Women's Health News

February 2018

stethoscope in heart shape

Protect your heart

Many women diagnosed with heart disease have one thing in common -- shock that it happened to them. Yet, heart disease kills six times as many women as breast cancer. Read more

Women and Parkinson's disease: what we don't know

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disease that affects the nervous system. It's more common in men, but scientists don't yet understand why. That isn't the only mystery about Parkinson's disease in women. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Heart disease survivors

February is American Heart Month, and we're inspired by the more than 150,000 women who survive heart attacks each year. We asked survivor Carmen Roosevelt to share her story. Read more

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January 2018

Newborn baby in water

 Water birth with OHSU nurse-midwives

All of our care providers strive to give families a safe and natural birth experience, but only the nurse-midwifery team offers water birth. Read more

Fitting in exercise: every minute counts

A new year has begun and if you've set a goal to exercise more we're right there with you! Dietitian and wellness expert Anna Bohnengel gave us tips on fitting in exercise, no matter what. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Burr Leonard

A lover of dance, Leonard created The Bar Method. It's one of the earliest and safest barre-style workouts. Read more

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December 2017

woman trying to sleep

Sleep Better: Effective therapy for insomnia 

How did you sleep last night? One in five people in the United States suffer from chronic insomnia, and the rate is even higher for women. But there's a great therapy option here at OHSU that can help. Read more

Take back control of your bladder 

If you're afraid to sneeze because you might leak, you're absolutely not alone. We talked to urogynecologist Renee Edwards, M.D., about how to get back to a life without leaks. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Speaking out about incontinence  

Urinary leakage happens to so many women. This month we're inspired by celebrities who have opened up about incontinence. Read more

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November 2017

Acupuncture needles in arm

Acupuncture at the Center

Did you know we offer Traditional Chinese Medicine? Yunpeng Luo, D.A.O.M., M.Med., L.Ac., practices acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine at our clinic. Read more

Pregnant? Don't skip the flu vaccine

It's flu season, and that can mean a cough, fever, or much worse. If you're pregnant, the best way to protect yourself and your fetus is the flu vaccine. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Dr. Dorothy Horstmann

An epidemiologist and virologist, Dr. Horstmann's groundbreaking research on polio set the stage for the creation of the first polio vaccine. Read more

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October 2017

close up of brown pill

Is hormone therapy for menopause symptoms right for you?

For women who experience hot flashes during menopause, estrogen treatment can bring relief. But that doesn't mean hormone therapy is right for everyone. Read more

Breast cancer screening: Is 50 the new 40?

For women in their forties, breast cancer screening guidelines can be confusing. If you're at average risk, what should you do? Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Ina May Gaskin

"Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life," wrote Ina May Gaskin, certified professional midwife. Read more

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September 2017

Woman stretching in bed

The Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life

"All women deserve to enjoy a healthy sexual life," says Nicole Cirino, M.D. She helps women who are struggling with emotional or mental health barriers to a healthy sex life. Read more

Sex Issues from Cancer? Don't Wait to Get Help

For women impacted by cancer, sexual health is too often overlooked. Cancer treatments, anxiety related to a cancer diagnosis, and risk-reducing surgeries can all impact sexual health. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Paula Johnson, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Paula Johnson has devoted her career to thinking about health from a woman's perspective. Read more

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August 2017

Woman using laptop

Health Rumors – Confirmed or Busted!

Is there really such a thing as post-pill syndrome? How much maintenance does your vagina need? Find out what we've confirmed – or busted! Read more

Returning to Work: the Breastfeeding Challenge

A new class at the OHSU Center for Women's Health helps breastfeeding moms transition back to work. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Barb Neff

Barb Neff, who passed away from brain cancer last year, was a nurse and lactation consultant who was devoted to supporting breastfeeding moms and their infants. Read more

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July 2017

how to choose contraception ohsu

Contraception: How to choose

Now more than ever, there are a wide variety of contraceptive options that meet different needs and personal preferences. We can help you make the right choice. Read more

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 101

It might start with excess hair growth on your face or chest. Or your menstrual period might be irregular and unpredictable. Up to one in ten women have polycystic ovary syndrome. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates has made it her mission to help women in dozens of developing countries gain access to contraception. Read more

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June 2017

OHSU Women's Health Research Unit work leads to new treatment and cures for women

Expanding Options for Women: Women's Health Research Unit

Research is the backbone of our work here at OHSU, and the Women's Health Research Unit is working towards new options for women every day. Read more

Circle of Giving Awards $250,000 to Women's Health Research Projects

This philanthropic group of women, who are passionate about advancing women's health research, awarded two grants of $125,000 each. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Frances Storrs, M.D.

