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19 May

Barriers to Maternity Care Are Very Real in the U.S., a New HealthDay/Harris Poll Finds

Many women in the U.S. say it can be difficult to access healthcare during pregnancy -- and they often feel forgotten after giving birth, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll finds.

Health News Results - 496

Screen Pregnant Women for Syphilis, Ob-Gyn Group Advises

All expecting mothers should get a blood test for syphilis three times during pregnancy, new guidance issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends.

The practice advisory calls on doctors to test for syphilis at a pregnant woma...

Even With Weight Gain, Quitting Smoking in Pregnancy Still Best for Health

Women who smoke and become pregnant may worry that the weight gain that comes with quitting might bring its own harms to themselves or their baby.

However, a new study confirms the health benefits of quitting smoking still far exceed any weight-linked concerns.

Weight gain can occur once...

Placenta Plays Role in Gestational Diabetes, Study Suggests

The placenta could be one reason why some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, a new study finds.

A deficit in the way the placenta expresses the gene for a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) appears linked to insulin resistance during pregnancy, researchers reported April 16 in the journal ...

Complications in Pregnancy Linked to Long-Term Health Risks for Women

Women who experience common complications during a pregnancy could face heightened odds for early death for decades to come, new research shows.

In the largest such study to date, "women who experienced any of five major adverse pregnancy outcomes had increased mortality risks that remained elevated more than 40 years later," said a team led by

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 16, 2024
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  • Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy Poses No Risk of Autism, ADHD in Kids

    There's no evidence that acetaminophen use during pregnancy increases the risk of childhood autism, ADHD or intellectual disability, the largest study to date on the subject has concluded.

    The analysis of more than 2.4 million children born in Sweden included siblings not exposed to the drug before birth, ...

    Can Pregnancy Accelerate Aging for Women? Study Says Yes

    Pregnancy transforms women's bodies in many obvious ways, but new research suggests it may also accelerate aging.

    Women who had been pregnant appeared to be biologically older than women who had never carried a child, the genetic analysis revealed.

    Further, more pregnancies meant more aging.

    “Our findings suggest that pregnancy speeds up biological aging, and that these effe...

    Too Many U.S. Women Disrespected, Mistreated During Childbirth

    Childbirth is a harrowing ordeal, and it's being made worse by mistreatment from health care providers during labor, a new study says.

    More than one in every eight women are mistreated during childbirth, researchers found.

    Most commonly, women's requests for help during

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 4, 2024
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  • Too Often, Postpartum Depression Goes Untreated in Black, Hispanic Women

    Massive racial disparities exist in the treatment of pregnancy-related mood disorders in the United States, a new study shows.

    White women suffering from depression or anxiety during or after pregnancy are nearly twice as likely receive treatment as women of color are, ...

    Florida Supreme Court Backs Abortion Ban, But Allows Referendum on Issue

    In two separate rulings on Monday, the Florida Supreme Court backed that state's abortion ban while also allo...

    Big Improvements Seen in Spotting, Treating Mental Health Issues Around Pregnancy

    Expecting or new mothers are much more likely these days to be diagnosed with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, new research shows.

    However, more women are also getting treated for these problems rather than roughing it out, researchers report in A...

    SCOTUS Appears Skeptical of Arguments to Curb Abortion Pill Access

    Following oral arguments presented on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court looked poised to rebuff a legal challenge to women's access to the abortion pill.

    Mifepristone is part of a two-drug regimen now used for the 

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 27, 2024
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  • Use of Medication Abortion Rose After Dobbs Decision

    As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine nationwide access to the abortion pill, a new study finds requests for the medication made outside the traditional health care system surged after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

    There were about 26,000 more self-managed medication abortions than expected, based on trends before the ruling, researchers...

    Common Epilepsy, Migraine Drug Won't Raise Odds for Autism in Offspring

    A common antiseizure drug used to treat epilepsy, migraines and bipolar disorder does not appear to increase the risk of autism for kids exposed to it in the womb, a new study says.

    Topiramate does not contribute to any ri...

    Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Pregnancy Complications

    People with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis tend to have fewer children, and women with this class of illnesses often have higher risks for complications of pregnancy, new research shows.

    Researchers in Finland compared pregnancy and childbirth outcomes for the roughly 8% of Finnish adults who have some form of autoimmune disorder to people wit...

