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Q&A with NICHD Acting Director Catherine Spong, M.D.
Dr. Cathy Spong became NICHD’s acting director on October 1, 2015. Here she shares her plans for the year and her thoughts on what makes NICHD so unique.


NIH invests $46 million in technologies to monitor placental health
The National Institutes of Health has announced $46 million in research awards for the Human Placenta Project, an initiative to revolutionize understanding of the placenta. The awards will fund technology development and testing to assess placental function throughout pregnancy, with the ultimate goal of improving pregnancy outcomes and lifelong health.


Standard treatment better than proposed alternative for unexplained infertility
Treatment with clomiphene, a standard therapy for couples with unexplained infertility, results in more live births than treatment with a potential alternative, letrozole, according to a study of more than 900 couples conducted by a National Institutes of Health research network.


Obese Young Women Less Likely to Use Birth Control
Obese young women may be less likely to use birth control than their normal-weight peers, placing them at greater risk for unintended pregnancy, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Pelvic pain may be common among reproductive-age women, NIH study finds
A high proportion of reproductive-age women may be experiencing pelvic pain that goes untreated, according to a study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.


Exploring Population Dynamics
NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch supports research on a range of topics, including the factors that make populations rise and fall, such as fertility and mortality. We checked in with branch chief Rebecca Clark to learn more about the branch’s work.


Eating the placenta after birth carries no health benefits, new study finds
It may be trendy, but a new study has concluded there are no benefits to eating the placenta. In this NICHD podcast, the study author explains the rationale behind this controversial practice and describes what the science has found.


Researchers design placenta-on-a-chip to better understand pregnancy
National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers and their colleagues have developed a “placenta-on-a-chip” to study the inner workings of the human placenta and its role in pregnancy.


Pelvic Floor Disorders: A Q&A with Dr. Susan Meikle
Many patients with pelvic floor disorders won’t tell their health care provider because they are embarrassed or think their provider can’t help. In this Q&A, gynecologist Dr. Susan Meikle says that progress is being made in treating pelvic floor disorders, and she encourages people to talk to their doctors.


NICHD Launches Pinterest Site to Share Health Information with the Public
NICHD is now on Pinterest. With about one in four American adults using Pinterest to access and share information, this new page is an opportunity to effectively communicate with the public about NICHD’s important research and educational initiatives.


Promoting the Health of Women
NICHD scientists study several common, sometimes serious conditions to improve the health of women.


2014 Annual Report of the Division of Intramural Research
NICHD’s Division of Intramural Research releases its 2014 annual report with progress updates from each program and laboratory.


Annual Report Highlights Population Health Research Findings
In its 2014 annual report, NICHD’s Division of Intramural Population Health Research takes stock of research progress and defines future directions.


In Search of Answers for Those Struggling With Infertility
During National Infertility Awareness Week 2015, Dr. Alan Guttmacher explores the latest research in an article in the Huffington Post.


Research Round-up: Endometriosis
​​NICHD supports research on this common gynecologic disease to find effective methods for diagnosis and treatment.


Q&A with Human Placenta Project Coordinator David Weinberg
Dr. Weinberg answers questions about a new initiative that aims to revolutionize our understanding of the placenta.


NIH announces $41.5 million in funding for the Human Placenta Project
The National Institutes of Health has dedicated $41.5 million for an initiative to understand and monitor the development of the human placenta during pregnancy. The funding will support the development of new technologies to assess the health of the placenta as it grows and matures, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of mothers and children.


Stillbirth may increase women’s long term risk for depression
Women who deliver a stillbirth—but who have no history of depression—may be at a higher risk for long-lasting depression, conclude researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The depression may last beyond the six months most people require to recover from a major loss and persist for as long as 36 months.


Study Reaffirms Safety of Anti-HIV Drugs During Pregnancy
The antiretroviral drugs used to keep HIV at bay are an unqualified success at preventing the spread of the virus from mother to child. The drugs are not only essential for maintaining the health of a pregnant woman with HIV, they have also nearly eliminated the transmission of HIV to her baby. Among U.S. women, the likelihood of a mother passing the virus on to her child is now less than 1%.


Obese women need higher or continuous dose for oral contraceptive success
Birth control pills are less effective for obese women. Studies have shown that obesity brings with it hormonal changes that can reduce the pill’s effectiveness.
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