New clues in mice link cholesterol to fertility

Whether made by the body or ingested through diet, cholesterol plays a vital role in cells. Cholesterol also is a building block of steroids and hormones, including those that trigger puberty and support pregnancy. A new study, led by Daniel Ory, MD, implicates a surprising regulator of cholesterol in cells’ ability to make these hormones, especially in tissues associated with fertility, such as the ovaries.

Study emphasizes birth control education, helps pay for IUDs and implants

Researchers at the School of Medicine want to know whether they can reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies at community clinics by providing  contraceptive counseling that emphasizes the benefits of long-acting birth control, like IUDs and implants, and by making these methods available to women at sharply reduced costs or free of charge. Pictured is Tessa Madden, MD, the study’s principal investigator.

IUDs, implants are most effective birth control

A study by Brooke Winner, MD (pictured), and Jeff Peipert, MD, to evaluate birth control methods has found dramatic differences in their effectiveness. Women who used birth control pills, the patch or vaginal ring were 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than those who used longer-acting forms such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or implant.