What Do You Consider to Be the Top Medical Advances of the Past 20 Years?

Ryan Syrek, Editor

Disclosures

May 27, 2015

Advances in cervical cancer screening: Changes in screening guidelines have increased the early diagnosis of and diagnostic accuracy for cervical cancer, while significantly reducing mortality rates.

Advances in long-acting reversible contraception: Although not completely new, data on the safety of intrauterine devices and improvement in implant technology have made safe, effective contraception available to a much larger group of women. This has given women more reproductive freedom and control.

Prevention of preterm delivery: The use of progesterone and cerclage has helped to prevent preterm delivery in high-risk women (eg, those with prior preterm birth or a short cervix), which in turn has allowed the morbidity and mortality rates of preterm births to decrease.

HPV vaccination: Administration of the HPV vaccine provides primary prevention against cervical cancer.

Use of magnesium sulfate for neuroprophylaxis: Although magnesium sulfate is most often used to treat preeclampsia during pregnancy, it can also help protect the baby's brain during preterm labor.

Top advances in women's health selected by Christine Isaacs, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Division Head, General Obstetrics and Gynecology; Medical Director of Midwifery Services, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia.

For more on advances in cervical cancer screening, read here.

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