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Category: Women’s health

Breast cancer: Can a wearable device help to detect it?

Breast cancer: Can a wearable device help to detect it?

To screen for breast cancer at home, researchers created a wearable gadget.

Initial testing reveal that it is capable of detecting tiny cysts that are comparable in size to early-stage breast tumours. To confirm the effectiveness of the gadget, clinical trials are required.

One day, a cutting-edge piece of wearable technology that can be fastened to a bra might enable individuals to identify breast cancer symptoms while lounging at home.

With approximately 1 in 6 cancer-related deaths among women, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Women make up the great majority of breast cancer patients. Men experience 0.5% to 1% of cases, though.

If discovered when the cancer has not yet moved outside of the breast, breast cancer has a 5-year relative survival rate of up to 99%. The 5-year survival rate drops to 30% if discovered later, such as when cancer has spread to distant bodily areas like the lungs, liver, or bones.

Currently, the most popular approach for detecting breast cancer is a mammography, an X-ray imaging procedure.

Mammograms must be performed in an imaging center even though they are typically efficient at detecting 87% of malignancies. This limits access for many people, especially those with low incomes, who could postpone screening as a result of the high associated expenses and challenges in organizing transportation.

The health outcomes for those diagnosed with the condition globally could be improved by initiatives to increase accessibility and lower the cost of breast cancer screening.

Researchers recently created a wearable ultrasound breast patch that could enable patients to scan for breast cancer at home.

Bard-certified doctor Dr. Kamila Seilhan, stated: “This wearable ultrasound device may help patients at high risk of breast cancer in the interim between routine mammograms by enabling early tumor detection.”

A breast-attached wearable breast cancer detector

The same ultrasound technology that imaging centres utilise is the foundation of the device. However, because of the piezoelectric materials used, it can be made smaller to function as a portable ultrasound scanner. Through a mechanism called piezoelectricity, crystals transform mechanical energy into electrical energy, which in this instance can be used to interpret ultrasound measurements.

The device sends sound waves into the breast tissue, and as it moves across the breast, it produces high-quality images identifying cysts that may need to be investigated by a breast cancer specialist,” said Dr. Jennifer Tseng, F.A.C.S., medical director of breast surgery and a double board-certified surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Centre in Irvine, California, who was not involved in the research.

To make the device wearable, the researchers created a flexible, 3D-printed patch with honeycomb-like holes. The patch fastens to a bra with holes so it may touch the skin and scan breast tissue there.

The entire breast may be imaged thanks to the scanner’s six various positioning options. In order to capture photographs from various perspectives, it can also be rotated.

The scanner has already been tested on a 71-year-old woman who has a history of breast cysts. They were able to identify cysts with the gadget that were as small as early-stage tumours, or 0.3 centimetres in diameter. According to their findings, the images produced had an 80mm depth and a resolution comparable to that of conventional ultrasounds.

Senior author of the study Canan Dagdeviren, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Media Arts and Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), stated that the technology makes it simple to repeatedly take pictures from the same location.

Increased screening availability for breast cancer

Dr. Dagdeviren stated that the ultimate purpose of the device is to reach underrepresented women, including those living in less economically developed nations, and to make breast cancer screening more accessible and affordable.

Dr. Seilhan remarked that if successful, the device could be especially helpful in isolated locations without simple access to medical facilities.

Healthcare facilities and organizations with limited funds can purchase the device more easily because of its low cost,” she said.

She continued by saying that while the gadget is simple to operate, it might be useful in settings where medical personnel have limited technical expertise.

Dr. Tseng pointed out, however, that in order for patients in less developed nations to benefit fully from diagnostic technologies, it is equally critical for them to have better access to those tools.

However, she added, “patients still need to have the data reviewed by an expert who can recommend what to do next.” This device may assist patients identify potential problem areas that they were unable to identify before.

When will the breast cancer wearable device be obtainable?

According to Dr. Dagdeviren, the device might be usable for 4-5 years. She is starting a business to achieve this goal and is looking for partners and investors. For mass production and FDA certification, she stated, “we will need about $40 million.”

In spite of the fact that the device now needs a “bulky computer interface” to process photographs, the author continued, her team is currently working on a more portable design and will soon release an iPhone-size image processor.

The researchers are also creating a workflow that will enable artificial intelligence to examine data and produce diagnostic evaluations that might be more precise than those made by a radiologist comparing photos that were obtained over some time.

Experts spoke with Dr. Richard Reitherman, Ph.D., a board-certified radiologist and medical director of breast imaging at MemorialCare Breast Centre at Orange Coast Medical Centre in Fountain Valley, California, who was not involved in the study to learn more about potential future uses for the device.

This kind of product will be a welcomed supplemental addition to women’s health care,” the doctor said. “If it can be demonstrated to be on par with mammography and dedicated breast ultrasound for breast cancer screening, it will be a welcome alternative.”

However, he pointed out that one of the biggest obstacles for any new gadget is completing successful clinical trials, which will probably require collaboration with the American College of Radiology.

This is a complex and difficult proposition,” he said. “The jump from translational science to clinical efficacy remains to be seen.”

What are the limitations of the study?

Its limits stem from the fact that the technology is still in its early stages of development.

The University of Kansas Cancer Centre breast radiologist Dr. Onalisa Winblad, who was not part of the study, stated that she does not currently support its use because it “does not have scientific data to prove utility.”

The linked article’s photographs are of low quality when compared to those from our normal breast ultrasound. In patients with dense breast tissue, ultrasonography is a tool that is beneficial in addition to mammography.

Dr. Tseng concurred that although ultrasonography is a useful tool for breast cancer screening, it cannot take the place of mammography and other types of preventive treatment provided by a breast cancer specialist.

Different technologies are more effective than others at detecting various breast alterations. For instance, while some calcifications cannot be seen with ultrasonography, others can be seen with mammography, she noted.

She stated that two of the most crucial elements in how effectively the tool performs as a breast cancer screening tool are “the device’s ability to find true positive cases and avoid fake positive cases.

She continued by saying that even while the tool might be simple to use, how well it works may still rely on the user. Also, she added that because the human breast varies from person to person and even among individuals, large-area and deep-tissue imaging can be challenging.

When challenged about the device’s limits, Dr. Reitherman stated that in order to maintain good quality metrics, the scanner must be operated under medical supervision, such as through “virtual supervision by a radiologist.”

Therefore, the existing medical community and physicians that would be interpreting and recommending actions based on this device’s information would need to be on board,” he said.


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Pregnancy: Low fiber may cause neurodevelopmental delays.

Pregnancy: Low fiber may cause neurodevelopmental delays.

Low fiber intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of neurodevelopmental impairments in offspring, according to a recent study.

An essential part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet, particularly while pregnant, is fiber. With the right advice from nutritionists, pregnant women can increase their fiber consumption as necessary.

The complex period of pregnancy can have an impact on a variety of health consequences.

Researchers are still trying to figure out how behaviors and the environment during pregnancy affect the offspring’s later years.

The baby’s health and growth can be impacted by nutrition throughout pregnancy, but researchers are still trying to determine how various dietary details will affect the baby’s development.

Fiber intake during pregnancy was the subject of a recent study published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

According to the study’s findings, consuming less fiber during pregnancy increases the likelihood of neurodevelopmental impairments in the progeny.

