News: Women's Health Monthly

May 2019

Michelle Berlin portrait

When it comes to health, men and women should not be treated equal

Michelle Berlin, M.D., director of the OHSU Center for Women's Health, speaks out on women's differences, from their disease risks, to their symptoms, to what treatments work best. In a world rightfully striving for gender equality, there should be one exception: health. Read more

Mythbusters: our experts tackle six women's health myths

Do periods really cause migraines? Is hormone therapy risky? In honor of National Women's Health week, we asked our expert providers to confirm or bust a few women's health myths that we hear in our clinic or in the media. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Florence Nightingale

We've all heard of Florence Nightingale. She founded the first nursing school in London in 1860 and millions of nurses have followed in her footsteps. We've dug up a few little known roles Nightingale played in her life to share with you. Read more

April 2019

green smoothie splatters

Fad diets: Are they sustainable?

Right now everyone's talking about keto and Whole30, but remember the master cleanse? Atkins? Every time, it seems like this diet is the one that will finally mean success. Find out what our expert dietitian has to say about going on a diet. Read more

Fertility after cancer

Ten percent of cancer cases occur in young adults and children. These patients and their families are suddenly faced with an issue they may not even have thought about yet –whether they want to have children in the future. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Dorothy Height

This month we're inspired by Dorothy Height. A lifelong activist, Height advised U.S. presidents on issues including African American rights, the status of women, reproductive freedom, and employment opportunities for disabled people. Read more

March 2019

woman sitting at computer desk in open office setting

Have a desk job?

Exercise may not make up for all that sitting. According to Dr. Ryan Norton, "Compared to forty years ago, the main difference in our lifestyles is not that we're exercising less. It's that we're moving less." Read more

Severe menstrual pain is NOT normal

You've probably heard that pain with your period is part of being a woman. It's not true. Painful periods that impact your daily life could be a sign of endometriosis. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Marie Equi, M.D.

A rebellious soul. A real friend of the have-nots. Dr. Marie Equi's fiery commitment to justice make her one of Oregon's most impressive historical figures. Read more

February 2019

Large pink button saying Mended Hearts on the Hill

Women cardiac survivors support each other

A woman in the U.S. dies of heart disease every 80 seconds—there's nothing more deadly. For survivors, peer support has an incredible impact. OHSU's Mended Hearts is the only woman-centered cardiac survivorship group in the area. Read more

A survivor's story: Geri Randles

Geri Randles takes healthy living seriously. A licensed massage therapist, she eats well and exercises regularly. "I'm a woman, doing everything right," Randles says. "Heart disease wasn't supposed to happen to me." Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Beatrice Gilmore, R.N.

A member of the class of 1955, Beatrice Gilmore was the first African American to graduate from OHSU's School of Nursing, in any program. Read more

January 2019

woman in coat walks down sidewalk

Do I still need my period?

If you're in your forties, this one's for you. Maybe you aren't having kids or you've had them already. Menopause is still a few years off. If you're like other women in this stage of life, you wonder about your period. What's the point? Do you still need it? Read more

Breast cancer screening: Is 50 the new 40?

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Antonia Novello, M.D.

Antonia Novello, M.D., was both the first woman and the first Hispanic to serve as U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Novello inspires us because she brought empathy to her work, using her powerful position to support the health of women and children. Read more

December 2018

woman sits on sidewalk while car races by

Dealing with anxiety

"We have a tendency to believe our thoughts without question. We don't always stop to think if they're actually true." Catherine Polan Orzech, M.A., L.M.F.T., says this is one of the biggest problems women face in dealing with anxiety. Read more

Ditch your bedtime: how early bedtime makes insomnia worse

Before you try one more thing to tackle insomnia, it's time to trade in your bedtime for a wake up time. Why? Because forcing yourself to go to bed at a certain time every night can actually make insomnia worse. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Esther Pohl Lovejoy, M.D.

