Women's Health E-Update July 2023

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OWH e Alert

July 2023


Message from the Associate Commissioner

Dear Women’s Health Colleagues,

As I shared with you last week, FDA recently approved the Opill (norgestrel) tablet for nonprescription use to prevent pregnancy—the first daily oral contraceptive approved for use in the U.S. without a prescription.

Almost half of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unintended. Unintended pregnancies have been linked to negative maternal and perinatal outcomes, including reduced likelihood of receiving early prenatal care and increased risk of preterm delivery, with associated adverse neonatal, developmental and child health outcomes. Availability of nonprescription Opill may help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and their potential negative impacts.

In other women’s health news, we recognize Fibroid Awareness Month in July. Uterine fibroids are the most common benign (not cancerous) tumors, or growths, that occur in women of childbearing age. Fibroids grow in and around the muscular wall of the uterus and are more common in African American than in White, Hispanic, or Asian women.

Fibroids do not always cause symptoms, but some women may experience abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, frequent urination, pregnancy complications, reproductive problems, and other symptoms. Treatments for moderate or severe symptoms may include medication or surgery. Talk with your health care provider about which options may be best for you.

Learn more by viewing our uterine fibroid video, or print and share our fibroid fact sheet—one of the many women’s health resources OWH provides.


Kaveeta P. Vasisht, M.D., Pharm.D.

Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health

Director, FDA Office of Women’s Health (OWH)



CTA OWHA small group of diverse women

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Did you know that more than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety? Mental illness can affect women of all races and ethnicities. Having access to and awareness of mental health care services is essential to effectively managing your mental health.

This National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, take action to raise awareness of and advance mental health equity. Start by reading our latest blog post to learn more about mental illnesses common to women, and tips for managing your mental health. Other resources to share with your family and community include the FDA OWH Women and Anxiety fact sheet, Women and Depression information, and Depression Medicines Guide.

Women's Health Highlights

Pregnant Woman

Pregnancy exposure registries are studies that collect health information on exposure to medical products such as drugs and vaccines during pregnancy. 

Learn more about pregnancy registries today!



Visit FDA Meetings, Conferences and Workshops to find out about available meetings.

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