Low fibre during pregnancy slows brain development

Researchers for the study observed that earlier research on animals had connected a reduced fiber diet during pregnancy to delayed brain development in children.

The data from 76,207 mother-infant pairs were evaluated by the researchers using information from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study.

They examined participants’ fiber consumption while pregnant and divided them into one of five groups according to how much fiber they consumed.

They then evaluated three-year-olds for developmental impairments. Parents or other primary carers were asked to complete questionnaires that measured children’s communication, fine and gross motor abilities, problem-solving, and personal-social skills to achieve this. With a lower score, there was more developmental delay.

In contrast to the group of moms who consumed the most total dietary fiber, the researchers discovered that those with the lowest fiber intake had the highest linked risk of having children with neurodevelopmental delays.

They discovered four crucial regions linked to slowed newborn brain development as a result of inadequate fibre intake:

  • communication
  • problem-solving
  • personal-social
  • small-motor abilities

The group with the lowest consumption of dietary fibre still carried significant risks for developmental delays, even when taking folic acid intake into consideration.

According to research author Kunio Miyake, Ph.D., of the University of Yamanashi, “most pregnant women in Japan consume far less dietary fiber than what is recommended intake; thus, this maternal nutritional imbalance during pregnancy may adversely affect the neurodevelopment of their offspring.”

Therefore, providing nutritional advice to expectant moms is essential to lowering the likelihood that their offspring would experience future health issues.

The authors of the study hypothesize that the results are due to the interaction of fiber with the brain’s microbiome and the gut microbiota.

Dietary fiber is known to affect the regulation of gut microbiota and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs),” Dr. Miyake said.

Recommendations for fibre during pregnancy

Fibre is a crucial part of a balanced diet and is especially necessary during pregnancy. Dr. Brian Power, Ph.D., an author of a non-study and nutritionist at Atlantic Technological University in Sligo, Ireland, explained to us:

Numerous studies show that increasing dietary fiber intake during pregnancy benefits many women by lowering the risk of insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and uncontrollable weight gain.

The current USDA recommendation is for people to consume 14 grammes of fibre for every 1,000 calories they consume.

Therefore, with 2,000 calories per day, consumers should have roughly 28 grammes of fibre daily. A “low residue diet” or “low fibre diet” typically contains 10 to 15 grammes of fibre per day.

Only 8.4% of study participants exceeded the recommended daily intake of 18 grammes of fibre in Japan, where the recommendations range somewhat. The study’s findings may potentially indicate a risk from consuming too much fibre after accounting for folic acid.

It’s crucial to have open lines of communication with your medical team during your pregnancy in order to identify any potential nutritional deficits and how to make up for them.

How to increase your intake of fiber?

Your doctor might advise boosting your intake by eating more fiber-rich foods or taking supplements if your diet is lacking in the substance. High-fiber dietary examples come in the form of:

  • whole-grain cereal with kernels
  • artichokes
  • beans
  • a few fruits (such as raspberries, blackberries, and apples)

Dr. Al-Shaer stated, “Increasing fibre can be done simply by integrating more whole meals throughout the day, such as vegetables, legumes, nuts [and] seeds, and fruit.

Many fruits, such as berries or bananas, are excellent sources of fibre, and all nuts and seeds are high in fibre. Try to fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables at each meal, which is a generally good rule of thumb I suggest to my patients. Except for potatoes, corn and peas, practically all vegetables are non-starchy. We can get enough fibre this way throughout the day. And a simple method to enhance our fibre intake is to sprinkle sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, or beans on salads or breakfast bowls,” according to registered dietician Abrar Al-Shaer, PhD.


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New biomarkers help in sooner diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

New biomarkers help in sooner diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

In the United States, ovarian cancer ranks as the sixth most frequent cancer among women. A better possibility of successful treatment results from early diagnosis. However, because the symptoms of ovarian cancer sometimes resemble those of digestive problems, it can be challenging to identify.

Three previously unidentified ovarian cancer proteins that can be found in the blood have recently been discovered by new research. These may make it easier to diagnose ovarian cancer, enabling early treatment to begin when it is most likely to be successful.

Any malignant tumor that begins in the ovaries the female reproductive organs located low in the abdomen is considered to be ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer rates have declined recently, but it still claims more lives than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. This is according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ovarian cancer symptoms, which typically manifest in older women, can be confused with those of other gynaecological or digestive conditions since they can include:

  • pelvic pressure or pain
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • back or stomach ache
  • Bloating or the sensation of being full after eating
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits, such as constipation and more frequent urination.

Early detection of ovarian cancer usually results in good treatment, with 94% of patients living at least five years after diagnosis. However, only 20% of ovarian malignancies are discovered at an early stage, and there are no reliable screening tools available at this time.

Three previously undiscovered membrane proteins that can be extracted from bodily fluids like blood, urine, and saliva have now been linked to ovarian cancer, according to new research led by Nagoya University in Japan.

These results, according to the study’s authors, could result in an earlier detection of ovarian cancer, according to Science Advances.

Various ovarian cancer tumor types?

Ovarian tumours can be of three primary types:

Epithelial tumors. The cells that make up these tumours come from the ovary’s outer layer. The majority of ovarian tumours are epithelial tumours, according to the American Cancer Society. Typically, women over 50 are diagnosed with these tumours.

Stromal tumours. Cells of structural tissue are where stromal tumours start. In addition, progesterone and oestrogen are produced by these cells.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, stromal tumors account for roughly 7% of cases of ovarian cancer. They are typically found in females over 50.

Germ cell tumors. These tumors develop from cells that make eggs. They account for 2–3% of cases of ovarian cancer. Women in their teens and 20s are more prone to experience this type of cancer.

A study identifies novel ovarian cancer biomarkers.

The most prevalent type of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC), was used by the researchers to collect extracellular vesicles (EVs).

To boost cell growth and survival as well as increase invasive and metastatic activities, cancer cells create EVs. Exosomes, a kind of small EV, are crucial to the development of cancer.

The scientists next examined the proteins present in small, medium, and big EVs using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

According to lead author and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Nagoya University Hospital in Japan, Dr. Akira Yokoi, “The validation steps for the identified proteins were tough because we had to try a lot of antibodies before we found a good target.”

It became evident that the small and medium/large EVs are laden with quite diverse molecules as a result. Small EVs are more suited as biomarkers than medium and large ones, according to further research. The tiny EVs connected to HGSC contained the membrane proteins FR-alpha, Claudin-3, and TACSTD2, he continues.

They had to figure out how to extract the EVs from blood samples after they had discovered the proteins in order to see if they might be utilised to identify ovarian cancer.

The team made use of specialised nanowire technology to collect the EVs. In order to separate exosomes from blood samples, they discovered that polyketone chain-coated nanowires (pNWs) were the best option.

On the nanowires, we must have tested three to four different coatings. Despite being a brand-new substance, polyketones were ultimately a great fit for coating this particular sort of nanowire, according to Dr. Akira Yokoi.

Chance of an earlier diagnosis

The most essential thing we can do to increase survival is probably to diagnose cancer sooner, yet for the majority of tumours, clinicians don’t have access to good diagnostic tools. Later stages of ovarian cancer are significantly more difficult to cure, and the disease’s signs are frequently overlooked, according to Dr. Godfrey.