Over the course of her professional career as a dermatologist at OHSU, Dr. Storrs was a trailblazer for women, a mentor for residents, an exceptional clinician, and a brilliant researcher. Read more

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May 2017

women make most decisions about health care for their family

You're the champion! Of your family's health care

We want to recognize all the women who are the health care decision makers in their families. In the U.S., women make 80 percent of health decisions for their children, partners, family members, and other loved ones. Read more

Nutrients for Life

Nutrition is one of the simplest ways to have a positive impact on your health and quality of life, through every age and stage, and no matter your health concerns. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Marion Nestle

The most important voice in nutrition today may be Dr. Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health. Read more

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April 2017

Woman in dark room

Depression: Let's Talk
One in eight women will suffer from depression in her lifetime. Depression can affect how you feel, think, and experience life, and can really impact your day-to-day mood and health. Read more

It Might Not Be Your Thyroid
"Is your thyroid out of whack?" We've all seen headlines like this online or at the grocery checkout counter. Mary Samuels, M.D., OHSU endocrinologist gave us the truth about thyroid disease. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Georgia O'Keeffe
An artist well-known for her color-rich paintings of flowers and desert landscapes, Georgia O'Keeffe helped to establish the modernist art movement. She also suffered from depression. Read more

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March 2017

Mom and son in Ethiopia, photo by Joni Kabana

Footsteps to Healing: Healing childbirth injuries in Ethiopia
Women in rural Ethiopia suffer from childbirth injuries at extremely high rates, and have little access to medical care. The dire need inspired Dr. Rahel Nardos to create Footsteps to Healing. Read more

Fibroids: More common than you think
The majority of women have fibroids by their late forties. This seems surprising, but the key is that most women never need treatment. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Lilly Ledbetter
An equal pay and women's rights activist, Lilly Ledbetter inspires us all to just keep fighting for what we believe in. Read more

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February 2017

Woman eating salad and working

Eat Your Way to Heart Health
This February, we're celebrating American Heart Month by providing you with some inspiration and resources focused on heart-healthy eating. Read more

Transforming Women's Health Together
We're excited to release our 2016 annual report! Take a look at some of the progress we made in the past year and let us know what you think. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Go Red for Women's Real Women
The American Heart Association is lifting up 11 women who represent the different faces of heart disease and stroke in women. Let them inspire you! Read more

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January 2017

Woman lifting weights

Pump Up Your Iron
Are you resolving to improve your health and fitness this year? While you're pumping that iron, don't forget to take stock of your body's internal iron stores too. Read more

Your Primary Care Home
The OHSU Center for Women's Health Primary Care Division is recognized by the state as a patient-centered primary care home. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Dr. Janet Vaughan
Every year, more than 112 million blood donations around the world save countless lives. We have a woman to thank for this incredible system. Read more

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December 2016

HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon

HIV Prevention: Spread the Word
As you reflect on the past year this month, remember to take stock of your sexual health. Read more

What to Expect: STD Testing During Pregnancy
Testing for sexually-transmitted diseases is a critical part of prenatal care at OHSU. Find out what testing to expect during pregnancy. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Gwen Ifill
In November, the world lost a true role model for hard work, tenacity and determination. Read more

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November 2016

woman hiking

Help Us Keep Blazing the Trail
Pick up the torch and join us! Find out how you can help us support women's health and well-being. Read more

Your Skin: A Window to Your Health
"The skin can be a window to your overall health," says dermatologist Dr. Teri Greiling. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Our Volunteers
We're lucky to have some fantastic volunteers and interns. Learn more about them, and find out how to join us. Read more

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October 2016

woman camping

Making Sense of Menopause
If you're nearing or in your fifties, you may be experiencing the symptoms of menopause. Read more

Osteoporosis: Know Your Risk
For women, the risk of osteoporosis is higher than for men. Do you know when to get screened? Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Going Public about Menopause
Get inspired by some celebrities who weren't afraid to speak publicly about their experiences with menopause. Read more

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September 2016

Woman rides bike

 A link between cardiovascular disease risk and cancer?
The risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes can also affect your chances of developing gynecological cancers. Read more

Woman to Woman: Partners for Life
OHSU's Woman to Woman program matches women who have gynecologic cancer with mentors. These trained volunteers provide individual support, education and guidance. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Jane E. Werner
"She cared deeply for her community and helping those who were less fortunate," Ann Werner says of her mother, Jane. Read more

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July 2016

Prep for the Test – and Save Your Life
Planning a colonoscopy can feel awkward, yet it is well-worth having because colorectal cancers can be prevented and even cured quickly IF detected early. Read more

