Women's Health Archive

Articles

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.

Lynch syndrome: Reclaiming power

Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that predisposes people to colorectal, uterine, ovarian, and other forms of cancer. Genetic testing can pinpoint Lynch syndrome, and genetic counseling is also recommended. People with Lynch syndrome need frequent cancer screenings and should watch for symptoms. Women with Lynch syndrome are also advised to undergo risk-reducing surgery that removes the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus between ages 35 and 40, unless a woman is planning another pregnancy.

What does a birth doula do?

In the US, more people seem to be seeking out the assistance of a doula when preparing to give birth. While such services may not be covered by insurance, a professional doula can provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy and throughout the birthing process.

Opill: Is this new birth control pill right for you?

The first over-the-counter daily birth control pill was approved by the FDA in 2023. How effective is it? What should you know about how to take it, which side effects may occur, and what to do if you miss a dose? Here are answers to these and other questions about this new nonprescription contraceptive.

Alcohol-related deaths rising faster among women

A 2023 study suggests that alcohol-related deaths among American women are rising faster than among men. These deaths stem from alcohol poisoning, liver disease, and heart problems, among others.

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