There is now only one biomarker, Cancer Antigen 125 (CA125), that can be used to diagnose ovarian cancer. Although CA125 has been a key component of ovarian cancer management for the past 40 years in terms of screening, treatment, and follow-up. Also, it hasn’t showed much promise in terms of early detection.

A number of tests may be used by the doctor to make the diagnosis of ovarian cancer if a patient exhibits symptoms that point in that direction. These could involve a transvaginal ultrasound test, a CT scan, or a laparoscopy to look for any growths. Laparoscopy involves making a small incision and inserting a camera into the abdomen.

However, a biopsy, which entails removing a portion of the tumor for laboratory investigation, is the only reliable method of an ovarian cancer diagnosis. A straightforward blood test-based diagnosis approach would be a significant advancement.

Experts urge additional study.

Each of the three novel proteins, according to the study’s authors, may serve as valuable indicators for spotting ovarian cancer at an early stage.

According to Dr. Yokoi, “Our results demonstrated that each of the three identified proteins is useful as a biomarker for HGSCs.” According to the study’s findings, these diagnostic biomarkers may serve as indicators of prognosis for particular treatments.

Dr. Godfrey welcomed the study but emphasised that these were preliminary results.

“It’s too soon to say whether the technology could reliably help us spot ovarian cancer early,” he said. “The research only used a small number of clinical samples.”

He continued, that we need to see more study into these kinds of diagnostic tools. However, if they work, they might make significant improvements to how we treat a range of cancer types.


Those who are at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer may benefit from screening with ovarian cancer tumor markers. However, a diagnosis cannot be made solely on the basis of blood testing.

Tumour markers for ovarian cancer can be used to monitor disease progression and evaluate the efficacy of treatment.

A 2019 research found that the stage of ovarian cancer at the time of diagnosis is advanced in more than 70% of patients. Although research is ongoing, there is currently no accurate screening method for ovarian cancer.

Knowing the warning signals and informing a doctor of them is crucial for this reason. If you think you have a high chance of developing ovarian cancer, talk to your doctor about the types of testing that could be best for you.


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Endometriosis: Reason for its prolonged diagnosis.

Endometriosis: Reason for its prolonged diagnosis.

Endometriosis is a chronic disorder that can produce excruciating pain under various conditions, including menstruation and sexual activity. For some patients, getting an accurate endometriosis diagnosis might be difficult.

According to recent study, a number of factors, including societal and personal barriers, the behaviour and education of healthcare personnel, and other factors, can delay an endometriosis diagnosis by as much as 11 years.

The reasons why getting an accurate endometriosis diagnosis is challenging were recently investigated in a systematic review and qualitative synthesis.

The researchers pinpointed a number of causes, such as the normalisation of menstruation discomfort, the variety of symptoms, and the lack of training and fast referrals among medical personnel.

The analysis highlights opportunities for development in the early diagnosis and subsequent endometriosis treatment.

What is Endometriosis?

According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, endometriosis is a painful disorder that affects an estimated 200 million people worldwide.

When endometrial-like tissue begins to proliferate outside the uterus, the disorder begins to manifest. Similar tissue normally only develops within the uterus. While it typically affects the rectum and reproductive organs, it can occasionally spread to other sites such as the bowel or pelvic cavity.

Endometrial-like tissue thickens and eventually disintegrates over the course of your menstrual cycle so that it can pass from your body when you menstruate. Similar tissue that develops outside of your uterus and cannot leave your body if you have endometriosis.

It consequently gets caught, irritating the tissues in the area and resulting in scar formation and adhesions. This may lead to chronic pain that gets worse during your period.

Other endometriosis signs and symptoms include:

  • uncomfortable urine or bowel movements, especially during your period
  • unpleasant interactions
  • infertility
  • heavy menstrual bleeding
  • between periods bleeding
  • abdomen and lower back pain right before, during, or right after your period

The following information will help you understand how to diagnose and treat endometriosis.

Consequences of endometriosis

In endometriosis, uterine-like tissue develops outside of the uterus. These lesions may be found in the bladder, fallopian tubes, or ovaries, among other places.

Chronic endometriosis is treated mostly by controlling symptoms. Pain, frequently in the pelvic region, is the primary complaint. At some periods, such as during menstruation, the pain could come on. There could be more signs as well, such as exhaustion and trouble getting pregnant. After menopause, endometriosis symptoms may occasionally get better.

Additional information about endometriosis was provided to us by Dr. Ann Peters, an expert in obstetrics and gynaecology at Mercy Medical Centre who was not engaged in the study:

The most common symptom of endometriosis is painful periods, but it can also cause other unpleasant symptoms like heavy bleeding, chest pains, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, and constipation. Other symptoms of endometriosis include pain during sexual activity and during bowel movements.

Endometriosis is thought to affect one in ten women, but there are currently no noninvasive diagnostic methods, such as ultrasound or blood work tests, that would accurately detect endometriosis, according to Dr. Ann Peters.

The authors of the current review observe that a lot of women wait a long time for a proper medical diagnosis. They wished to learn more about the causes of this delay.

Obstacles to diagnosing endometriosis

The 13 articles in this evaluation all complied with the tight eligibility requirements. All of the studies either enrolled endometriosis-affected women or medical professionals with endometriosis diagnosis expertise.

The evaluation concentrated primarily on qualitative research in which individuals talked about their experiences getting an endometriosis diagnosis. The authors’ study of these publications yielded four types of themes that contributed to delayed diagnosis:

  • individual elements
  • Individual differences
  • health system variables
  • endometriosis-specific F actors

They discovered that ladies have trouble comprehending the typical menstrual pain on an individual basis. For instance, participants frequently believed that their discomfort was normal and that they should learn to live with it.

The timing of the endometriosis diagnosis was probably impacted by these concepts and the usage of self-care techniques to control symptoms.

Researchers discovered that social stigma against addressing menstrual issues and society’s acceptance of monthly pain as normal may have further delayed diagnosis.

Finally, endometriosis and healthcare circumstances affected when a diagnosis was made. Participants cited instances where general practitioners dismissed concerns or gave the impression that they lacked endometriosis understanding. Similarly, individuals who worked in healthcare said they had received insufficient endometriosis training, and many said they lacked clear clinical guidelines for diagnosis.

There were additional communication issues. Oral contraceptives are occasionally used by medical experts to help diagnose and treat endometriosis. Participants weren’t always given clear explanations of how to rule out other diagnoses or how to utilize oral contraceptives.

Lack of endometriosis testing

Medical specialists also pointed out that endometriosis symptoms often resemble those of other diseases, which can cause delays in diagnosis. Because there are no noninvasive tests that can provide a reliable diagnosis for endometriosis, it might be difficult to make a diagnosis. Referrals were made slowly.

The idea that laparoscopic surgery is the only method of diagnosis was one factor in this. Even medical specialists questioned the value of an endometriosis diagnosis.

Dr. Sophie Davenport, an English physician who wrote the study as part of her Master of Public Health (MPH) dissertation, outlined the multifaceted strategy that will be required to remove these obstacles:

The data’s main takeaways are that there are delays in diagnosis at every stage of the trip. We need to address these on a variety of fronts, from society understanding what “normal” menstruation is and being open to discussing menstrual problems to clinicians being knowledgeable about presentation and diagnosis and paying attention to patients who claim their periods aren’t normal, according to study author Dr. Sophie Davenport.

