The Weekly Rundown 15th - 22nd October
Welcome to #theweeklyrundown where we give you this week's summary of relevant news covering gynaecological health.
Each week, we aim to keep you up-to-date on the latest global trends, breakthroughs and events centering on women's healthcare.
If we missed anything, please feel free to comment below with a link!
Earlier this week, Lena Dunham, an advocate and voice for people living with endometriosis had her left ovary removed as it was “encased in scar tissue & fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerve”. This is following a decision to have a hysterectomy 12 months prior due to her endometriosis.
“A big lesson I’ve learned in all of this is that health, like most stuff, isn’t linear – things improve and things falter,” she wrote in the caption on Instagram.
This has encouraged many other women to share their stories within the thread, many whom have struggled with a series of unsuccessful treatment options.
One commenter, @robinnerenkin. said: “Lena. I am 'living' with a life threatning illnes. I cant tell you how strange and wonderful it is to hear honest words about being sick. My story is a milkyway of pain and misunderstanding with sparkles of projections of loss and tolerence made up as compassion- because that is 'the way it should be'. It IS humiliating. I join you.”
Brit + Co
Brit+Co spoke to two women with endometriosis who use medicinal marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. This choice was made after years of trial and error, searching for a treatment plan that worked for them.
Now the two are working to fight the stigma that is attached to medicinal marijuana users:
“My endo is awful right now but I can’t bring myself to have a surgery until my baby isn’t breastfeeding anymore – and we get insurance,” says Krista. “Without insurance I’m stuck in pain.” Besides the laparoscopic surgery and hormone injections Krista says she tried as a teen, she’s been given Tramadol (an opioid) and Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory). “I get very irritable when I take them, which isn’t a good alternative to pain.Cannabis is a new option in my state but my doctor isn’t allowed to issue recommendations because the clinic he works for won’t allow it. So I have to pay for a different visit elsewhere.”
Both women found that cannabis brought them the most relief with the fewest side effects.
Secondary analysis of results from a French trial investigating the effects of surgical management of colorectal endometriosis found that the intervention effectively improved postoperative fertility rates, including the ability to conceive naturally. The study is one of the first to evaluate the impact of first-line surgery on pregnancy rates in this population.
First-line assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the recommended strategy for improving pregnancy rates in women with endometriosis, but is a subject of controversy in the gynecological community due to a lack of high-quality data comparing it to surgical management. In addition, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) reported in 2014 that there was no evidence that surgical management of deep endometriosis would improve pregnancy rates prior to ART.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is an effective, non-surgical method used to treat uterine fibroids in the fertile women population. It is performed with the help of uterine fibroid embolization agents, delivered to the tumor by micro-catheters. The embolization agents block the arteries supplying blood to the tumor and force them to shrink.
The increased awareness about the uterine fibroids amongst women and popularity of minimally invasive procedure will drive the global market for uterine fibroid embolization agents. In addition, the fact that UFE allows woman to preserve their uterus, otherwise not possible with full or even partial hysterectomy will further drive the market.