Weight Loss Surgery Combats Obesity
The causes of obesity and excess weight are extremely complex. For many it's not simply a matter of "will power." Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Katie Couric
Journalist and author Katie Couric has interviewed luminaries from all over the world - but the thing that inspires us most is her passionate advocacy for health care screenings. Read more

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woman in sunhat

June 2016
Enjoy summer and protect your skin

June is here! The days are long, and the sun is bright. As we venture into the sunny outdoors, it's important to remember that too much sun can be harmful to our skin. Read more

CWH celebrates ten years in the Kohler Pavilion
This month the Center for Women's Health celebrates its 10th anniversary in its uniquely designed Kohler Pavilion location. Read more

Women who inspire: M. Susan Smith
The Center for Women’s Health’s founding Director helped to develop and implement the original vision for the Center in 1997, when very few women’s health centers existed in America. Read more

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collage of women's headshots

May 2016
Your best self at any age

Do you know what steps you can take to be your best self at any age? You probably know the basics: eat right, exercise regularly, reduce your stress, but do you know how often you should get a Pap test or when you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer?

There's no better time than now (and National Women's Health Week) for a refresher course on the "regular" stuff and a reminder that we have resources to help you answer these questions and manage your own health.
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One Key Question®
Soon women of reproductive age in Oregon may start hearing their healthcare provider ask a seemingly simple question: would you like to become pregnant in the next year? The One Key Question® Initiative (OKQ) is the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health's groundbreaking, yet simple, solution to making Oregon women and families healthier and ensures that more pregnancies are wanted, planned, and as healthy as possible.
Learn more

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Paper Illustration of people drinking alcohol

April 2016
Women and alcohol: Risks, benefits and why we're different

Women are catching up to men when it comes to alcohol consumption –and according to most experts, this isn't a gender gap we want to close. Kathleen Grant, Ph.D., an expert on alcohol and the brain, takes us through a closer look at what makes women more vulnerable to some of the dangerous effects of drinking.
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9 Tips for Better Eye Care – for Women
We know you know some of these—always wear sunglasses, actually follow the directions for taking care of your contact lens—but the other tips might be more surprising. Did you know some over-the counter medicines can lead to changes in your eyes? 

Women are at higher risk than men for most eye disease that cause vision loss. Help protect your sight with these tips from the experts at Casey Eye Institute.
Read more
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Question mark on plate
March 2016
When did women's nutrition get so complicated?

In honor of National Nutrition Month, we took the opportunity to talk with Christie, Naze, L.D., C.D.E., about women's nutrition. One of the first questions we had was: When did women's nutrition (frankly, all nutrition) get so complicated?
Read more

Better the Future - Ending chronic disease where it starts
What if we could prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease? As it turns out, we can. OHSU is a global leader in a field of science called the developmental origins of health and disease, which shows that our genes are far more than a rigid blueprint for our health.
Read more

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Women exercising at the gym
February 2016
Be heart healthy. Know your numbers.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women (and men) in the US. And many of these deaths are preventable. Cholesterol, body mass index and blood pressure are a few of the key indicators of your risk for heart disease. By knowing your numbers, you can make lifestyle changes that can help you be heart healthy.

The numbers

Women's heart attacks are different from men's. What you need to know.
According to the American Heart Association, a woman's heart attack may have different underlying causes, symptoms and outcomes compared to men. Also, risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes increase heart attack risk in women more severely than in men. When these symptoms and risk factors aren't treated early, they can be life-threatening.

Read more

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Women making heart with her hands
January 2016
Our most read women's health topics of 2015

In case you missed it, here's a recap of some of our most read features on heart health, nutrition and breast health from 2015 and a look forward at some things you can expect from the Center for Women's Health as we head into the new year. 

Read More

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The Dos and Dont's of Realistic Resolutions Dec 2015

It's that time of year again. Making realistic resolutions can help you start the new year on the right foot.

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Family history and your health: What you need to know Nov 2015

What you need to know about family history and your health.

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Are you Breast Self-Aware? Understanding Breast Changes as we Age Oct 2015

Are you breast self-aware? Understanding breast health as we age

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Reduce your Risk of Gynecologic Cancers Sep 2015

All women are at risk for gynecologic cancers. Early detection and treatment can save lives. Get the facts on gynecologic cancers and reduce you risk.

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10 Little Known Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms Aug 2015

10 ways breastfeeding can improve mom's health and well-being, long after baby stops nursing. 

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Is Permanent Contraception on the Fast Track? With Gates Funding, It Just Might Be Jul 2015

OHSU research led by Dr. Jensen is making strides towards the development of a nonsurgical permanent contraceptive method--one that could soon enter human clinical trials.