    U.S. Abortion Rates Rose After Dobbs Decision, Led by Medication Abortions

    Following the historic reversal of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, the number of abortions in the United States has risen to more than a million per year, with medication abortions representing nearly two-thirds of those cases.

    The numbers come from a new report...

    Teen Pregnancy May Raise Risk of Early Death

    Teen pregnancy can change the trajectory of one's life, but now a new study suggests it could also shorten that life.

    Canadian researchers report that women who were pregnant as teenagers were more likely to die before they reached the age of 31.

    “The younger the person was when they became pregnant, the greater their risk was of premature death,” study first author

    Study Questions 'Rising' Level of U.S. Maternal Deaths

    For years, U.S. health officials have been sounding the alarm over a steady rise in pregnancy-related deaths among American women, with numbers that appeared to far outstrip those of other wealthy nations.

    However, the statistics behind those trends could be flawed, researchers report in a new study.

    Their detailed reanalysis of government data from 2002 through 2021 found that -- ...

    1 in 6 Gun Deaths for Women Occur In or Around Pregnancy

    A woman's risk of intentional death by firearm rises during and shortly after pregnancy, new research shows.

    About 1 in 6 intentional firearm-related deaths in women of childbearing age occurred during pregnancy or within a year of childbirth, the study found.

    Dr. Naima Joseph, of the Boston Medical Center...

    Drug-Emitting Vaginal Ring Safely Protects Pregnant Women From HIV

    A vaginal ring that emits the antiviral dapivirine has passed safety trials and could shield vulnerable women against HIV infection during pregnancy, a new trial shows.

    "We now have data on the ring's safety during all stages of pregnancy,” said study leader Dr. Felix Mhlanga, a senior lecture...

    First Birth Control Pill Sold Over the Counter Hits Store Shelves Soon

    The first over-the-counter birth control pill will soon be available in U.S. stores and online, the drug's maker plans to announce Monday.

    Sold as Opill, the medication was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last May. Once it is officially for sale, a one-month supply will...

    Could General Anesthesia in Pregnancy Raise Behavioral Issues in Kids?

    Children exposed to anesthesia in the womb when their pregnant mom has surgery are more likely to suffer from behavioral issues later, a new study finds.

    Exposure to general anesthesia before birth was associated with a 31% increased risk of diagnosis with a behavioral disorder as a child, researchers reported Feb. 29 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 4, 2024
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  • CVS, Walgreens to Start Selling Abortion Pill in Some States

    CVS and Walgreens announced Friday that they will start dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone this month.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has certified the nation's two largest pharmacy chains to dispense mifepristone, and they plan to make the medication available first in states where abortion is legal.

    The chains will not dispense the medication by mail, they told news ...

    Number of Abortions Performed Per Month in U.S. Unchanged Since Fall of Roe v. Wade

    The historic overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022 has not had any significant effect on the number of abortions performed each month in the United States, new data shows.

    The #WeCount report tracks abortion rates across the country for the nonprofit Society of Family Planning, a group promoting research on abortion and contraception.

    Mom's Grief During Pregnancy Could Pass Heart Trouble to Her Child

    Babies born to mothers who experience profound grief during pregnancy may be vulnerable to heart failure much later in life, new research suggests.

    "If future studies support our findings, the implementation of early screening for risk factors such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes in children born to mothers who experienced bereavement, as well as the adoption of preventive measures,...

    A Warming World May Mean More Premature Births

    Surging temperatures caused by climate change could lead to more premature births worldwide, a new study reports.

    Researchers found a strong association between exposure to extreme heat during the third trimester of pregnancy and the risk of premature delivery.

    “High night-time temperatures can disrupt circadian rhythms and potentially influence blood pressure, which may be an iss...

    Mental Health Issues a Prime Driver of Deaths for New Moms: Study

    Data from dozens of studies supports the notion that mental health crises are a big factor behind rising rates of maternal deaths during and around pregnancy in the United States.

    “We need to bring this to the attention of the public and policymakers to demand action to address the mental health crisis that is contributing to the demise of mothers in America," said

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 26, 2024
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  • Microplastics Found in Human Placentas

    Microscopic bits of plastic have been found lodged in tissues in much of the human body, and new research shows they are also infiltrating the placenta.

