April 2014

Examining Information Processing

The Oncofertility Consortium is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron as a guest blogger today.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 2.14.57 PMThis is a blog post based on the article, Toward theoretical understanding of the fertility preservation decision-making process: examining information processing among young women with cancer by authors P.E. Hershberger, L. Finnegan, S. Altfeld, S. Lake, and J. Hirshfeld-Cytron, in Research and Theory for Nursing Practice.

By: Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, MD/MSCI

Pain and Sex drive

Pain from inflammation may greatly reduce sexual motivation.   The direct impact of pain on sexual behavior was studied, possibly for the first time in any species,  and reported by researchers in Canada.   They found that pain due to inflammation greatly reduced sexual motivation in female mice in heat–but had no such effect on male mice.

“Chronic pain is very often accompanied by sexual problems in humans,” says Professor Yitzchak Binik at McGill University.  This animal study creates a model for exploring pain-inhibited sexual desire that can help researchers eventually apply to human research.

The Gender Wage Gap: Understanding the Disparities

It’s 2014 and women are still getting paid less than men in the workforce. While we’re all aware that this is happening, what’s less clear is why it’s happening. Earlier this month, some politicians voted down the equal pay bill by saying “There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company. The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer.” This statement implies that women get paid less than men because they choose to work in lower-paying jobs—but this is wrong.

Depression During Pregnancy

Depression, especially in pregnancy, is a sensitive subject.  It impacts the woman, her child and her family and it affects between 14 and 23% women during pregnancy.  Because of hormonal changes during pregnancy, a woman may not realize she is suffering from depression.  A new, comprehensive guide about this condition that discusses symptoms and treatment to help  women and their family members understand and cope with this issue is now available from the a site called PsychGuides.   For a helpful resource visit   Living with Depression during Pregnancy

Heavy Bleeding during Menopause

Most women think menopause means low estrogen, hot flashes, and the end to regular and monthly periods. This may not be the case, however. Researchers have found that women may experience an increase in the amount and duration of bleeding, which may occur sporadically throughout the transition of menopause.

Researchers from the University of Michigan utilized data from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, in which participants kept track of their episodes from 1996 to 2006. Women were of various ethnicities, including caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, and African-American. This was particularly unique in that previous studies have been limited to caucasians and were of shorter duration.

Safety issues with laparoscopic uterine/fibroid procedure

Today, FDA issued a safety communication discouraging the use of laparoscopic power morcellation for the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) or uterine fibroids (myomectomy) in women.  This type of procedure poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, a type of uterine cancer.

Laparoscopic power morcellation is one of several available treatments for fibroids.  It is a procedure that uses a medical device to divide the uterine tissue into smaller pieces so it can be removed through a small incision in the abdomen.  Prior to treatment, there is no reliable method for identifying whether a woman may have an unsuspected uterine sarcoma instead of, or in addition to, fibroids.  Published studies suggest that morcellation of an unsuspected uterine sarcoma increases the risk of cancer spread.

Morning sun the new weight loss option???

A surprising new strategy for managing your weight? Bright morning light!!  A new Northwestern Medicine® study reports the timing, intensity and duration of your light exposure during the day is linked to your weight — the first time this has been shown.