International Journal of Women's Health

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An international, peer-reviewed, open access, online journal publishing original research, reports, editorials, reviews and commentaries on all aspects of women's healthcare including gynecology, obstetrics, and breast cancer.

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: To map the knowledge about and attitudes toward birth control methods among women in Kathmandu, Nepal, and to compare the results between women seeking an induced abortion and a control group. This was a cross-sectional cohort study with matched controls. Women aged 15-49 years seeking medical care at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Kathmandu Medical College were included and interviewed. A case was defined as a woman who sought an elective medical or surgical abortion. A control was defined as a woman who sought medical care at the outpatient department or had already been admitted to the ward for reasons other than elective abortion. A questionnaire developed for the study - dealing with different demographic characteristics as well as knowledge about and attitudes toward contraceptives - was filled out based on the interview. A total of 153 women were included: 64 women seeking an abortion and 89 controls. Women seeking an abortion had been pregnant more times than the control group and were more likely to have been informed about contraceptives. Women with higher education were less likely to seek an abortion than women with lower education. There was no significant difference in knowledge about and attitudes toward contraceptives between cases and controls. The women considered highest possible effectiveness to be the most important feature when deciding on a birth control method. Women seeking abortion in Kathmandu had shorter education and a history of more pregnancies and deliveries than women in the control group. Education and counseling on sex and reproduction as well as on contraceptive methods probably need to be improved in Nepal to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Attitudes about contraceptives need to be further investigated to develop better and more effective methods to educate women about family planning in order to increase reproductive health.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:335-41.
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    ABSTRACT: Influenza poses unique risks to pregnant women, who are particularly susceptible to morbidity and mortality. Historically, pregnant women have been overrepresented among patients with severe illness and complications from influenza, and have been more likely to require hospitalization and intensive care unit admission. An increased risk of adverse outcomes is also present for fetuses/neonates born to women affected by influenza during pregnancy. These risks to mothers and babies have been observed during both nonpandemic and pandemic influenza seasons. During the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009-2010, pregnant women were more likely to be hospitalized or admitted to intensive care units, and were at higher risk of death compared to nonpregnant adults. Vaccination remains the most effective intervention to prevent severe illness, and antiviral medications are an important adjunct to ameliorate disease when it occurs. Unfortunately, despite national guidelines recommending universal vaccination for women who are pregnant during influenza season, actual vaccination rates do not achieve desired targets among pregnant women. Pregnant women are also sometimes reluctant to use antiviral medications during pregnancy. Some of the barriers to use of vaccines and medications during pregnancy are a lack of knowledge of recommendations and of safety data. By improving knowledge and understanding of influenza and vaccination recommendations, vaccine acceptance rates among pregnant women can be improved. Currently, the appropriate use of vaccination and antiviral medications is the best line of defense against influenza and its sequelae among pregnant women, and strategies to increase acceptance are crucial. This article will review the importance of influenza in pregnancy, and discuss vaccination and antiviral medications for pregnant women.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:681-689.
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    ABSTRACT: In the United States, an estimated 19% of older men and 30% of older women are at elevated risk of osteoporotic fracture and considered to be eligible for treatment. The burden of osteoporosis is similar in Europe and is projected to rise worldwide, with aging populations and increasing fracture rates accompanying urbanization. Notwithstanding its high prevalence, osteoporosis is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Moreover, even when the diagnosis is made and the decision is taken to treat, there are remaining challenges in implementing therapy for osteoporosis. Several patient populations are particularly challenging for clinicians to treat and require further study with regard to osteoporosis therapy. These include the very elderly, who face challenges relating to adherence; men, in whom osteoporosis remains under-recognized; patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis or renal impairment, who are at increased risk of fracture; patients with preexisting gastrointestinal problems who cannot tolerate existing orally administered osteoporosis therapies; and high-risk patients who show inadequate response to therapy. Moreover, poor adherence and poor persistence with osteoporosis medications are common and result in an increased risk of fracture, higher medical costs, and increased hospitalizations. Once the decision to institute therapy is made, patient education about osteoporosis and fracture risk should be provided. This is particularly important for men, who may not be aware that osteoporosis can be a concern. Secondary prevention programs, including fracture liaison services and bone therapy groups, can help to improve adherence to therapy. Further study is needed to guide the treatment of men, the very elderly, patients with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and renal impairment, high-risk patients not well-controlled despite therapy, and patients with preexisting gastrointestinal conditions. Moreover, therapies are needed that are viewed as effective and safe by both physicians and patients, and as convenient to take by patients.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:759-69.
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    ABSTRACT: Primary ovarian insufficiency is a condition that represents impaired ovarian function on a continuum with intermittent ovulation. This condition commonly leads to premature menopause, defined as cessation of ovulation prior to the age of 40 years. Because there are potential immediate and long-term consequences of hypoestrogenism, a timely diagnosis is invaluable. This comprehensive review will discuss identifiable causes for primary ovarian insufficiency, including genetic disorders and metabolic abnormalities, as well as review current strategies for diagnosis, evaluation, and management of women with this condition.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:235-243.
