December 19, 2013 The legal wrangling over who should be allowed to buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription came to an end this year. A federal judge ruled that the emergency contraceptive couldn't be withheld from girls 16 and younger. Despite the legal ruling, many Americans support age minimums and parental consent.
When it comes to taking care of the girls, mammograms are still the way to go.
December 13, 2013 Who wouldn't want something better than mammograms for breast cancer screening? But machines that extract breast fluid to look for abnormal cells aren't it, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Still, some doctors have been offering the test to patients.
Nurses tend newborns at Sloane Hospital for Women in New York City.
December 4, 2013 For years doctors have been telling women that it's risky to implant multiple embryos when they do in vitro fertilization. They've listened, and the number of multiples from IVF has dropped. But the number of births of triplets or more has barely budged because of women's use of fertility drugs.
A woman is positioned for a traditional mammogram at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
December 3, 2013 A new kind of mammogram that takes many X-rays to make a three-dimensional image can help doctors find cancer and reduce false alarms. But it's still unclear who might benefit from the technique, and whether it's worth the higher cost and double dose of radiation.
Archbishop Joseph William Tobin of Indianapolis prays at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual fall meeting in Baltimore on Nov. 12.
December 2, 2013 A woman in Michigan says that a Catholic hospital failed to give her adequate health care when she came to the hospital after her water broke when she was 18 weeks pregnant. That has sparked a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.
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The Odon Device was inspired by a YouTube video about how to remove a cork from the inside of a wine bottle.
The Odon Device
November 29, 2013 With babies getting bigger and moms' pelvises getting smaller, it's no wonder moms have problems in delivery these days. Inventors have come up with all kinds of devices to help babies into the world. Some seem promising, but others are a little far-fetched.
Hormones clearly influence a women's health, but figuring out how is a tricky business.
November 27, 2013 Women with naturally higher levels of estrogen after menopause don't have better memory or mental skills, Stanford researchers say. It's yet another dent in the long-held belief that the hormone is linked to mental sharpness.
Estrogen affects cells in the eye's retina, which may help explain a possible link between glaucoma and estrogen levels.
November 18, 2013 The ebb and flow of estrogen levels in a women's monthly cycle may have a protective effect on the eye's retina, ophthalmologists say. And that fluctuation could explain a possible connection between birth control pills and glaucoma. Women who have taken the pill a long time may want to consider glaucoma screening.
Urine tests are the gold standard for diagnosing bladder infections. But one common test, the urine culture, can easily miss infections.
November 14, 2013 Lots of women go to the doctor for urinary tract infections, but the standard test does a lousy job of figuring out who could benefit from antibiotics, a study finds. That means that otherwise healthy people can probably skip testing, doctors say, especially if they have had an infection before and know the symptoms.
The human papilloma virus causes most cervical cancers. That's why HPV testing is now recommended for women ages 30 to 65.
Science Photo Library
November 7, 2013 A test for a virus linked to cervical cancer has been around for 10 years. But a lot of doctors still don't recommended it routinely for women. Female doctors are more likely to prescribe it than their males colleagues.
Katherine Streeter for NPR
October 25, 2013 Imagine a device that would help men correct course when they mess up while trying to support the women they love. One breast cancer husband who did just about everything wrong when his wife was diagnosed says he would have welcomed a little back-seat driving.
Women's moods can change based on the phases of their menstrual cycle. But does that mean they have a psychiatric disorder?
Katherine Streeter for NPR
October 21, 2013 Earlier this year premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, became a recognized mental disorder. But not everyone is convinced that's a good idea. Some researchers worry that medicalizing this unrelenting form of PMS could be used against women, even though only a small percentage of women meet the criteria.
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Once hailed as a feminine fountain of youth, then vilified, hormone replacement therapy may finally be finding its place as a short-term treatment for menopause symptoms.
October 4, 2013 Hormone replacement therapy used to be considered a fountain of youth for women. Then studies from the Women's Health Initiative found that HRT raised women's risk of chronic diseases. A final report from the massive study says hormone therapy can help younger women manage menopause symptoms, but it isn't safe for use long-term.
Stressed out? Who isn't? Stress can cause physical changes in the brain that may be linked to Alzheimer's.
October 1, 2013 Stressful events in midlife, like the death of a spouse or loss of a job, increased the risk of dementia for women in old age, according to a Swedish study. The researchers couldn't say whether some women's habits, such as regular exercise, lowered the risk from stress.
A broken hip like the one at left is a big health worry for older women.
September 25, 2013 Many older women get bone scans every two years to look for signs of osteoporosis. But for the vast majority of people, the repeat scans don't detect significant changes. New research suggests it may make sense to stop or slow down on the scans after people have had an initial test.
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