    All samples of placental tissue take from 62 women were shown to contain microplastics, a team at the Uni...

    1 in 3 Trans Masculine People Taking Testosterone Can Still Ovulate: Study

    A third of trans masculine people who have undergone testosterone therapy and have stopped menstruating are still ovulating, a new study suggests.

    That means they remain at risk for an unwanted pregnancy, despite the absence of periods, Dutch researchers concluded.

    It's not clear why ovulation ceases for some transgender people under these circumstances, and why it may continue for ...

    Mercury Levels in Tuna Haven't Budged Since 1971

    Mercury levels in tuna haven't changed since 1971, despite efforts to reduce emissions of the toxic metal into the environment, researchers report.

    Their analysis of nearly 3,000 tuna samples caught in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans between 1971 and 2022 revealed stable mercury concentrations in tuna during those five decades.

    The research team specifically looked at the tr...

    Wrong RSV Shots Given to Some Pregnant Women, Young Kids

    More than two dozen toddlers and at least 128 pregnant women received RSV vaccines they should not have gotten, U.S. health officials say.

    The mixup, reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, follows approval this winter of two vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The virus is p...

    Pregnancy Complications May Harm Child's Heart Health Long-Term

    Two of the most common pregnancy complications for women, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, could jeopardize the future heart health of their children, a new study suggests. 

    Researchers found that the children of women who developed either or both of those conditions during pregnancy showed signs of less-than-ideal heart health before the age of 12. 


    One in 10 Pregnant Women With COVID Will Develop Long COVID

    Nearly 1 in every 10 women infected with COVID during pregnancy will go on to develop long COVID, a new study says.

    A little more than 9% of pregnant women developed long COVID six or more months after their initial infection, according to findings presented Monday at a meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in National Harbor, Md.

    The most common symptoms included fatig...

    Fast Food Wrappings May Pass on  Toxic Chemicals to Pregnant Women

    Think twice if you're pregnant and craving a packaged pastry or a take-out burger and shake.

    That indulgence can do more than cause unwanted weight gain. A new study shows that phthalates, chemicals associated with plastics, can shed from packaging and even from plastic gloves worn by food handlers. 

    If consumed during pregnancy, those chemicals can harm the fetus, researchers ...

    Plastics Chemicals Tied to Preemie Births Add Billions in Medical Costs

    Preterm births linked to “hormone-disruptor” chemicals in plastics cost the U.S. health care system billions of dollars, a new study claims.

    Daily exposure to phthalates -- chemicals used to manufacture plastics -- might be tied to nearly 56,000 preterm births in the United States in 2018, researchers report.

    Estimated medical costs resulting from those early births run from&nbs...

    More Evidence COVID Shot in Pregnancy Is Safe, Healthy for Babies

    The COVID-19 vaccine given to pregnant women does no harm to their unborn babies, and can actually lower the risk of serious complications in newborns, a new study finds.

    Babies born to women who received the COVID vaccine had half the death rate of those born to unvaccinated moms, according to findings published Feb. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


    Ultrasound Could Spot Placenta Issues Tied to Low Birth Weight

    Using ultrasound to measure blood flow in the placenta and the fetus could help spot issues tied to low birth weight, researchers report.

    As the Dutch investigators explained, about 10% of fetuses are determined to be "small for gestational age" after ultrasound examination in the womb.

    Some underweight newborns do just fine, but others may have a malfunctioning placenta, and that c...

    What Works Best to Help Pregnant Women Ease Off Opioids?

    There's one treatment for pregnant women addicted to opioids that's safer for their unborn child, a new study reports.

    Buprenorphine is associated with a slightly lower risk of birth defects overall compared to methadone, according to findings published recently in the journal JAMA Internal Medici...

    Six Million U.S. Women Became Pregnant Due to Rape, Coercion in Their Lifetimes: Study

    Becoming pregnant as a result of sexual violence is disturbingly common in the United States, a new study reveals.

    Nearly 6 million U.S. women have become pregnant as a result of rape or sexual coercion, researchers reported recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

    This equates t...

    FDA Approval of Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception Has Slashed ER Visits

    U.S. approval of over-the-counter emergency contraception like “Plan B” has had an unintended but positive side effect for America's hospitals, a new study shows.