Despite receiving almost no formal early education, Esther Pohl Lovejoy became just the second woman to earn a medical degree from the University of Oregon's medical school. Read more

November 2018

pile of sugar on a table

Prediabetes is about prevention

The truth about prediabetes is that you may have it and not even know. The CDC says that's true for 90 percent of people who have prediabetes. Read more

Diabetes in pregnancy: You're not alone

Having diabetes is a full-time job. Couple that with the stresses of pregnancy, and the challenge can be overwhelming. That's why Amy Valent, D.O., is launching a therapy group for these women. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Dr. Mary E. Walker

To this day the Medal of Honor, the highest honor that can be given to recognize U.S. military service, has only been awarded to one woman. That woman was Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Read more

October 2018

knitted pink ribbon and pink heart

 The link between breast cancer and heart disease

You may have heard that breast cancer treatments increase the risk of heart disease. So where's the link? We asked oncologists at OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute. Read more 

OHSU researchers tackle breast cancer with Circle of Giving support 

Recent Circle of Giving grantees are making strides towards improving both diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Read more 

Women Who Inspire Us: Rose Kushner 

Rose Kushner's advocacy forever changed how we care for breast cancer patients in the U.S. Read more

September 2018

Colorful rendering of genes

Know your risk: Researchers use genetics to find ovarian cancer

Researchers are going well beyond trying to find new treatments for ovarian cancer. They are finding new ways to detect the disease early. Read more

Gear up for flu season

Experts are now learning that getting vaccinated year after year offers increased protection from the flu over time. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Sherie Hildreth

When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004, Sherie Hildreth was determined to fight. Not only for herself, but for all women facing ovarian cancer. Read more

August 2018

Mother breastfeeds infant

 What you need to know about your milk supply

For women around the world, breastfeeding is an important way to feed their babies. But for those who struggle with low supply, the topic of breastfeeding is fraught with emotion. Read more

Women's health research means better care for women

From contraception to menopause to cancer, OHSU Women's Health Research Unit studies are improving women's health care every day. Find out how you can get involved. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Maya Angelou

A poet, singer, autobiographer, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou inspires us with both the beauty and the call to action of her words. Read more

July 2018

woman meets with doctor

Health rumorsbusted!

We've heard more than a few women's health rumors in our clinics and in the press. Is there such a thing as work-life balance? How normal is period pain? Our experts to weigh in. Read more

Well-woman visits: Not your mom's "annual"

The days of the annual pelvic exam are over, but you should still see your primary care provider each year. Here's why you should schedule a well-woman visit. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.

Last month OHSU awarded 146 M.D. degrees. As these newly minted doctors, many of them women, head out into the world, we're taking inspiration from the first female M.D.—Elizabeth Blackwell. Read more

Read the full newsletter

June 2018

woman holding her stomach

What you need to know about IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome affects up to 1 in 5 of us, and young women are most likely to experience it. Here's what you need to know about IBS and how to manage it. Read more

Funding the future of women's health

Last month our Circle of Giving invested in promising new women's health research in the area of Alzheimer's disease. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Women in Science

In 2011, a group of OHSU women joined together to tackle the biases and gender discrimination women in science face. Their effort is still going strong. Read more

Read the full newsletter

May 2018

close up of pelvis in pink and green

Flipping the Script: Women are NOT small men

For most of medical history, new medicines and treatments were studied only in men. In the last few decades, that script has finally started to flip. Read more

Pregnancy care for women with heart conditions

With the right pre-pregnancy planning and pregnancy care, most women with heart conditions or heart disease have safe, successful pregnancies. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Alyson McGregor, M.D.

"An overwhelming amount of evidence has come to light that shows us just how different men and women are in every way," says Dr. McGregor. Read more

Read the full newsletter

April 2018

woman closes eyes during massage

Self-care for the caregiver

Up to 75 percent of non-professional caregivers are women. And while the experience builds strength and resilience, it may also take a serious toll on their health. Read more

The whole-health approach of palliative care

Studies show that those who receive palliative care have higher quality of life and lower rates of depression. Why? Because your personal goals are at the heart of palliative care. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Shoshana Ungerleider, M.D.