Diagnosed with endometriosis in the past

There were some issues with this study that point to the need for more investigation.

All of the research in the study were carried out in high-income nations, the majority of which provided universal healthcare. As a result, it might not be able to generalize the findings, and this research doesn’t address any potential financial obstacles to diagnosis.

The majority of participants in studies that provided demographic data were white women, highlighting the need for increased diversity in future research.

The samples among participants with endometriosis may be biassed towards those with more severe cases.

Participants in the research that examined the opinions of healthcare professionals were mostly general practitioners and doctors. Other service providers and experts in the field could be studied in future studies. The review was undertaken by just one reviewer, which increased the chance of bias or methodological flaws.

Dr. Davenport identified the following areas of future study:

Investigating how a patient’s perceptions of receiving an endometriosis diagnosis vary now that the clinical guidelines advise treating empirically based on signs and symptoms rather than doing a laparoscopic surgery first will be an important topic of research. According to the papers, this discouraged physicians from sending women to specialty services and caused a delay in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of those women, according to Dr Sophie Davenport.

Can I speed up the diagnosing process?

It is becoming simpler to receive a correct diagnosis as more individuals become aware of endometriosis and its symptoms. However, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make sure you receive a prompt, correct diagnosis:

Try a self-test for endometriosis. Here is a quiz you can give yourself. on show your doctor during your appointment, print out your results, or save them on your phone.

Maintain a symptom log. Keeping thorough records of your symptoms may seem boring, but they will help your doctor make a proper diagnosis. Record your symptoms’ severity on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as any details about when in your cycle they often appear.

Use a period-tracking app or a notebook to record this information.

Find a specialist in endometriosis. Request a recommendation from your doctor for a gynecologist who specializes in endometriosis. For doctor recommendations and other advice, you can also look through internet support communities.


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Can Hormone therapy for menopause increase Dementia risk?

Can Hormone therapy for menopause increase Dementia risk?

Menopausal hormone therapy is used by about 45% of all women to lessen menopause symptoms.

According to prior studies, some types of hormone replacement treatment may make women more susceptible to developing serious illnesses.

Menopausal hormone therapy is linked to an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital, says Rigshospitalet.

These results go against earlier research that suggested HRT might reduce a woman’s risk of dementia.

Menopausal hormone therapy, often known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), is used by about 45% of all women worldwide to cope with menopause symptoms.

HRT can cause adverse effects like nausea and migraines. According to earlier studies, women who use specific forms of HRT may be more susceptible to strokes, gallbladder problems, and malignancies including breast and endometrial.

Menopausal hormone therapy is now linked to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, according to study from Copenhagen University Hospital, as per Rigshospitalet.

These results go against earlier research that suggested HRT might reduce a woman’s risk of dementia. The BMJ recently published an article based on this study.

What occurs throughout menopause?

Every woman experiences menopause, which is the end of the monthly cycle and the last time the ovaries release eggs.

Menopause usually begins in a person between the ages of 45 and 55. Perimenopause, often known as the menopausal transition, can persist between seven to fourteen years.

A woman who is beginning menopause may experience symptoms like:

  • a hot flash
  • morning sweats
  • irregular or absent
  • vulvar aridity
  • difficulty sleeping
  • mood swings like anxiousness and depression

Menopause is a natural part of ageing, but it comes with some changes that some people may desire to minimise. Menopause-related symptoms may be treated with the following methods:

  • HRT
  • hormonal birth control at a low dose
  • low-dose mood stabilisers
  • prescription or over-the-counter drugs for vaginal dryness

Additionally, several lifestyle modifications can assist in relieving some symptoms:

  • routine exercise
  • wholesome diet
  • meditation techniques
  • restricting alcohol
  • giving up smoking
  • counselling for mood changes
  • maintaining a healthy sleep routine

What is hormone therapy for menopause?

The purpose of HRT is to enhance and balance the levels of the female hormones progesterone and oestrogen in the body.

Although the body’s ovaries naturally produce both of these hormones, their production declines after menopause, leading to menopausal symptoms.

There are two primary types of menopausal hormone treatment that a doctor could recommend, depending on a woman’s situation and requirements:

  • treatment with just oestrogen
  • combined treatment utilising progesterone and oestrogen

HRT can be applied topically or vaginally, and comes in tablet, nasal spray, skin patch, and vaginal cream or suppositories forms.

The following are possible HRT adverse effects:

  • bloating
  • headaches
  • breast discomfort
  • nausea
  • acne
  • mood changes
  • uterine bleeding

How Does HRT Affect the Risk of Dementia?

Dr. Nelsan Pourhadi, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Danish Cancer Society and the Danish Dementia Research Centre in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, claims that the study’s objectives were dual and based on understudied facets of the subject matter.

“First, we sought to look into whether menopausal hormone therapy use, as advised by guidelines, increased the incidence of dementia.” Second, he told us, “we were looking into continuous versus cyclic therapy regimes.”

Dr. Pourhadi and his team used data from a national registry database for this investigation. The study’s controls were about 56,000 age-matched women without a dementia diagnosis and approximately 5,600 women with dementia. Danish women between the ages of 50 and 60 in 2000 who had no history of dementia or any conditions that would exclude the use of HRT were included in the data, which covered the years 2000 to 2018.

The subjects’ average age at the time of dementia diagnosis was 70. In comparison to controls, 32% of women with dementia and 29% of controls had used estrogen-progestin therapy starting at an average age of 53 before receiving a diagnosis. For dementia-stricken women, therapy lasted an average of 3.8 years, compared to 3.6 years for males.

Analysis revealed that women who got estrogen-progestin therapy had a 24% higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and all-cause dementia. Even ladies who started the treatment at age 55 or younger experienced this.

The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), the largest clinical experiment in the field, found similar results, according to Dr. Pourhadi.

Does HRT alter the risk of dementia?

Researchers have previously searched for a link between HRT and the risk of dementia.

Menopausal hormone therapy may aid in lowering a woman’s risk of dementia, according to earlier studies. Menopausal hormone therapy use was associated with a lower chance of developing all neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to a study released in May 2021.

Additionally, a study published in June 2022 discovered that women with depression who used HRT after menopause had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Several research have shown a connection between HRT use and an elevated risk of dementia. HRT was linked to a higher incidence of dementia, according to research released in September 2022.

And according to a study that was just released in April 2023, women who had HRT more than five years after the onset of menopause or who started menopause early had greater levels of tau protein in their brains, which is thought to be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

When questioned why prior and current studies may have conflicting results, Dr. Pourhadi responded, “It is crucial to emphasise that our findings are in line with those of the largest clinical trial on the topic, WHIMS. The majority of prior clinical trials were hindered by issues like poor selection, limited sample sizes, brief follow-up periods, and results that were purely dependent on cognitive testing rather than a clinical evaluation of dementia.

Furthermore, earlier observational studies, particularly short-term ones, were unable to evaluate the use of menopausal hormone therapy close to menopause, the author continued. The discrepancies between the findings of those studies and those of our study “may be explained by these differences.”

Can HRT lead to dementia?

Dr. Pourhadi explained that because this study is an observational one and not a causal one, it is impossible to establish a link between menopause hormone therapy and dementia.