    Emergency room visits related to “morning-after” contraception plummeted after the pills became easily available to adults in 2006, according to the report published Jan. 24 in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 30, 2024
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  • Flame Retardant Chemicals Show Links to Preterm Birth

    Pregnant women exposed to flame-retardant chemicals could face an increased risk of premature birth, a new study warns.

    Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are commonly used as flame retardants in products like furniture, baby items, electronics, clothes and building materials, researchers said. The chemicals also make plastics more flexible.

    Manufacturers started using OPEs after flame r...

    High-Tech Ultrasound Might Predict Risk for Premature Delivery

    Ultrasound scans that pick up "microstructural" changes in a woman's cervix could point to her having a higher risk for preterm birth, researchers report.

    The scans were done as early as week 23 of pregnancy and could help assess risks for "preemie" delivery, even among first-time moms.

    Between 10% and 15% of births occur before term.

    “Today, clinicians wait for signs and sy...

    Nearly 65,000 Pregnancies From Rape Have Happened in States With Abortion Bans: Study

    THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2024 (HealthDayNews) -- In the 14 states with abortion bans, there have been nearly 65,000 pregnancies resulting from rape during the time since those bans went into place, a new study estimates.

    To arrive at that troubling number, researchers turned to data from federal surveys on crime and sexual violence. Their findings were published Jan. 24 in the journal

    Women's Anxiety Rose in States Affected by Fall of Roe v. Wade

    Women are suffering more anxiety and depression in states that banned abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a new study shows.

    The court's Dobbs decision in June 2022 triggered laws banning abortion in 13 states.

    In the six months after, symptoms of anxiety and depression increased among women living in those states, particularly those ages 18 to 45, researchers r...

    COVID In Pregnancy Triples Baby's Odds for Respiratory Illness

    Babies born to COVID-infected mothers have triple the risk of developing a breathing disorder that normally affects preemies, a new study shows.

    Researchers found that exposure to the coronavirus while in the womb increased a newborn's risk of respiratory distress syndrome by sparking an “inflammatory cascade” in the infants that affected their breathing.

    “We found unusually h...

    Study Links Use of Acetaminophen in Pregnancy With Child Behavioral Issues

    Expecting moms who often turn to acetaminophen for their aches and pains are more likely to wind up with kids who have behavioral issues, a new study warns.

    Children between the ages of 2 and 4 were more likely to have attention and behavioral problems if their mothers frequently used acetaminophen during pregnancy, researchers found.

    “The kinds of behaviors the caregivers reporte...

    Infant Deaths Higher in States Where Abortion is Banned: Report

    Abortion bans are intended to preserve the lives of children, proponents say, but a new study has found infants are more likely to die in the states with the most restrictive laws.

    States with the tightest abortion laws had a 16% increased infant mortality rate from 2014 to 2018, compared to the states with the least restrictions on abortion, researchers said.

    “Given the current c...

    Mom's Opioid Use in Pregnancy Raises Child's Asthma, Eczema Risk

    Fetal exposure to opioids may change a baby's immune system, triggering a rise in risks for eczema and asthma through early childhood, new research shows.

    Children born to women who used opioids during pregnancy had much higher rates of eczema, as well as conditions such as "diaper rash," during infancy, Australian researchers report.

    These children also went on to have significantl...

    Hot, Humid Days During Pregnancy Might Affect a Child's Health

    Hot or humid days during pregnancy could influence the future heart health of your unborn child, a new study finds.

    The children of expecting moms exposed to high humidity tended to have a steeper increase in blood pressure through ages 3 to 10, researchers reported Jan. 8 in the journal

    Pregnancy-Linked Depression Tied to Shorter Life Spans for Women

    Women are far more likely to suffer an early death if they develop depression during or after pregnancy, a new Swedish study has found.

    Women who developed what's known as "perinatal" depression were generally twice as likely to die as women who didn't experience the mood disorder, researchers reported Jan. 10 in the BMJ.

    They also are six times more likely to commit suicid...

    Pregnancy-Linked Depression Could Have Links to Autoimmune Diseases

    Could the immune system play a role in why some women become depressed during and after a pregnancy?

    Swedish researchers have uncovered a "bidirectional relationship" between pregnancy-linked depression and autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.

    In other words, women who experienced depression specific to a pregnancy were mo...

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