santa rosa obgyn

Researchers use MRI for the first time ever in effort to decode early labor

Scientists are using the latest imaging techniques usually used to map the brain to try and understand why some pregnant women miscarry or go into early labor.
Scientists are using the latest imaging techniques usually used to map the brain to try and understand why some pregnant women miscarry or go into early labor.

They have developed 3D images of the cervix, the load bearing organ which lies at the base of the womb and stops a developing baby from descending into the birth canal before the due date.

Around a quarter of miscarriages during the fourth to sixth month of pregnancy (mid-trimester) occur because of weaknesses in the cervix.

The researchers at the University of Leeds hope by developing a detailed image of its structure, they can develop ways of monitoring women for signs of potential problems before they become pregnant.

Mr Nigel Simpson, Associate Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said: “Ultrasound monitoring is used to identify women at risk — where their cervix is unable to support the pregnancy. But little is known about why that problem develops.

“This research is attempting to answer that question.”

MRI techniques were used to create 3D images of the cervix. This is the first time extremely high resolution imaging has been used to understand the detailed micro-structure of this organ.

The research is published in the international obstetrics and gynaecology journal, BJOG.

James Nott, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and lead author, said: “A lot of our understanding of the biology of the cervix is rooted in research carried out 50 years ago.

“By applying the imaging techniques that have been used on the brain, we can get a much clearer understanding of the tissue architecture that gives the cervix its unique biomechanical properties.”

The images reveal a fibrous structure running along the upper part of the cervix. The fibres are much more pronounced near to where it joins the womb. The fibres are made of collagen and smooth muscle and form a ring around the upper aspect of the cervical canal.

During pregnancy, these fibres provide a strong supporting barrier — keeping the fetus and amniotic sac in place and preventing micro-organisms from entering the uterus.

The images reveal that these support tissues are less prominent further down the cervix as it joins the birth canal.

During labour, the body releases chemicals which result in the cervix opening and allowing the baby to enter the birth canal.

But there are medical conditions where earlier in the pregnancy, the cervix fails to support the baby, leading to a miscarriage or premature birth.

Mr Simpson said: “This study’s findings have encouraged us to explore new imaging techniques to check the integrity of these fibres before or during pregnancy in order to identify at-risk mums, intervene earlier, and so prevent late pregnancy loss and pre-term birth.”

The study was funded by Cerebra, the charity for children with brain conditions.

The scientists used diffusion tensor MRI, which is a technology that can remotely sense different types of tissue based on their water content.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JP Nott, E Pervolaraki, AP Benson, EA Bonney, JD Pickering, N Wilkinson, NAB Simpson. Diffusion tensor imaging determines three-dimensional architecture of human cervix: a cross-sectional study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.15002

Read this article on ScienceDaily, 20 December 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171220121758.htm.

Dr. Melissa Seeker joins The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group of Santa Rosa

Dr. Melissa A. Seeker joins the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group to become part of a unique team of highly skilled healthcare professionals.

Dr. Melissa A. Seeker has joined Santa Rosa’s preeminent Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group. She is an alumnus of Saint Louis University where she graduated as a member of Alpha Sigma Nu with honors prior to receiving her MD at Creighton University School of Medicine. She served as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine – Phoenix, formerly Banner University Medical Center, where she underwent her residency training.

Dr. Seeker holds many awards and honors in her specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology including the Award for Excellence in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery from the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine – Phoenix. During her medical training, she spent six weeks in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia providing care to over 3,500 patients with a small medical team. Her resident research project in minimally invasive surgery was selected for presentation at the Society for Gynecologic Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. Dr. Seeker also received advanced certification in integrative medicine after completing an elective course from The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Seeker has special interest in pregnancy education and has volunteered her services to worthy organizations and outreaches specializing in gynecologic care. She is happily married and the proud owner of two boxer dogs and one cat. Outside of medicine, she enjoys traveling, scuba diving, camping, hiking, cooking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

“We are delighted to welcome Melissa to our growing practice,” says Dr. Lela Emad M.D. “Dr. Seeker is a talented and caring physician whose expertise will enhance our services to women in very positive ways.”

About the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group

As recognized leaders in their field the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group has offered a full range of premier obstetrics and gynecology services and expertise to women in the North Bay area for more than 25 years. The provider team of expert OB/GYN physicians, certified nurse midwives, family nurse practitioners, and medical assistants provides unmatched care to patients in the Santa Rosa region. As women proudly serving women, this unique group understands patient needs and expectations like no other.

Along with Dr. Seeker, the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group’s staff of physicians includes; Lela Emad, MD, Shazah Khawaja, M.D., Amita Kachru, M.D.,  Susan Logan, M.D. and Tara Bartlett M.D. Together, these doctors share a unique whole-body approach to medicine as they work to discover the underlying causes of a woman’s health problems, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Every one of the health professionals at Women’s OB/GYN is committed to both alleviating short-term ailments and maximizing long-term health.

The Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group strives to better the lives of all women with a holistic approach to women’s health. To learn more about these fine physicians and the many services provided by the Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group visit the website. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Seeker, please call: (707) 579-1102.

There’s been a lot of talk about baby power and ovarian cancer

Does Baby Powder cause cancer in women? Research into link mixed

baby-powderThousands of women with ovarian cancer have filed suit against the consumer-products giant Johnson & Johnson, claiming that the company’s Baby Powder caused their disease and pointing to a long trail of studies linking talc to the cancer. The research dates to 1971, when scientists in Wales discovered particles of talc embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors. Since then, numerous studies have linked genital talc use to ovarian cancer, including a report earlier this month that among African-American women, genital use of powder is linked with a 44 percent increased risk for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.

Although Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier added warning labels in 2006, the company did not add similar warnings to its products, according to litigation documents. Baby powder does carry a warning to keep it out of the reach of children, and many pediatricians discourage its use on babies, who can become ill or die after breathing in the particles. Inhalation studies in female rats demonstrated carcinogenicity, according to the National Toxicology Program. Condom and surgical glove makers have stopped dusting their products with talc.

Read the full story here …