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Beyond the IUD: What You Might Not Know About the Contraceptive Implant Jul 2015

Many women know about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), but are not aware that a method called the contraceptive implant can offer even more benefits than the IUD. Dr. Simmons explains why the contraceptive implant might be a good choice for you.

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Antidepressant Birth Defect Risk Limited to Paxil and Prozac Jul 2015

Dr. Leonardo Pereira comments on a recent study showing the majority of SSRIs are not associated with significant harm to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. The important takeaway? Women taking SSRIs should not automatically stop their medication if they become pregnant and should discuss a plan with their providers.

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How Bad is Drinking While Pregnant Jul 2015

With conflicting research on the effects of alcohol on pregnancy, the safest bet is for pregnant women to abstain, cautions Dr. Aaron Caughey. But don't beat yourself up if you had a few drinks before learning that you are pregnant, he says.

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Colorado's Teen Birth Rate Fell 40 Percent Thanks to a Free Contraception Program Jul 2015

Dr. Maria Rodriguez comments on news that a Colorado program has successfully lowered rates of teen pregnancies in the state. Dr. Rodriguez hopes the good news will help lower barriers to LARC use for women in Oregon and around the country.

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OHSU Research Could Lead to Improved In Vitro Success Rates Jul 2015

Research led by OHSU scientist Shawn Chavez may help fertility specialists to determine a woman's healthiest eggs, greatly improving the success rates of in vitro fertilization.

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Looking Back on 40 Years of Midwifery Jul 2015

Recently retired OHSU midwife Carol Howe talks to OPB about her four decade career and role in pioneering the practice of midwifery in Oregon.

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Myths vs. Facts: HPV Vaccination Jul 2015

Our July newsletter sets the record straight about the HPV vaccine--and discusses how you can take important action to prevent cancer in future generations.

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Sex Ed: Get Schooled on the How, When and Why of Learning Whether You Have a Boy or Girl on the Way Jun 2015

Jump to page 36 to read how doctors like Stephanie Dukhovny learn the sex of a baby using ultrasound--well, if the baby feels like cooperating, that is.

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STD-Testing Color-Changing Condoms Sound Awesome--But Aren't Feasible or Wise Jun 2015

Dr. Maureen Baldwin explains why a recent idea getting a lot of attention--condoms that would change color if an STD is detected--isn't going to be a reality anytime soon.

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Biological Clock Ticking? Egg Freezing is Now an Option Jun 2015

With better methods, egg freezing has become an elective option for women hoping to delay childbirth. Dr. Diana Wu discusses a new local source of information for women interested in this procedure--a cocktail party.

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America Recovers from its Great Baby Recession Jun 2015

For the first time since 2007, birth rates in the United States have increased. But while birth rates are up, cesarean delivery rates are way down--a good thing, says OHSU's Dr. Aaron Caughey.

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Could ADHD Drug Find New Role in Menopause? Jun 2015

A small study suggests that an ADHD drug could help with the concentration difficulties associated with menopause, a potential treatment that excites Dr. Nicole Cirino

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Help Us Build a Healthier Community in 3 Minutes Jun 2015

Our June newsletter is all about you--take our survey to tell us what programs and activities will help you achieve your best health and well-being!

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Baby's Immune System Suffers with Maternal Obesity; Risks Rise for Asthma, Heart Disease May 2015

Dr. Nicole Marshall is a co-author on a study that finds a link between maternal obesity and a compromised immune system in the fetus.

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Women donors fund OHSU researcher's quest to unlock liver-breast cancer puzzle May 2015

Dr. Pepper Schedin, who plans to examine the size of women’s livers during and after pregnancy and its possible connection to breast cancer deaths receives the 2015 grant from the OHSU Center for Women's Health Circle of Giving.

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5 Things OB-GYNs Wish More Women Knew About Pregnancy May 2015

Dr. Aaron Caughey offers some insights on the 5 Things OB-GYNs wish women knew about pregnancy -  from the annual ACOG conference.

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Permanent contraceptive: OHSU researcher nabs $5M to develop nonsurgical method May 2015

Dr. Jeffrey Jensen, gynecologist and researcher at OHSU, is studying ways to provide nonsurgical contraception to women around the world.

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U.S. Birth Rate Hovers at All-Time Low, CDC Reports May 2015

Dr. Aaron Caughey discusses how the economy might be keeping birth rates low, and what an increase in the birth rate of multiples might mean for families.

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Friday Feedback: A Better Way to Screen for Cervical Cancer? May 2015

Dr. Michelle Berlin weighs in on new screening guidelines from the American College of Physicians calling for cervical cancer screenings every three years starting at age 21.

