Women’s Health

Vaccines for women: Before conception, during pregnancy, and after a birth

Thinking about becoming pregnant? Already pregnant? It helps to be aware of which vaccines to consider getting, and the timing for these. Some vaccinations for women also help protect newborns.

Should you use probiotics for your vagina?

Probiotics are being promoted as a way for women to improve vaginal health, but unlike with the gut and digestion, there is almost no evidence for any benefit.

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise: Should you worry?

The number of sexually transmitted infections reported in the US reached an all-time high last year. Having an STI can raise a person’s risk of getting HIV or having infertility or pregnancy complications, but STIs are preventable and treatable. Knowing the facts about STIs and testing is the first step.

Can monitoring blood pressure at home cut maternal mortality?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition marked by hypertension that affects some women during late pregnancy or early weeks after birth. Rising rates of high blood pressure and maternal age increase risk for it. A recent study finds monitoring blood pressure at home may help.

Could white-coat hypertension harm your heart?

People who have elevated blood pressure readings in a doctor’s office but normal readings elsewhere are said to have white-coat hypertension. A new study suggests that people with this condition face a greater risk of heart disease than those whose blood pressure is always normal.

Will a purpose-driven life help you live longer?

A study found that people who felt they had purpose in life were more likely to live longer than those who did not. Having a life purpose might lessen stress and inspire people to invest in their health. Wishing for purpose? A few strategies may help.

A look at the effects of nail polish on nail health and safety

Different types of nail polish can have varying effects on fingernails, and have pros and cons depending on the chemicals used in making them.

Why are women using CBD products — and do they work?

Many products containing CBD claim to help women with various health issues, including sleep, mood, symptoms of PMS or menopause, and sexual pleasure. Currently, very little evidence supports these extravagant promises, and there are concerns about the quality and safety of CBD products.

Straight talk on planking

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Your core muscles are your body’s foundation, and the plank pose is a great exercise to do to help build core strength—it’s challenging but not complicated. Here’s everything you need to know to plank correctly.

HPV and cancer: The underappreciated connection

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV), a common viral infection, has been linked to cancer of the genitals, anus, mouth, and throat, as well as cervical cancer. Yet a survey of US adults found that many people are not aware of this connection.