Therefore, more investigation is required to determine whether or not the observed link may be assumed to be causal. Additionally, it is important to distinguish between the various menopausal hormone therapy delivery methods such as tablets, patches, and gels,” he continued.

Dr. Mindy Pelz, a specialist in holistic medicine who specialises in women’s and hormonal health but was not part in this study, concurred.

It’s vital not to overestimate the results of this new observational study. Correlation does not imply causality, and prior research has shown that menopausal hormone therapy lowers the incidence of dementia, so it’s conceivable there’s a variable missing that we haven’t thought of yet, the researcher added.

She told us that many women go for hormone replacement medication to deal with their symptoms when they have cognitive deficiencies after menopause, which could be a sign of dementia in the future.

Dr. Jewel Kling, assistant director of women’s health internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and a non-participant in this study, informed us after reviewing the findings that because this was an observational study using data from a national registry, we could not draw any conclusions about the cause-and-effect relationship between menopausal hormone therapy and dementia risk.

The only way to conclude causation is through a randomised control design, which this wasn’t. “(We) can only claim that there was a relationship identified between the two in their data. According to the study’s design, there are numerous additional factors that could potentially explain this association, the researcher said.


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Migraines increase the chance of problems during pregnancy.

Migraines increase the chance of problems during pregnancy.

A sizable prospective study was carried out by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to learn more about the link between migraines and unfavorable pregnancy outcomes.

According to their findings, women with pre-pregnancy headaches had a 40% increased risk of preeclampsia, a 28% increased risk of gestational hypertension, and a 17% increased risk of premature delivery.

These findings, according to the researchers, point to the potential advantage of greater monitoring for pregnant women who have a history of migraines.

Compared to men, women have a 2 to 3 times higher lifetime risk of developing migraines, which are most prevalent in women between the ages of 18 and 44.

Before a migraine attack, some people see an “aura” that frequently consists of flashing lights in their range of vision.

An aura-specific migraine, in particular, has been linked to a two-fold increased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke, according to a recent meta-analysis.

The molecular factors linked to cardiovascular risks in migraine sufferers may also raise the chance of pregnancy difficulties, according to a research hypothesis.

Meanwhile, little research has examined the connection between migraine and difficulties during pregnancy. Small study populations, a lack of knowledge about potential confounding variables, and the migraine phenotype (with or without aura) are the limitations of these investigations.

To fill in these knowledge gaps, scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston created a significant prospective study to calculate the correlations between pre-pregnancy migraine and the risk of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, pre-term delivery, and low birth weight.

The researchers also looked at potential effect modification by aspirin use and examined whether these relationships varied by migraine phenotype in the study, which was published in the journal Neurology.

Study on migraines and pregnancy

Data from the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) were used by Brigham instructors Alexandra Cari Purdue-Smithe, Ph.D., and her team to achieve these goals.

In 1989, 116,430 registered nurses in the United States between the ages of 25 and 42 participated in this study. Questionnaires about participants’ lifestyles and health were given out. Every two years, participants in this study were required to answer questions on their lifestyle and general health.

In 2009, participants submitted information on each pregnancy they had ever had, including any unfavorable results. In 2007, participants in the NHSII were asked if they had ever experienced aura along with their migraine headaches.

Any self-reported medical diagnosis of migraine on the 1989, 1993, and 1995 NHSII questionnaires was considered a migraine for the purposes of this study, according to Purdue-Smithe’s team.

They restricted their studies to 30-555 pregnancies in 19,694 women who had no history of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, or cancer. These pregnancies had to be at least 20 weeks long.

Using log-binomial and log-Poisson models, the researchers determined the relative risk and 95% confidence interval for each unfavorable pregnancy outcome. These models were adjusted for several confounding variables, including age at conception, age at menstruation’s onset, race and ethnicity, body mass index, chronic hypertension, alcohol use, physical activity, smoking status, analgesic use, oral contraceptive use, infertility diagnosis, and the number of births.

Important results of the migraine study

11% of the 19,694 female participants at baseline had ever been diagnosed with a migraine by a doctor.

According to the statistical studies, migraine was not linked to gestational diabetes or low birth weight, but it was linked to a higher risk of preterm delivery by 17%, gestational hypertension by 28%, and preeclampsia by 40%.

For migraine with and without aura, the risk of preterm birth and the risk of gestational hypertension were comparable. However, compared to women who had migraines without aura, those who had migraines with aura had a slightly increased chance of developing preeclampsia.

The researchers also discovered a 45% decreased risk of preterm birth in migraine-prone women who consistently (more than twice a week) took aspirin before becoming pregnant. Although this particular investigation had limited statistical power, the researchers did find that women who reported regularly taking aspirin before becoming pregnant had a qualitatively decreased risk of preeclampsia.

Understanding pregnancy and migraine

The results are significant, according to Dr. Matthew Robbins, an associate professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York who was not involved in the study.

“We already knew that the relative risk of stroke and overall cardiovascular comorbidity is higher in individuals who have migraine with aura,” he told us. “This is based on large, population-based epidemiological studies.” “Now, we know that this risk may also extend to pregnancy-related complications, such as a higher incidence of pregnancy-specific cardiovascular diseases like gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.”

He continued, “The results of this investigation imply that migraine history and, to a lesser extent, migraine phenotype, are therapeutically helpful predictors of pregnancy risks.

Likewise not taking part in the study was Dr. Sarah E. Vollbracht, an associate professor of neurology at Columbia University in New York.

Given the high prevalence of migraine in women of childbearing age, these findings suggest that migraine screening should be included in initial obstetrical assessments to determine if a woman is at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and women with migraine should be closely followed throughout pregnancy and monitored for the development of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy,” she said in a statement to us.

Aspirin use during pregnancy may reduce the risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia, according to the study’s findings, but Vollbracht cautioned that “this finding should be interpreted cautiously” and that “more data, including placebo-controlled studies, is needed to determine the role of aspirin use in pregnant women with migraine.”

Limitations and upcoming studies

The definition of migraine utilized in this study may have understated the actual prevalence of migraine in the study population and, consequently, the relative risks, according to Purdue-Smithe and her co-authors.

Confounding effects from additional factors, such as heredity and drugs specifically designed to treat migraines, cannot be completely ruled out despite the statistical studies taking numerous potential confounding factors into account.

The Nurses’ Health Study II cohort’s limited generalizability is due to the majority of non-Hispanic white study participants.

Future research should focus on including a patient population that is more diverse in terms of racial, cultural, and socioeconomic origins, according to Vollbracht.

She went on to say that “further prospective studies are needed to determine more clearly the difference in risk based on migraine phenotype as well as understanding the influence of attack frequency on the risk of these adverse pregnancy outcomes.”

Additional study is required to better understand how aspirin alters effects, especially in terms of dosage and initiation time.

Future research may need to evaluate the use of daily aspirin during the second and third trimesters as a preventive intervention against preeclampsia for pregnant women with migraine with aura, according to Robbins.

The researchers concluded by saying that further investigation should aim to shed light on the mechanisms behind the connections found in this study.


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Discover the causes of migraines during the menstrual cycle

Discover the causes of migraines during the menstrual cycle

According to a recent study, migraine attacks in cisgender women who are menstruating may be brought on by an increase in the peptide CGRP, which has been associated with migraines. The study found that this rise correlated with a drop in oestrogen that happens after menstruation.

