Permanent contraceptive Essure under FDA investigation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 that it will require a black box warning designed to call attention to serious or life-threatening side effects on the contraceptive device Essure, which is implantable and permanent. Essure, which was first approved by the FDA in 2002, is non-surgically placed into the woman’s fallopian tubes, where scar tissue would form around it, preventing sperm from reaching and fertilizing eggs. The FDA responded after over 5,000 complaints were filed by women using the drug, which lead to serious repercussions, including unintended pregnancies, severe pain, miscarriages, bleeding and stillbirths. Bayer, the company which produces Essure, will be required to conduct studies to assess the device’s risks and to compare women using Essure against women using other methods of sterilization.
Middlebury College ends the sale of energy drinks
Middlebury College, located in Vermont, has responded to a student’s case to the college’s community council and has banned to sale of energy drinks on campus. The council, consisting of students, faculty and staff, made the decision based on concerns related to these highly-caffeinated drinks, which promoted higher stress levels for students. A study by the Journal of American College Health has claimed that the consumption of energy drinks is correlated with risky behavior and perceived stress levels. Students are still able to drink energy drinks if they wish, but the drinks will not be readily available in college-associated stores beginning March 7, 2016.
First successful uterus transplant performed in the U.S.
Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the leading academic hospitals in the U.S., performed the first uterus transplant in the country last Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. The surgery, which spanned nine hours, was performed on a 26-year-old woman as part of an ongoing research study targeted at treating uterine factor infertility (UFI). UFI impacts women who were born without a uterus, has a non-functional uterus or has lost her uterus, with over 3-5% of women worldwide being affected. Few options are currently available for women who experience this condition, though early trials of uterus transplants has proved promising, especially for doctors in Sweden, who have already performed nine total transplants, with five women becoming pregnant post-treatment.