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Millions of women become pregnant when they do not intend to. Every year, approximately 40% of all pregnancies worldwide are unintended. For many, the consequences of unintended pregnancy can be dire. While pregnancy itself is not a disease, unintended pregnancy is often associated with poorer health outcomes for women, children and families.

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Postpartum Hemorrhage

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is one of the most significant causes of maternal death and disability globally. Women living in low-resource settings are particularly at risk of death as a result of excessive bleeding after childbirth. Gynuity Health Projects designs and evaluates service delivery and program approaches to improve the availability and use of technologies and interventions that are especially appropriate for PPH care in low-resource environments and community settings.

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Medical Abortion

In many low resource countries with limited access to health care services and few trained surgical abortion providers, medical methods of abortion promise to help reduce maternal morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, many women prefer abortion induced by drugs to surgery. Enabling women to choose an alternate method of abortion will improve access to safe services and increase satisfaction.

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Preeclampsia and eclampsia are serious conditions unique to pregnancy and the post-partum period, most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure. If not diagnosed and treated promptly, they can lead to seizure, stroke, organ failure, and death of the mother and/or baby. In the developed world, maternal death from pre-eclampsia and eclampsia is rare; however, they are leading causes of maternal and infant death globally, resulting in 40,000–80,000 deaths worldwide each year.

In the developing world, treating preeclampsia and eclampsia presents many challenges. Gynuity’s primary goal is to increase access to evidence-based treatment for preeclampsia and eclampsia, especially in low-resource settings, and in so doing, reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the quality of care available to women around the world. 

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Pregnancy Failure and Miscarriage

Of all recognized pregnancies, 15-20% are spontaneously miscarried and an additional 22% end in induced abortion. Incomplete abortion occurs when products of conception are partially expelled from the uterus; and either spontaneous or induced pregnancy loss can result in incomplete abortion. Women seeking care following incomplete abortion are faced with the inadequacy of existing safe abortion and postabortion care services. In countries where access to safe abortion services is restricted, abortions may be performed by unskilled providers in poor conditions and incomplete abortion is of particular concern.

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Infectious Disease

AIDS, the deadly syndrome caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is perhaps the highest-profile health problem of recent decades.  Despite the emergence of antiretroviral drugs, the disease continues to ravage populations worldwide, disproportionately in sub-Saharan Africa.  For both biological and cultural reasons, the disease hits hardest among women and the young: WHO estimates that 30% of the 40 million people living with HIV worldwide are between the ages of 15 and 24, and that, in sub-Saharan Africa, there are 13 women living with HIV for every 10 men.

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