Women's Health Updates — July 2019
Learn about recent developments in women's health as well as SWHR's activities that promote the study of sex differences and serve our mission to eliminate imbalances in care for women through science, policy, and education.
Migraine is a disabling neurological disease that requires patients and health care providers to work together to manage symptoms that can cause significant disruption to patients’ lives.

To assist people with migraine in navigating their care, SWHR created a Migraine Patient Toolkit with useful information about migraine diagnosis and treatment options, as well as tips on interacting with health care providers and health insurance companies to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Women’s health is viewed as a relatively young and niche area — yet this area serves half of the world’s population. SWHR President and CEO Dr. Amy M. Miller reflects on the emergence of personalized medicine and expresses her hope that the women's health movement will experience this same success. Read more on SWHR's blog.
Did you miss our annual awards dinner? Watch to hear remarks from SWHR CEO Dr. Miller on the state of women's health and learn about our 2019 honorees: Dr. Carolyn Clancy of the Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Cen Xu of Amgen, and Mr. John J. Seng, former SWHR Board Chair. Watch now.
SWHR is pleased to welcome Dr. Lucy Erickson to our team. Before joining SWHR, she was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellow at the National Science Foundation. Learn more about Dr. Erickson's experience and her role at SWHR.
Women with heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, and similar symptoms are often unaware these experiences are not normal. In fact, they are commonly caused by conditions such as uterine fibroids. Learn more about this disease during Fibroids Awareness Month.
Pregnant and nursing women are excluded from most clinical drug studies over fears of possible harms. But the lack of studies about medication safety during lactation means there is shockingly little solid evidence on how drugs may affect breast milk and nursing infants. Filling these research gaps is crucial for the health and well-being of both infants and mothers, who may need to take antidepressants, birth control or other medications. Learn more in this New York Times article.
Female rodents are underrepresented in research, exacerbating the knowledge gap between women's and men's health. Scientists have long perceived female rats as too hormonal — even though hormones play a key role in women's health and studies show male rats can be equally affected by hormones. Read more in Science News.
Last month the FDA approved a new injectable drug for women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, defined as a distressing loss of interest in sex. The treatment has rekindled debate over the limits of medicine when it comes to human sexuality, STAT reports .
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute conducts studies focused on answering questions important to patients, such as comparing the effectiveness of different clinical options for a wide range of health conditions, like uterine fibroids and migraine. Learn how PCORI is advancing women’s health outcomes.
SWHR seeks to ensure that methods used to determine the value of new drugs, medical tests, and other health care innovations are appropriately designed and implemented to achieve optimal health outcomes for women. As such, SWHR recently submitted recommendations to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review on the 2020 update to its value assessment framework. Read the letter and learn more about ICER .
NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins is using his influence to attempt to address gender inequity in the scientific community. He has spoken out against "manels" (panels composed solely of men) and even vowed to boycott events that do not include a diverse range of speakers. Learn more.
Over a year after FDA approval of the first drugs designed specifically to prevent migraine attacks, these medications are difficult to access for many people with migraine. Prior authorizations, high prices, and the end of financial assistance programs are all obstacles that patients face in accessing these preventative migraine medications, TIME reports .
Join the White Dress Project for its fourth annual fundraising dinner, A Night in White, on July 13. The nonprofit is breaking the silence around an epidemic too big to ignore: the estimated 26 million women between the ages of 15 and 50 with uterine fibroids. The White Dress Project will honor advocates, physicians, and community servants who have dedicated their lives to improving women's health and wellness.

In this free webinar on July 30, join a patient advocate, an attorney, and a disability and productivity consultant in examining the burdens of migraine disease in the workplace and ways to reduce those burdens. Register now.
Deadline to submit to this Biology of Sex Differences special collection is December 1, 2019. Submit your work today.