Women's Health Archive


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 nonprescription daily oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA earlier this year. Opill is expected to be available in early 2024. Here's what you should know about this new birth control pill.

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.

New help for hot flashes

Vasomotor symptoms, consisting of hot flashes and night sweats, affect 80% of women during the menopause transition and beyond. In May 2023, the FDA approved fezolinetant (Veozah) as the first nonhormonal medication designed specifically for vasomotor symptoms. Other medications deemed effective for hot flashes are prescribed off-label. They include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, oxybutynin, and gabapentin. But these drugs may lead to troublesome side effects. Women interested in hot flash relief should ask their clinicians for options that take into account their other symptoms.

Not your grandmother's breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer survival rates have markedly improved over the past several decades, driven by improved treatments. Less intensive chemotherapy can often be used, and immunotherapy and targeted drugs enable doctors to tailor treatment combinations to each woman. Women with metastatic breast cancer are often living many years because of new treatments that extend their lives. To improve outcomes, women with early-stage breast cancer should seek a multidisciplinary care team, in which many different specialists work in collaboration.

Hormone therapy linked to higher risks of GERD

A 2023 study suggests that women who have used menopausal hormone therapy are significantly more likely to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What's causing my vaginal symptoms?

Vaginitis encompasses several conditions that inflame or infect the vagina, including bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, sexually transmitted infections, and atrophic vaginitis. Women should see a primary care clinician or gynecologist to properly diagnose and treat the problem.

Dealing with thick, discolored toenails

Nail fungal infections affect up to 14% of the adult population. While completely curing these infections is difficult, the right treatments can discourage the problem from spreading and make your nails look better.

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