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Take steps for a healthier you May 2015

Our May newsletter is full of events in honor of National Women's Health Week, as well as tips on how to take steps toward your best health. We hope you join us!

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The One Vaccine Every Teenager Needs Apr 2015

Dr. Jennifer Edman from the OHSU Center for Women's Health talks about when and why the HPV vaccine is so important for our young adults.

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How the latest research is expanding your contraception options Apr 2015

Our April newsletter discusses research into new contraception options for women, and how you can participate in this important work.

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Benefits of iron supplements unclear for pregnant women, young children Mar 2015

Dr. Amy Cantor of the OHSU Center for Women's Health helps explain a new study that suggests the benefit of iron supplements for pregnant women and their children is not as clear as once thought.

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Ovarian cancer: learning the risks Mar 2015

Dr. Paula Amato responds to Angelina Jolie's announcement of her recent preventive surgery, and encourages women facing similar decisions to discuss their fertility options with their doctor.

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OHSU's Dr. Berlin discusses Jolie's preventative surgery Mar 2015

OHSU Center for Women's Health Co-Director Dr. Michelle Berlin discusses Angelina Jolie's announcement of her recent preventative surgery choice. The important message for you? Know your family history and talk to your health care provider.

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7 things you didn't know about your boobs Mar 2015

Center for Women's Health Co-Director Dr. Michelle Berlin reassures women that small differences in the size and shape of their breasts are common.

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Bariatric Surgery before Pregnancy — Is This a Solution to a Big Problem? Mar 2015

Dr. Aaron Caughey provides the accompanying editorial for a new study of bariatric surgery before pregnancy, and its potential risks and benefits.

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Room for Debate: Is home birth ever a safe choice? Mar 2015

Dr. Aaron Caughey joins the conversation on home birth, and its risks and benefits. More women are having home births today than at any time in 25 years, and it's important to be informed about the risks.

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What epigenetics means for you Mar 2015

Our March newsletter is all about epigenetics and the ways that the environment you live in affects your genes. Join us on March 13 to learn more!

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Sleep tight Feb 2015

Sleeping well can help memory, improve your mood, boost metabolism and strengthen your immune system.

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Babies born through assisted reproduction are getting healthier Feb 2015

During the last 20 years, babies born through assisted reproduction have become healthier as their rates of premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth and infant death have all decreased. OHSU's Dr. Paula Amato, is featured.

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Choose for yourself Jan 2015

Women often lead nutrition and health care decisions for their families and communities.

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Giving is Good Dec 2014

It is better to give than to receive--and that goes for your health, too. OHSU experts explain how charity benefits your well-being.

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Here to support you Nov 2014

Never be afraid to laugh too hard for fear of a little leakage--OHSU experts explain female incontinence and pelvic floor disorders, and how to treat them, in our November newsletter.

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Trending Now in Healthcare Oct 2014

Group prenatal visits create community among expecting parents, and represent a new trend in healthcare.

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Finding a home in primary care Sep 2014

New CWH Primary Care chief Christine Kelso, M.D., M.P.H., discusses the importance of collaboration in keeping her patients healthy and well.

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August thumbnailDemystifying Mammograms AUGUST 2014

Regular mammograms are a crucial health tool-–here are some tips about mammography that you may not know.

As featured in: Our August Newsletter

July thumbnailMeet us at the Farmers Market JULY 2014

Check out the OHSU Farmers Market on July 15 for fun tips and information about healthy eating.

As featured in: Our July Newsletter

June cropHelp for Painful Sex JUNE 2014

OHSU doctor Martha Goetsch offers hope to women suffering from pain during intercourse

As featured in: Our June Newsletter

May newsletterTo Your Health! MAY 2014

May 11-17 is National Women's Health week—celebrate with us!

As featured in: Our May Newsletter

Spring exercisePut Some Spring in Your Step APRIL 2014

Walking our talk and doing our bodies a world of good.

As featured in: Our April Newsletter

Healthy eatingImproving Your Health–One Bite at a Time MARCH 2014

Let's ask ourselves: how can we change the food culture for this and future generations?

As featured in: Our March Newsletter

Heart HealthLove your heart! FEBRUARY 2014

As we make plans for Valentine's Day it's good to remember that February is a great time to be aware of how to keep your heart healthy.

As featured in: Our February Newsletter

New YearReady to take on the new year? JAN 2014

So we'd like to help you make 2014 your smartest year yet, with easy, bite-sized actions—like taking a class, attending a seminar or learning something new.

As featured in: Our January Newsletter