Women's Health Archive


Menopause marketing: Hype vs. truth

An array of "menopause skin care" products joined the beauty market in recent years. Some contain virtually the same active ingredients as "anti-aging" skin products. Falling estrogen levels during the menopause transition can lead to dryness and sagging. Broad-spectrum sunscreen, moisturizers, and other products can help offset these skin changes, but not prevent or cure them. Women should examine a product's ingredients to determine if a "menopause" version is truly different from a standard "anti-aging" version.

Opioid use disorder in older adults: More common than you might think

Adults over 60 are the largest users of prescription opioids in the United States. Opioid use disorder and death rates among older adults have skyrocketed in recent years. Various factors make people more likely to abuse opioids, including smoking or earlier substance use problems. People can avoid sliding into opioid misuse by taking opioids for the shortest possible time, using non-opioid medications, and trying alternative pain relief approaches.

Women with migraines more likely to have pregnancy complications

A 2023 study suggests that women who have migraine headaches before pregnancy may have higher risks of pregnancy complications that could threaten their health or that of their babies.

The pain gap

Chronic pain is more common in women, who cope with conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches, lupus, and fibromyalgia at higher rates than men do. Some research suggests the hormone estrogen could contribute to the disparity. Women should feel free to seek a second opinion or referral to a pain specialist if the current plan is not working. They should also be receptive to different treatment approaches, seek support, and make lifestyle changes that can help them manage pain, such as getting adequate sleep and exercising.

Preventing ovarian cancer: Should women consider removing fallopian tubes?

Ovarian cancer, which claims about 13,000 lives each year, is hard to detect in early stages. Recent guidance from professional groups recommends removing fallopian tubes to help prevent ovarian cancer if women are undergoing gynecologic surgery and are finished with childbearing.

Will miscarriage care remain available?

Miscarriage describes a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks. It happens in as many as one in three pregnancies, although the risk gradually decreases as pregnancy progresses. What causes miscarriage? How is it treated? And why is appropriate health care for miscarriage under scrutiny?

When sex hurts

Three-quarters of women experience painful sex at some point, and up to six in 10 report painful sex during the transition to menopause and beyond. Childbirth, menopause, and a condition called hypertonic pelvic floor contribute play a role in many cases of painful sex, though other health problems and treatments can contribute as well. Treatment options include lubricants, vaginal moisturizers, vaginal estrogen, and pelvic floor physical therapy.

DASH diet even better for women's hearts

A 2023 study found that the DASH diet, rich in whole grains, lean protein, nuts, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables, may dramatically lower the risk of heart problems in women and Black adults.

How do I approach a new partner about STI testing?

Discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at the start of a new relationship can protect both partners' health. Many STIs don't cause symptoms. Couples can test for STIs together or separately and share results before becoming intimate.

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