International Journal of Women's Health

Description

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: Purpose: This study evaluated knowledge and practices of childbearing women on key childcare practices within the Safe Motherhood project, administered by the Ntcheu District Health Office in the Republic of Malawi. The study excluded men and elderly women. Methods: The design was cross-sectional, and utilized quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis procedures. Data were also collected through review of participant health records. Results: Although the findings showed that all participants (100%, n=400) had general knowl- edge on maternal and child health care, they did not have comprehensive information, and few mothers were practicing the recommended key child health care practices. Only 42.4% (n=170) knew the appropriate number of visits a woman should make to the antenatal clinic, and very few knew the appropriate time at which to access antenatal care. Only 55% (n=220) of participants breastfed their babies exclusively. Some participants introduced supplementary feeds as early as a month after birth, and not all women delivered at the health facility. Failure to actively involve men and elderly women in maternal and child health issues had a negative impact on women’s ability to fully implement key maternal and childcare practices. Conclusion and recommendations: There is a need to actively involve men and elderly women in maternal and child health issues since, in the ideal Malawian context, a child is raised not just by the mother, but also by all who live in the village. Additionally, elderly women are the guardians of members of the childbearing group, and are a traditional reservoir of experience into which young women can tap. There is also a need to engage Community Nurse-Midwives in facilitating women’s groups that provide comprehensive antenatal information to mothers, who may then put knowledge into practice.
    International Journal of Women's Health 12/2014; 2014:6(1045-1055).
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    ABSTRACT: Human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia virus (HTLV)-1 is a retrovirus transmitted vertically from mother to child parenterally and sexually by infected lymphocytes.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:849-55.
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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: two are due to C1 inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency (C1-INH-HAE types I and II) and one is characterized by normal C1-INH (nC1-INH-HAE). The management of pregnancy in patients with HAE is often a clinical challenge owing to potential worsening of the disease in relation to the physiological increase in estrogens and the limited treatment options. This review addresses the potential influence of pregnancy on the clinical severity of hereditary angioedema and the management of this disease during pregnancy with currently available treatments.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:839-48.
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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: Maternal nutrition is recognized as one of the determinants of fetal growth. Consumption of fruits and vegetables is promoted as part of a healthful diet; however, intakes are typically lower than recommended levels. The purpose of this study was to systematically review results from studies examining the relationship between maternal consumption of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy with infant birth weight or risk for delivering a small for gestational age baby. A comprehensive search of PubMed and EMBASE was conducted and abstracts were screened using predefined criteria. Eleven relevant studies were identified and systematically reviewed, including six prospective cohort studies, three retrospective cohort studies, and two case-control studies. Seven studies were conducted in cohorts from highly developed countries. One prospective study from a highly developed area reported increased risk for small for gestational age birth by women with low vegetable intakes (odds ratio 3.1; 95% confidence interval 1.4-6.9; P=0.01); another large prospective study reported a 10.4 g increase in birth weight per quintile increase in fruit intake (95% confidence interval 6.9-3.9; P<0.0001) and increases of 8.4 or 7.7 g per quintile intake of fruits and vegetables (combined) or fruits, vegetables, and juice (combined), respectively. One retrospective study reported an association between low fruit intake and birth weight. In less developed countries, increased vegetable or fruit intake was associated with increased birth weight in two prospective studies. Overall, limited inconclusive evidence of a protective effect of increased consumption of vegetables and risk for small for gestational age birth, and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and increased birth weight among women from highly developed countries was identified. Among women in less developed countries, limited inconclusive evidence suggests that increased consumption of vegetables or fruits may be associated with higher infant birth weight. The available evidence supports maternal consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet throughout pregnancy.
    International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:899-912.
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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: 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: 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.