Women’s health research deserves action

Women’s health research needs an extensive set of complete and reliable medical information.

We partner with researchers by providing them with aggregated and anonymized medical data without exposing any of our users’ personal information.

Scientific Advisory Board

Jennifer Payne specializes in reproductive psychiatry. Her research interests are psychiatric illnesses influenced by reproductive hormonal change, such as pre-menstruation, during pregnancy and after pregnancy (postpartum), and during perimenopause (years leading up to menopause).

Doctor Photo
Jennifer Payne, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Research, University of Virginia

Sarah Garfinkel’s expertise lies in cognitive and affective neuroscience. Among her research interests is emotion processing in a range of clinical conditions, including anxiety, autism, posttraumatic stress disorder, and psychosis, as well as its relationship to cognition to augment fear memory and alter attention.

Doctor Photo
Sarah Garfinkel, PhD
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London

Sarah E. Hill is an expert in women’s health and sexual psychology. Her research interests include the role of hormones, the immune system, and the environment in relationship and health behaviors, in women particularly.

Doctor Photo
Sarah E. Hill, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology, Texas Christian University

Liisa Hantsoo is an expert in psychology and behavioral sciences. Her research interests include the effects of stress in women’s mental health across the lifespan, with a special focus on premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Doctor Photo
Liisa Hantsoo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

Jan Multmeier is a cognitive scientist and expert in health economics. He explores how patients and health care providers make decisions under uncertainty, how digital tools can help patients and physicians make better decisions, and how these tools impact health and economic outcomes.

Doctor Photo
Jan Multmeier, PhD
Cognitive Scientist, Director of Clinical Strategy, Patient21

Research opportunities

We seek acclaimed scientists, institutions, universities, and research groups (incl. corporate research groups from different business fields) with in-depth subject-matter expertise and proven contributions to global health and well-being.

Publications

Key findings: 

  • The most common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) vary across different countries.
  • Bloating was the most frequently reported symptom among women with PCOS.
  • Women were at least 3 times more likely to have a PCOS diagnosis if they bloat or have high blood cholesterol and glucose.
  • A PCOS diagnosis is more common in women with a higher BMI.

Key findings: 

  • PCOS is more common as BMI increases.
  • Having hirsutism increases the probability of PCOS by more than 3 times.
  • The most common symptoms of PCOS vary across different BMI categories.

Key findings:

  • More than 90% of women typically have a cycle length of 21 to 35 days.
  • Less than half — only 40% — of women have a usual cycle length of 27 to 29 days.
  • Length and variation of the cycle are influenced more by women’s age than the body mass index.
  • Less variation and shorter cycles were found in women older than 40.

Key findings:

  • First-time mothers were more likely to report depressive symptoms than mothers with more children.
  • Depressive symptoms were the highest among young mothers (18-24 years).
  • Mothers of twins reported a higher burden of depressive symptoms than mothers of one child.

Key findings:

  • More than 84% of Flo users say the app improved their knowledge about menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
  • 72.2% of users find “reading and/or watching articles and video sources in the app” as the most informative feature of the Flo app.
  • Longer and more frequent Flo Premium users were even more likely to report improved knowledge and health.

Key findings:

  • 45.2% of users reported missing, on average, 5.8 days of work due to their cycle.
  • 48.4% do not feel supported by their manager, and 94.6% report no workplace benefit regarding their menstrual cycle.
  • The Flo app helped 88.7% of users to feel prepared and more aware of their bodies and 77.6% to feel supported.

Rates of Self-Reported Postpartum Depressive Symptoms in the United States Before and After the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and University of Virginia
Peer-reviewed paper, 2022

Key findings:

  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in postpartum depression was found in 36 states of the USA.
  • The increase in postpartum depressive symptoms was greater in the states with fewer deaths from COVID-19 and in the ones where unemployment rates for women were lower in 2020.

Key findings:

  • The most common PMS symptoms were food cravings (85.28%), mood swings or anxiety (64.18%), and fatigue (57.3%).
  • Physical premenstrual symptoms increased with age.
  • Premenstrual symptoms regarding anxiety and mood remained similar with age.
  • How much premenstrual symptoms interfere with daily functioning every cycle varies across different countries.

Key findings:

  • Women in Ukraine reported increased stress after the Russian-Ukranian conflict started. At the same time, they reported pain less often.
  • After the conflict started, women in Ukraine who reported stress were less likely to report pain. This finding is consistent with the phenomenon of stress-induced analgesia.
     

Key findings:

  • Cramps were the most common premenstrual symptom.
  • Somatic, gastrointestinal, and negative mood symptoms were most common in the late luteal phase and least common in the midfollicular phase.
  • Negative mood symptoms decreased throughout the follicular phase, while positive mood symptoms were most common in the late follicular phase.