In spite of the fact that these individuals may still experience migraine attacks, the study did not detect an increase in CGRP in those who used contraceptives or had undergone menopause.

For many years, scientists have understood that the onset of menstruation-related migraine attacks is connected to a decline in the hormone oestrogen. The exact workings of this relationship, nevertheless, are still unknown.

According to a recent study, levels of a peptide linked to migraines rise and fall over the menstrual cycle along with hormonal levels. Levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, rise in response to the decline in estrogen that happens at the start of menstruation.

The pilot study may provide a critical hint about the origin of menstrual migraine, even if it is uncertain why a decrease in oestrogen can produce a release of CGRP.

Additionally, it might help to explain why menstrual migraine attacks happen during the menstrual cycle and why their frequency decreases after menopause.

Migraines during periods

The symptoms of a menstrual migraine are comparable to those of other migraine types without aura or other sensory abnormalities. They typically start 1 or 2 days after your menstruation starts.

Two types of menstrual migraine are frequently distinguished:

  • Menstrual migraine: This more frequent type can have aura symptoms, such vision abnormalities, or not. Other times of the month may see attacks of the migraine.
  • Pure menstrual migraines: These only happen before or after your menstruation starts.

Typical menstrual migraine signs include the following:

  • one side of the head typically experiences excruciating head ache.
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to loud noises and light

Menstrual migraine attacks may be accompanied with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms as bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, and mood swings.

Treatment for menstrual migraines

There are many techniques to stop migraine pain or stop migraine attacks.

Many people believe that menstrual migraine is a distinct illness from other forms of migraine, and not all medications have FDA approval to treat both.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Your physician could advise you to try an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever such ibuprofen (Advil, Midol). They could suggest that you take them on a regular basis, before the pain starts.

Your doctor might also advise that you take a diuretic if a physical test reveals that your salt levels are high.

Prescription drugs

To relieve and prevent general migraine headache, a wide variety of prescription medications are available.

Both preventative and abortive drugs are frequently started for migraineurs. A severe migraine attack can be stopped using abortion drugs.

Generally speaking, the following are some instances of treatments for migraine:

  • Preventative drugs
  • beta-blockers
  • anticonvulsants
  • Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA)
  • antagonists of CGRP

Note that frovatriptan is the only triptan licenced for prevention of menstrual migraine specifically. Find the best medication for your needs by speaking with your doctor.

Abortion-inducing drugs

  • blockers of calcium channels
  • drug ergotamine
  • Serotonin receptor agonist (SRA) and triptans

Some studies suggest that rizatriptan may be the most effective treatment for acute menstrual migraine attacks.

Your doctor might also advise switching to a birth control technique that uses a different hormone dose if you are using hormonal contraception.

Your doctor could advise you to try a treatment, such as a pill, to assist balance your hormone levels if you aren’t using hormonal birth control.

Natural solutions

Some vitamins and supplements have shown promise in preventing migraines that are brought on by hormones.

You should be aware that none of these treatments has been particularly investigated for menstrual migraine:

  • riboflavin, or vitamin B2,
  • Q10 coenzyme
  • magnesium
  • feverfew

Due to potential drug interactions, always consult your doctor before beginning any new therapy, including OTC medications or dietary supplements.


Exercise Consistent exercise may reduce migraines brought on by hormones. Others might discover that exercising exacerbates their symptoms.

An analysis of papers published in 2019 found that aerobic exercise may shorten migraine attacks. An other study raises the possibility that regular exercise has a preventative impact.

To get the most out of your workouts, stay hydrated, eat a high-protein meal before you go, and warm up your muscles.

lowering tension

Migraine attacks can be triggered by stress, even a brief reduction in tension.

A 2014 study hypothesized that migraine attacks would be more likely to occur when stress levels drop from one day to the next. The “let-down” effect is what is meant by this. It may be beneficial to reduce overall tension and deal with it as soon as you become aware of it.

Although it may seem more difficult than it actually is to reduce stress and anxiety, there are practical steps you can take every day. When you wake up in the morning or right before bed, try doing some yoga or meditation.

Hormone levels affecting migraine

Hormone fluctuations can cause migraine episodes. Some medications, such as birth control pills, can also contribute to them.


The National Headache Foundation estimates that 60 percent of women who suffer from migraines also experience menstrual migraine attacks. This can occur anywhere from two days before and three days following the conclusion of the menstrual cycle.

When a person starts menstruating, migraines may start, although they can start at any moment. Through menopause and the reproductive years, your attacks may continue.

Menopause and the perimenopause

During perimenopause, decreasing levels of estrogen and other hormones, such as progesterone, might result in migraine headaches.

Perimenopause typically begins 4 years before menopause, however, it can start up to 8 or 10 years earlier.

Do you have a headache or a migraine?

Compared to regular headaches, migraine episodes are different. On one side of the head, they typically induce intense degrees of throbbing pain. It is possible to have a migraine “with aura” or “without aura.”

One or more of the following symptoms may be present in the 30 minutes prior to your attack if you have migraine with aura:

  • noticing lightening strikes
  • observing strange lines or dots
  • a passing loss of vision
  • The face or hands go numb
  • feeling of tingling in the hands or face
  • Speech changes
  • weakness
  • uncharacteristic alterations in flavour, fragrance, or touch

Other signs of migraine with aura include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to sound or light
  • ache in the back of one or both ears.
  • one or both temples are hurting

Common headaches never start with an aura and usually hurt less than migraines.

There are numerous types of headaches, such as:

  • Headaches due to stress. Tension headaches can be brought on by high amounts of stress and worry. They might also be brought on by strained or tense muscles.
  • Headaches in clusters. These headaches are frequently confused with migraines. Usually affecting one side of the head, they can also involve other signs and symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion.

Migraines and birth control

Both Dr. Raffaelli and Dr. Afridi said that while it looks that using contraceptives may have an impact on migraine attacks, the results are complicated.

According to Dr. Afridi, several methods of contraception respond differently in terms of migraine. Desogestrel may help some people with migraines, according to some research, she continued.

The main component of the “mini-pill,” a progestogen-only contraceptive pill, is desogestrel. For women using oral contraceptives, according to Dr. Raffaelli, “about one-third of patients with migraine experience improvement, one-third experience worsening, and one-third experience no change.”

Oral contraceptives used in a 21-7 cycle, which involves using them for three weeks and then going without for one week, According to Dr. Raffaelli, this most frequently results in migraines getting worse.


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Does the contraceptive pill increase risk of breast cancer?

Does the contraceptive pill increase risk of breast cancer?

Researchers looked into the connection between breast cancer risk and the usage of hormonal contraceptives. They discovered that using progestin-only contraceptives raises breast cancer risk in a manner similar to using both types of contraceptives.

According to them, doctors should consider the advantages and disadvantages of patients using hormonal contraceptives.

Almost 65% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 used some form of contraception between 2017 and 2019, with 14% of them using the pill. The progestin-only pill and the combined pill, which contains both progestin and estrogen-based components. These are the two types of contraceptive tablets available.

Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone, and progestin, or progestogen, is a synthetic version of it. Those who use combination contraceptives have a marginally higher chance of developing breast cancer within 10 years of use, according to a meta-analysis from 1996.

