to healthier, more productive employees? A large study shows little or no impact, although results might vary based on workplace, offerings, and other factors.

Want a sharp mind, strong memory? Ramp up activities

Research shows that older people who are socially engaged and keep their minds active are more likely to remain mentally sharp. But what specific activities should people do? And does it matter if they start late in life or sooner?