Women’s Health

The new exercise guidelines: Any changes for you?

Lauren Elson, MD

Contributor

What do the new government guidelines for exercise and physical activity mean for you? It depends on your age and ability, but overall, move more, sit less.

Intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury: An “invisible” public health epidemic

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

While post-concussive symptoms are common in women who have experienced intimate partner violence, many women hide their symptoms and little research has been done, meaning the long-term health risks of millions of women are unknown.

Inducing labor at full term: What makes sense?

Toni Golen, MD

Contributor

A large study of first-time mothers compared inducing labor with waiting for labor to begin. Under certain circumstances, it found inducing labor may be safer for some women. A pregnant woman considering induction should discuss the option with her doctors and providers.

A soaring maternal mortality rate: What does it mean for you?

Since 1990, the maternal mortality rate in the United States, while still relatively low, has risen by 50%. Meanwhile, many other women experience pregnancy-related conditions that cause serious injury, and thousands more struggle with illnesses and a lack of support.

More water, fewer UTIs?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Many women have urinary tract infections (UTIs), but researchers found that when women with recurring UTIs drank significantly more water each day, their frequency of infection was cut in half.

Preterm birth and heart disease risk for mom

A study found that women who delivered a baby before the 37th week of their pregnancy were more likely to have their blood pressure rise later, but preterm birth or other pregnancy complication does not mean that future cardiovascular disease is a given.

FDA warning on vaginal laser procedures should emphasize informed choices, not fear

Hope Ricciotti, MD

Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch

The FDA warning about vaginal laser therapy failed to clearly distinguish between procedures that are done primarily for cosmetic reasons, and potentially beneficial treatments for women with genitourinary syndrome of menopause.

5 habits for moms that help prevent childhood obesity

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It might be surprising to learn that parents can help fight childhood obesity by taking good care of themselves. A new study found that when mothers follow five healthy lifestyle habits, their kids are much less likely to become obese.

Fertility and diet: Is there a connection?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Research continues to explore the connection between fertility and diet. There is some evidence that what you eat can help increase your chances of getting pregnant, but right now the specific advice is simple. If you’re trying to conceive, eat a basic healthy diet, take prenatal vitamins, and talk with your doctor for preconception advice.

Screening mammograms: One recommendation may not fit all

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Research shows that the risk of breast cancer, and its severity, is greater for women of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. These factors have not yet been included in formal guidelines for screening mammograms, but women need to be aware of them.