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    ABSTRACT: Pelvic organ prolapse is highly prevalent, and negatively affects a woman's quality of life. Women with bothersome prolapse may be offered pessary management or may choose to undergo corrective surgery. In choosing the most appropriate surgical procedure, there are many factors to consider. These may include the location(s) of anatomic defects, the severity of prolapse symptoms, the activity level of the woman, and concerns regarding the durability of the repair. In many instances, women and their surgeons are challenged to weigh the risks and benefits of native tissue versus mesh-augmented repairs. Though mesh-augmented repairs may offer better durability, they are also associated with unique complications, such as mesh erosion. Furthermore, newer surgical techniques of mesh placement via abdominal or vaginal routes may result in different outcomes compared to traditional techniques. Biologic grafts may also be considered to improve durability of a surgical repair, while avoiding potential complications of synthetic mesh. In this article, we review many of the clinical challenges that gynecologic surgeons face in the surgical management of vaginal prolapse. Furthermore, we review data that can help guide decision making when treating women with pelvic organ prolapse.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:83-94.
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    ABSTRACT: The Female Athlete Triad (Triad) represents a syndrome of three interrelated conditions that originate from chronically inadequate energy intake to compensate for energy expenditure; this environment results in insufficient stored energy to maintain physiological processes, a condition known as low energy availability. The physiological adaptations associated with low energy availability, in turn, contribute to menstrual cycle disturbances. The downstream effects of both low energy availability and suppressed estrogen concentrations synergistically impair bone health, leading to low bone mineral density, compromised bone structure and microarchitecture, and ultimately, a decrease in bone strength. Unlike the other components of the Triad, poor bone health often does not have overt symptoms, and therefore develops silently, unbeknownst to the athlete. Compromised bone health among female athletes increases the risk of fracture throughout the lifespan, highlighting the long-term health consequences of the Triad. The purpose of this review is to examine the current state of Triad research related to the third component of the Triad, ie, poor bone health, in an effort to summarize what we know, what we are learning, and what remains unknown.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:451-467.
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological cancer. Recently, clinical trials have focused on novel antiangiogenic agents in combination with chemotherapy or alone in women with primary and recurrent ovarian cancer. Antiangiogenic agents include monoclonal antibodies, tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, and peptibodies. Many of these agents, including bevacizumab, pazopanib, nintedanib, cediranib, and trebananib, have been evaluated in randomized Phase III clinical trials, and all have demonstrated a progression-free survival (PFS) benefit. Specifically, maintenance pazopanib was shown to improve PFS in women with newly diagnosed EOC. Pazopanib, an oral TKI, inhibits several kinase receptors, including those for vascular endothelial growth factor (-1,-2,-3), platelet-derived growth factor (-α and -β), and fibroblast growth factor. It also targets stem cell-factor receptor (c-kit), interleukin 2-inducible T-cell kinase, lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase, and colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor. Pazopanib has been investigated in several Phase II and III clinical trials, with results indicating a potential role in the management of EOC. This article provides an overview of pazopanib in the treatment of EOC.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:289-300.
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine factors that could help reduce primary perforation during insertion of a framed intrauterine device (IUD) and to determine factors that contribute in generating enough uterine muscle force to cause embedment and secondary perforation of an IUD. The objective was also to evaluate the main underlying mechanism of IUD expulsion.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:735-44.
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this review is to provide an overview of menstrual migraine (MM) and of frovatriptan and to assess clinical trial data regarding the efficacy and safety of frovatriptan for the acute and short-term prophylaxis of MM. Randomized controlled trials comparing frovatriptan with placebo or a triptan comparator for the acute or prophylactic treatment of MM were selected for review. MM affects up to 60% of women with migraine. Compared with attacks at other times of the cycle, menstrual attacks are longer, more severe, less responsive to treatment, more likely to relapse, and more disabling than attacks at other times of the cycle. No drugs are licensed for acute treatment of MM; triptans are recommended for treatment of moderate to severe attacks for menstrual and nonmenstrual attacks. Perimenstrual prophylaxis is indicated for patients with predictable MM that does not respond to symptomatic treatment alone. Treatment is unlicensed, but options include triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and hormone manipulation. Frovatriptan is distinctive from other triptans due to its long elimination half-life of 26 hours, which confers a longer duration of action. Post hoc analyses from randomized trials of MM show similar pain relief and pain-free rates for frovatriptan compared with other triptans (2 hours pain-free: relative risk [RR] 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.91-1.76) but significantly lower relapse rates (24 hours sustained pain-free: RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.18-0.62). Data from randomized controlled trials show a significant reduction in risk of MM in women using frovatriptan 2.5 mg once daily (RR 1.56, 95% CI 1.31-1.86) or twice daily (RR 1.98, 95% CI 1.68-2.34) for perimenstrual prophylaxis compared with placebo. The twice daily dosing was more effective than once daily (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.11-1.46). These findings support the use of frovatriptan as a first-line acute treatment for MM and for perimenstrual prophylaxis.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:523-535.
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    ABSTRACT: Unintended pregnancy (UP) is an unmet medical need with consequences worldwide. We evaluate the costs of UP based on pregnancies in Brazil from for the year 2010.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:663-70.
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    ABSTRACT: Hormonal contraceptives (HCs) have been shown to alter lipid profile among various population groups with different patterns of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular (CV) risk. The study aimed at determining the lipid profile pattern and CV risk in a Ghanaian cohort.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:597-603.
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    ABSTRACT: Silicone gel breast implants may silently rupture without detection. This has been the main reason for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the augmented or reconstructed breast. The aim of the present study was to investigate the accuracy of MRI for implant rupture.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:703-709.

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