Spotlight on Women's Health
Being a woman can be crucial to health and access to medical care. In many parts of the world, women are for example denied the right to contraception and safe abortion. To some extent, the biological sex also affects the types of illnesses we suffer from – as well as what treatments that are most effective. On this webpage we have collected a number of popular science articles on the topic of women's health.
“Unwarranted fears should not be an obstacle to treatment”
Symptoms of menopause can be treated with hormonal drugs, but since the early 2000s, their use has decreased drastically. According to Angelica Lindén Hirschberg, the low levels seen today indicate an unnecessary under-treatment.
Focus on birth injuries
Most women will sustain some injury to the genital area when giving birth; however, for some of them the problems become permanent. Helena Lindgren is researching the role of the midwife and whether better methods could reduce the risk of vaginal tearing.
Popular pill with doubtful reputation
Contraceptive pills have been around for 60 years, and yet there is little research on how they impacts women’s quality of life. Some women get mood swings, others receive help reducing menstrual cramps.
How menstruation affects women's health
At best it’s only messy. At worst, it's a greatly limiting factor, where severe pain or heavy bleeding puts restrictions on your work and social life.
Safe abortion saves women’s lives
The Swedish Abortion Act came into force in 1974, giving women the right to decide for themselves whether they wanted to end a pregnancy in the first eighteen weeks. Since then, abortion procedures have become more effective, safe, accepted and accessible.
News in selection
Telemedicine give vulnerable women access to safe medical abortions
A new study shows that medical abortion can be carried out both safely and effectively in low-resource settings by using telemedicine. The study is a collaboration between researchers at KI and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Vaccine protects against more HPV viruses than previously known
Two studies involving researchers at Karolinska Institutet, among others, show that common HPV vaccines provide lasting protection against more human papillomavirus (HPV) variants than the vaccines were developed for.
Cervical samples could reveal risk of breast and ovarian cancer
An international team of scientists, including form KI, has discovered a means of identifying the risk of breast and ovarian cancer by analysing cell samples from the cervix.
Genetic link to IBS identified in women
Researchers link certain DNA variants to increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women. The findings could help explain why IBS is more common in women than in men.
People with fibromyalgia have inflammation of the brain
Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome that affects women more often than men. New research now shows that the nervous system's immune cells are activated in the brain in patients with fibromyalgia.
Hormone therapy and stroke risk not linked
Hormone therapy in the menopause transition does not increase the risk of stroke in women, provided that treatment starts early on. This according to a study led by KI researcher Karin Leander.
Oral contraceptives linked to reduced risk of RA
Taking oral contraceptives is associated with a lowered risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), finds an observational study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet.
Sex and gender differences in kidney disease
Although access to living donor kidneys among men and women seems equal, women have reduced access to deceased donor transplantation. This is one of the differences between men and women suffering from chronic kidney disease, according to a scientific review article by KI researcher Juan-Jesus Carrero and colleagues. Read the article in Nature Reviews Nephrology.
Some of our researchers in this area
Heads the WHO Center for Human Reproduction
Kristina Gemzell Danielsson is a Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Karolinska Institutet and the Prinicipal Investigator at the WHO Center for Human Reproduction.
Impressed by the female memory
As a student in the 80s, Agneta Herltz became interested in the memory and differences between the sexes. Today she is a Professor of Geriatric Psychology at Karolinska Institutet.
How bariatric surgery affects pregnancy and delivery
The use of surgery for weight loss has increased dramatically in recent decades. Martin Neovius is studying the impact of bariatric surgery on pregnancy and delivery.
Improved maternal health in low-recourse countries
Claudia Hanson’s research is focused on improving maternal and newborn health in low-resource areas in the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 15 and 20 Swedish women receive the diagnosis of breast cancer every day, making this the most common cancer among women. Read more about how scientists are working to reduce the mortality rates for this disease.
According to the WHO, almost 50 million couples worldwide are involuntarily childless while demand for assisted fertilisation is expected to grow as treatments have become both more effective and more widely accessible.