Women's Health Archive


HPV infection linked to higher cardiovascular risk

Women with high-risk strains of human papillomavirus—a well-known cause of cervical cancer—may face four times the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a 2024 study.

The latest thinking on drinking

Studies on alcohol's health effects have shown conflicting results, Harvard experts say, leaving people confused. No randomized, controlled trials have been performed, and observational studies can't easily tease apart drinking and other lifestyle habits that influence health, such as exercise, sleep, and social connectedness. However, drinking alcohol has been convincingly linked to developing breast cancer, so women concerned about their breast cancer risk should consider reducing or eliminating alcohol. For most other healthy people who enjoy an occasional drink, they can continue to do so.

Energy drinks before pregnancy may raise odds of high blood pressure while pregnant

A 2023 study suggests that women who drink energy drinks before becoming pregnant have higher risks for high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: New drug, old song, clever tagline

A new type of nonhormonal medication to prevent hot flashes and night sweats due to menopause, Veozah, was approved by the FDA in 2023. An ad for the drug has useful information, but some key questions are not answered.

Building blocks

Every bodily function relies on protein. People's protein needs are based on age, body size, activity levels, and overall health. Harvard experts advise people to consume between 1.2 and 2.0 grams of protein each day for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. Women need more protein at certain times, including pregnancy and breastfeeding. People who are competitive athletes or trying to build muscle should also eat higher amounts of protein. Older adults should consume higher amounts to combat age-related muscle loss.

Fibroids: Not just a young woman's problem

Uterine fibroids affect up to 80% of women by age 50. These noncancerous growths can shrink as menopause approaches and the body's estrogen level falls. But for some women, fibroids grow during and after the transition to menopause, worsening symptoms such as heavy bleeding, pelvic or lower back pain, bloating, frequent urination, or painful sex. Treatments for other health conditions may also influence older women's fibroid symptoms. To avert cancer concerns, doctors may remove fibroids that grow noticeably after menopause.

Ovary removal before menopause may pose health risks

A 2023 study suggests that women who have both ovaries removed before menopause face higher odds of several health conditions, including arthritis, sleep apnea, and bone fractures.

Beyond the usual suspects for healthy resolutions

By now many people have started working on –– or at least thinking about –– healthy changes they want to make in the new year. Here are 10 simple ways to move beyond typical resolutions about losing weight, eating better, and exercising more.

Daily sugary beverages may harm women's livers

A 2023 study suggests that regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages may increase women's risks of developing liver cancer or dying from chronic liver disease.

FDA approves first pill for postpartum depression

The FDA approved the first pill for postpartum depression in August 2023. The fast-acting drug, zuranolone (Zurzuvae), is taken for just two weeks.

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