The Division of Intramural Research provides fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems through basic, clinical, and population-based research.
NICHD issues News Releases and Media Advisories to the news media. Spotlight and Research Feature articles explain NICHD research findings and public health issues to the general public. An Item of Interest is a short announcement of relevant information, such as a notable staff change.
Science Update: Uterine fibroids may slightly increase fetal size but not enough to interfere with birth process, NIH study suggests
Uterine fibroids during pregnancy do not appear to result in undersized newborns, suggests a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. The finding allays concerns from previous studies that fibroids might result in smaller-than-normal infants. In fact, the study found that infants born to mothers with fibroids had slightly larger head, arm and thigh circumferences, though not to the extent that they would interfere with birth. The researchers also confirmed prior results suggesting a link between fibroids and increased risk for preterm birth.
Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2022
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2022.
Science Update: NIH scientists appear to decipher how flu viruses enter cells
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health believe they have discovered how influenza viruses open a hole in the cell membrane to inject genetic material into the cell. The findings may inform the development of new technologies to combat infectious microbes and to insert medications, genes, and proteins into cells to treat diseases.
Science Update: Common chemical may promote fibroid growth, small NIH-funded study suggests
Exposure to a chemical found in a wide variety of consumer products may trigger the growth of uterine fibroid cells and delay the rate at which they die, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study provides a potential explanation for why women exposed to industrial chemicals known as phthalates—found in personal care products, food packaging, and medical products—have higher rates of fibroid tumors than other women. The findings may also inform future strategies to prevent or treat fibroids.
Science Update: Study identifies potential contributor to racial disparities in uterine fibroid disease
Patterns of gene expression—the degree to which genes are turned on or off—in uterine muscle tissue may help explain why fibroids disproportionately affect Black women, suggests a study supported by NICHD. Understanding the factors that contribute to racial disparities in uterine fibroid disease can inform treatment and prevention approaches.
Science Update: NIH-funded researchers develop prototype genetic test to predict women’s risk for fibroids
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a prototype genetic test with the potential to predict the development and eventual severity of uterine fibroids—benign, but sometimes painful and debilitating tumors of the uterus. The test could be used to identify fibroid cases early and to better understand how they develop and how to treat them.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2021
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2021.
Science Update: Fibroid risk associated with ancestry among Black and white women, NIH-funded study suggests
Among American Black and white women, the risk and extent of fibroids—benign tumors of the uterus—are associated with ancestry to distinct regions and populations, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The study provides information that may lead to insights on the origins and treatments for these common tumors.
Spotlight: Selected NICHD Research Advances of 2020
Read about NICHD’s research findings and activities from 2020.
Spotlight: Boosting women’s health by supporting menstruation research
NICHD has supported gynecologic and reproductive health research for decades. Learn more about its leading role in menstruation research.
Science Update: Drug-containing nanoparticles reduce size of fibroid tumors in mice
In a study of mice, NIH-funded researchers have developed a prototype technique for shrinking uterine fibroids—sometimes painful, noncancerous tumors that form in the uterus. The method involves encasing a tumor-killing drug in nano-sized spheres called liposomes and delivering them directly to the fibroids through the bloodstream. The findings set the stage for studies to determine if the method is safe and effective for treating fibroids in people.
Release: NIH scientists call attention to the impact of opioids on women and children
In an editorial, Diana W. Bianchi, M.D., NICHD Director and Matthew W. Gillman, M.D., S.M., emphasize that women and children bear a substantial burden of the U.S. opioid epidemic and that coordinated, long-term research is essential to filling knowledge gaps about how opioids affect women and children.
Podcast: Menstruation as a Diagnostic Tool for Women’s Health
Dr. Candace Tingen with NICHD’s Gynecological Health and Disease Branch speaks about the possibilities of tapping a woman’s menstrual cycle for signs of disease. Listen to our latest podcast.
Item of Interest: NICHD announces gynecologic health and disease research themes and scientific vision
The Gynecologic Health and Disease Branch recently published its scientific vision. The document summarizes its research themes, which provide direction for future research.
Focus on Women’s Health Research
NICHD research aims to improve understanding of diseases and conditions that affect women.
Getting to Know the New NICHD Director
NICHD Director Dr. Diana Bianchi shares some thoughts about joining NICHD.
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.
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 Po
May Wrap-Up: Promoting Women’s Health
Throughout May, the NICHD highlighted important information about women’s health, particularly women’s health research. These efforts coincided in part with National Women’s Health Week, from May 11 to 17.