The use of contraceptives that exclusively contain progestin, such as pills, injectables, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs), has increased recently. From 1.9 million in 2010 to 3.3 million in 2020, England saw an increase in prescriptions for medications. However, the effect of progestin-only contraceptives on breast cancer risk has received little attention in the past.

Researchers recently looked into the connection between the usage of hormonal contraceptives and the risk of breast cancer. They discovered that progestin-only contraceptives marginally raise the risk of breast cancer, similar to combination tablets.

What is the contraceptive pill?

The term “the pill” also refers to the oral contraceptive. In the UK, it is a widely used method of birth control. To avoid getting pregnant, take the contraceptive pill orally. The body’s hormones regulate the menstrual cycle (periods). By altering these hormones’ concentrations, the pill stops conception.

You may learn more about the two major forms of contraceptive pills on the NHS website:

  • The combination pill is a medication that combines both oestrogen and progestogen.
  • The little tablet (also called the progestogen-only pill or POP). Just progestogen is present in this tablet.

There are additional hormonal contraceptives on the market. On them and the risk of cancer, there is limited research. You can learn more about the various forms of contraception from your doctor.

Data on hormonal contraceptives use

The study’s authors examined medical information from a primary care database in the UK. They included information from 18,171 women without breast cancer and 9,498 women under 50 who had the disease.

Together, 44% of breast cancer survivors and 39% of non-survivors had a prescription for hormonal contraception. They were for progestin-only preparations around half of the time.

In the end, the researchers discovered that taking combination contraceptive pills elevated the risk of breast cancer by 23%. They also discovered that oral contraceptives that contain solely progestin raised the incidence of breast cancer by 29%.

Injectables, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are examples of other progestin-only formulations that raised the risk of breast cancer by 18%, 28%, and 21%, respectively.

According to the study, breast cancer incidence increased after five years of oral contraceptive usage in women between the ages of 35 and 39, rising from 265 per 100,000 users to 8 per 100,000 in those between 16 and 20.

Oral birth control and breast cancer risk

City of Hope Orange County’s medical director for women’s health and medical oncology, Dr. Irene M. Kang, was not involved in the research.

“Because all medications have dangers and advantages, talking to your doctor about any worries you have is very important. A few adverse consequences of oral contraceptives are blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. In altering the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, research has revealed that oral contraceptives can affect a person’s chance of developing specific malignancies – in some circumstances, such as ovarian and endometrial cancers, downwardly; in other situations, upwardly. Family planning and more controlled menstrual cycles are additional advantages.

Medical oncologist Dr. Lilian Harris, who was not involved in the study, concurred that hormonal contraceptives offer advantages and disadvantages:

For instance, they can aid in the treatment of acne, fibroids, endometriosis, and menstrual pain in addition to protecting against pelvic inflammatory disease. Also, it has been demonstrated that they lower the risk of uterine cancer. On the other hand, any medicine could have hazards. These side effects for oral contraceptives can include higher risk for breast cancer as well as nausea, headaches, and breast discomfort.

Study limitations 

Dr. Kang said that the study’s shortcomings include that it only explains short-term risk associations rather than long-term danger because of the way it was designed.

Not a part of the study, according to Dr. Kristina Shaffer, a breast surgery oncologist at Novant Health Cancer Institute:

“In addition, the study included premenopausal women, a population whose incidence of breast cancer is lower, suggesting that other variables could have been to blame for the study’s findings of a slightly greater risk. While the study did take into account some of the recognised risk factors for breast cancer, it did not take into account family history, genetic predisposition, or history of atypical breast cells, all of which are known to have an impact on the risk of breast cancer.

Implications for contraceptives use

As a non-participant in the study, Dr. Parvin Peddi is a board-certified medical oncologist who serves as the Margie Petersen Breast Center’s director of breast medical oncology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and an associate professor of medical oncology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.

The important takeaway from this study is that despite the perception of a lower risk of perinatal cancer, women do not always need to choose a birth control pill that only contains progesterone. – Doctor Peddie

However, Dr. Peddie emphasised that the absolute risk of breast cancer from any of these drugs is relatively low, and this study should not discourage women from using birth control methods that contain hormones.

Less than 0.5% of women aged 35 to 39 who used these drugs showed a risk of breast cancer, and even fewer women who took them earlier.

For instance, a relative rise of 20% would raise the risk of breast cancer in a 30-year-old woman from 5% to 6%. And for this reason, the study came to the conclusion that there was a modest increase in the risk of breast cancer,” she said.

Dr. Kang also pointed out: “Like all cancers, the risk of developing breast cancer rises with age and, in this case, also with the duration of hormonal contraception use.

It may be more advantageous for you to switch to a hormone-free birth control if you have a higher chance of developing breast cancer. Get treatment from a doctor who specialises in your particular type of cancer if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Self-exams and screenings are crucial because “early detection of breast cancer is one of the most significant factors in successfully treating this disease,” Dr. Kang said.


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Genetic Overlap of Endometriosis & Chronic pain conditions

Genetic Overlap of Endometriosis & Chronic pain conditions

There is presently no cure for the disease endometriosis, which can lead to discomfort and infertility. In order to determine whether endometriosis has a hereditary component, researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom examined DNA samples from hundreds of female participants.

25 teams from around the world worked together with the researchers to collect and analyse a sizable amount of data from female participants with and without endometriosis.

Their results demonstrated a link between endometriosis and other inflammatory disorders in addition to demonstrating the genetic component of this condition. For those who have it, endometriosis can be a crippling ailment, and identifying it can be expensive and challenging.

Scientists from the University of Oxford collaborated with experts from other countries to study the DNA from tens of thousands of female volunteers. In order to understand more about the genetic variables influencing the illness. They found that endometriosis might be related to other inflammatory diseases.

Endometriosis overview

The endometrial lining, the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus, thickens during the menstrual cycle as part of the process. This lining usually sheds throughout the menstrual cycle if a person does not become pregnant.

A tissue that resembles this lining can occasionally proliferate where it shouldn’t, which is what happens with endometriosis. This lining may develop in the pelvic region, around the ovaries, or around the fallopian tubes. It can occasionally even grow around other organs like the intestines or the bladder.

Endometriosis symptoms and indicators might include:

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 10% of menstrual women worldwide who are in their reproductive stage are affected by endometriosis.

The study methods

In order to ascertain whether there is probably a genetic component to endometriosis, the research team from the University of Oxford planned to undertake a genome-wide association study (GWAS). They did a meta-analysis of the data gathered.

The researchers gathered data from more than 60,000 people. People had been diagnosed with endometriosis in collaboration with 25 other teams. They compared it to DNA samples from slightly more than 700,000 people who had been diagnosed with endometriosis.However they not have the disease.

Participants with either European or East Asian heritage provided the samples.

The genetic differences between those who have endometriosis and those who do not were taken into consideration by the researchers when they examined the data. The implications of these variations on “endometrium, blood, and other important tissues” were also taken into account.

In order to determine whether there was a connection between endometriosis and nine other immunological or inflammatory illnesses, researchers also looked at those conditions.

Genetic map of endometriosis

The scientists discovered 42 genetic loci sites of genes or genetic sequences in the genome. They regarded important for developing endometriosis after reviewing the data provided.

This research supports the hypothesis that endometriosis may have a hereditary component, which may be important for the advancement of diagnostic procedures and therapeutic approaches.