Early in her training, Dr. Ungerleider was treating a man who had just months to live. She decided to ask him what he wanted in the time he had left. His answer changed the way she works with patients. Read more

Read the full newsletter

March 2018

Woman in sweater touches stomach

Feed your gut

You have more than 1,000 types of bacteria living in your gut, helping you digest your food and stay healthy. But are you making sure they are strong and ready to do their best work? Read more

You can achieve your optimal health

Women's health—your health—matters. From research and education to clinical care and events, the unique needs and experiences of women are at the center of what we do. Read more

Women Who Inspire Us: Roma Guy

A social justice activist and policy leader, Roma Guy is an inspiration. Her work had an important focus on public health. Read more

Read the full newsletter

February 2018

stethoscope in heart shape

Protect your heart

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

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

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Heart disease survivors

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

Read the full newsletter

January 2018

Newborn baby in water

 Water birth with OHSU nurse-midwives

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

Fitting in exercise: every minute counts

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Burr Leonard

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

Read the full newsletter

December 2017

woman trying to sleep

Sleep Better: Effective therapy for insomnia 

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

Take back control of your bladder 

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Speaking out about incontinence  

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

November 2017

Acupuncture needles in arm

Acupuncture at the Center

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

Pregnant? Don't skip the flu vaccine

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Dr. Dorothy Horstmann

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

October 2017

close up of brown pill

Is hormone therapy for menopause symptoms right for you?

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

Breast cancer screening: Is 50 the new 40?

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Ina May Gaskin

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

September 2017

Woman stretching in bed

The Benefits of a Healthy Sex Life

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

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

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

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

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

August 2017

Woman using laptop

Health Rumors – Confirmed or Busted!

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

Returning to Work: the Breastfeeding Challenge

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Barb Neff

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

July 2017

how to choose contraception ohsu

Contraception: How to choose

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

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 101

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Melinda Gates

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

June 2017

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

Expanding Options for Women: Women's Health Research Unit

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

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

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

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

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

May 2017

women make most decisions about health care for their family

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

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

Nutrients for Life

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

Women Who Inspire Us: Marion Nestle

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

April 2017

Woman in dark room

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

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

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

March 2017

Mom and son in Ethiopia, photo by Joni Kabana

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

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

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

February 2017

Woman eating salad and working

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

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

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

January 2017

Woman lifting weights

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

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

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

December 2016

HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon

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

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

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

November 2016

woman hiking

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

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

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

October 2016

woman camping

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

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

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

September 2016

Woman rides bike

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

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

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

July 2016


Prep for the Test – and Save Your Life

Planning a colonoscopy can feel awkward, yet it is well-worth having because colorectal cancers can be prevented and even cured quickly IF detected early. Read more

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

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

June 2016

woman in sunhat

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

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

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

May 2016

collage of women's headshots

Your best self at any age
Do you know what steps you can take to be your best self at any age? There's no better time than now for a refresher course on the "regular" stuff and a reminder that we have resources to help you answer these questions and manage your own health. Read more

One Key Question®
Soon women of reproductive age in Oregon may start hearing their healthcare provider ask a seemingly simple question: would you like to become pregnant in the next year? The One Key Question® Initiative (OKQ) is the Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health's groundbreaking, yet simple, solution to making Oregon women and families healthier and ensures that more pregnancies are wanted, planned, and as healthy as possible. Learn more

April 2016

Paper Illustration of people drinking alcohol

Women and alcohol: Risks, benefits and why we're different
Women are catching up to men when it comes to alcohol consumption –and according to most experts, this isn't a gender gap we want to close. Kathleen Grant, Ph.D., an expert on alcohol and the brain, takes us through a closer look at what makes women more vulnerable to some of the dangerous effects of drinking. Read more

9 Tips for Better Eye Care – for Women
Women are at higher risk than men for most eye disease that cause vision loss. Help protect your sight with these tips from the experts at Casey Eye Institute. Read more

March 2016

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

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

February 2016

Women exercising at the gym
Be heart healthy. Know your numbers.
Cholesterol, body mass index and blood pressure are a few of the key indicators of your risk for heart disease. By knowing your numbers, you can make lifestyle changes that can help you be heart healthy. The numbers

Women's heart attacks are different from men's. What you need to know.
According to the American Heart Association, a woman's heart attack may have different underlying causes, symptoms and outcomes compared to men. Also, risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes increase heart attack risk in women more severely than in men. Read more

January 2016

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