The researchers were able to pinpoint a number of genes and hormone regulators that were linked to both endometriosis and other pain problems after further investigating these locations.

The scientists discovered links between a number of medical illnesses and symptoms, including asthma, osteoarthritis, chronic back pain, and migraines.

Senior research scientist at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and the study’s first author, Dr. Nilufer Rahmioglu, spoke about the study.

“We were able to generate a treasure trove of new information about genetically driven endometriosis subtypes. Also, pain experience using different datasets of women with and without endometriosis. Some of which had unprecedented detailed data on surgical findings and pain experience collected using standardised criteria,” said Dr. Rahmioglu.

Links to IBS, migraine, asthma

MNT spoke with Dr. G. Thomas Ruiz, the head of OB/GYN at Memorial Care Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, who was not associated with this study.

This study confirms the significance of a family history of endometriosis. Gynecologists have long known this, and this study confirms their theory, according to Dr. Ruiz.

Dr. Ruiz stated that the study’s huge sample size is a strength and that a lot of useful information can be extrapolated from it. He advises concentrating on the overall concept that “endometriosis and advanced stage endometriosis” have a genetic basis.

Dr. Ruiz continued, “There seems to be a connection between the body’s response to endometriosis and other inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis and asthma.

The results of the study were also discussed by Dr. Steve Vasilev, an integrative gynecologic oncologist who is board-certified, the medical director of integrative gynecologic oncology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, and a professor at Saint John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Vasilev was not involved in the study.

Diagnosis and management

Endometriosis may be the cause of persistent pelvic discomfort, painfully heavy periods, and other menstrual symptoms. Women who are concerned about these symptoms should speak with their gynaecologists.

There is currently no blood test that can validate a doctor’s diagnosis of endometriosis, according to recommendations published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this month.

Endometriosis is generally diagnosed by laparoscopic surgery. But like all operations, this one is a little intrusive and comes with certain dangers.

As a result, these new diagnostic guidelines advise doctors to detect endometriosis by combining patient history with imaging. Diagnostic techniques covered by the recommendations include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transvaginal ultrasound.

Hormone therapy, such as birth control tablets can have efficacy rates of 60-80%, people with endometriosis can manage their symptoms. Nonetheless, surgery may be required to eliminate lesions in those who are attempting to get pregnant.


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Lets Understand Why You Have Migraine During Your Period.

Lets Understand Why You Have Migraine During Your Period.

According to a recent study, migraine attacks in cisgender women who are menstruating may be brought on by an increase in the peptide CGRP, which has been associated with migraines. The study found that this increase correlated with a drop in oestrogen that happens after menstruation.

In spite of the fact that these individuals may still experience migraine attacks, the study did not detect an increase in CGRP in those who used contraceptives or had undergone menopause.

Since many years ago, experts have recognised a link between the beginning of menstruation-related migraine episodes and a decline in oestrogen levels. The exact workings of this relationship, nevertheless, are still unknown.

A recent study discovered that levels of a peptide linked to migraines fluctuate along with hormonal levels during the menstrual cycle. The calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP, is present in greater amounts during the decline in oestrogen that happens at the start of menstruation.

If you get migraine attacks, you might have observed a rise in frequency around the time of your period. This is not rare, and it might also be related to the oestrogen levels dropping prior to menstruation. Hormones can cause migraine during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause.

Menstrual migraine symptoms

The symptoms of a menstrual migraine are comparable to those of other migraine types without an aura or other sensory abnormalities. They typically start 1 or 2 days after your menstruation starts.

Menstrual migraines are frequently divided into two types:

  • Menstrual migraine: This more frequent type can have vision abnormalities as one or more of the aura symptoms. Other periods of the month may have episodes of the migraine.
  • Pure menstrual migraines: They only happen before or after your menstruation starts.

Typical menstrual migraine signs include the following:

  • one side of the head typically experiences excruciating head ache.
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to loud noises and light

Menstrual migraine attacks may be accompanied with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms as bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, and mood swings.

How do hormone levels affect migraine?

Hormone fluctuations can cause migraine episodes. Certain drugs, such as birth control pills, can also contribute to them.


The National Headache Foundation estimates that 60 percent of women who suffer from migraines also experience menstrual migraine attacks. This can occur anywhere from two days before and three days following the conclusion of the menstrual cycle.

When a person starts menstruating, migraines may start, although they can start at any moment. Through menopause and the reproductive years, your attacks may remain.

Menopause and the perimenopause

During perimenopause, decreasing levels of oestrogen and other hormones, such as progesterone, might result in migraine headaches.

Perimenopause typically begins 4 years before to menopause, however it can start as early as 8 to 10 years prior to menopause. Moreover, migraines can occur in those taking hormone replacement therapy.


The first trimester of pregnancy is when pregnancy hormone headaches are most prevalent. This is brought on by an increase in blood volume and hormone levels.

Common headaches are another condition that might affect pregnant ladies. These can be caused by a variety of factors, such as caffeine withdrawal, dehydration, and bad posture.

Is it migraine or a headache?

A migraine episode is distinct from a regular headache. They commonly affect one side of the brain and create intense, throbbing pain. There are two types of migraines: “with aura” and “without aura.”

In the 30 minutes prior to your attack, you might experience one or more of the following signs and symptoms if you have migraine with aura:

  • observing light-flashes
  • noticing odd lines or patches
  • a momentary blindness
  • Hands or face numbness
  • tingling feelings in the face or hands
  • alterations in speech
  • weakness
  • unexpected alterations in flavour, smell, or touch

Aura-related migraine symptoms might also include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • intolerance to sound or light
  • discomfort behind one or both ears.
  • one or both temples are hurting

Typical headaches never start with an aura and usually hurt less than migraines. There are numerous types of headaches, such as:

  • Tension headaches. Tension headaches can be brought on by high amounts of stress and worry. They might also be brought on by strained or tense muscles.
  • Clusters headaches. These headaches are frequently confused with migraines. Usually affecting one side of the head, they can also involve other signs and symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion.

Other causes of migraine attacks

Depending on your age and family history, you may experience menstrual migraines or migraines without a clear cause. You are more vulnerable just because you are a woman.

Obviously, you have little control over your gender, age, or family history, but keeping a migraine diary can be beneficial. This can assist you in locating and averting triggers.

Possible triggers include:

  • bad sleep patterns
  • drinking alcohol
  • consuming tyramine-rich foods like smoked fish, cured or smoked meat and cheese, avocado, dried fruit, bananas, aged food of any type, and chocolate
  • consuming a lot of caffeine-containing beverages
  • exposure to unusual weather patterns or situations
  • stress
  • fatigue
  • fasting
  • exposure to extremely high, intense light levels or noise
  • smelling harsh aromas from chemicals, cleaning supplies, perfume, and automobile exhaust
  • using artificial sweeteners as food
  • ingesting artificial flavours and colours like monosodium glutamate (MSG)

How is migraine diagnosed?

If you have migraine symptoms, your doctor will frequently begin by performing a physical examination and asking you about your family’s medical history to rule out any potential underlying illnesses.

Your doctor may suggest additional testing, such as the following if they believe anything other than hormones is causing your migraine attacks:

  • test of blood
  • an MRI
  • CT scan
  • Spinal tap, lumbar puncture


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