In the hope of improving the status of women's health, important unbiased, gender-specific research is needed to examine the issues, illnesses and diseases most prevalent to women. The Foundation for Female Health Awareness has been able to support new and existing research projects in women's health. Grants have been awarded on an annual basis for projects focused on improving women's health.

Current Research Grants:

Comparison of Vaginal Laser Therapy to Vaginal Estrogen Therapy for vaginal dryness/vaginal atrophy (VELVET Trial)
The purpose of this multi-center clinical trial is to compare the efficacy and safety of CO2 fractional vaginal laser treatment to the current standard treatment, vaginal estrogen therapy, for the treatment of vulvovaginal atrophy (i.e. vaginal dryness and inflammation associated with menopause). This study is actively enrolling new study participants. Participating sites include the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland OH, Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC, Christ Hospital, Cincinnati OH, Rhode Island Women's and Infants Hospital, Providence, RI, Standford University, Standford CA, and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston Salem, NC.

For more information about this study visit:

Previous Research Grants:

Vaginal and laparoscopic mesh hysteropexy for uterovaginal prolapse: a parallel cohort study (The VAULT Study)

The purpose of this multi-center parallel cohort study was to compare the safety and efficacy of two surgical procedures for uterine prolapse: the laparoscopic sacral hysteropexy and the vaginal mesh hysteropexy. 153 women age 35-80 with uterine prolapse were enrolled from one of 8 clinical sites and received one of these two surgical procedures. Overall, both laparoscopic sacral hysteropexy and vaginal mesh hysteropexy resulted in similar outcomes 1 year after surgery with high rates of satisfaction. This study was awarded Best Surgical Paper at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Urogynecologic Society, Seattle, WA, Oct. 13-17, 2015.

The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in January 2017

A blinded multi-center randomized trial comparing TVT-SECUR "U" to the tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence (The SECURITY Trial)
This multi-center clinical trial compared the retropubic midurethral sling (tension-free vaginal tape, TVT) to a single-incision mini-sling (TVT SECUR) for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence. The mini-sling resulted in similar subjective cure rates to the TVT 1 year after surgery but in those women who were not cured, incontinence severity was greater after the mini-sling. This study was awarded the Best Clinical/Surgical Paper at the 2011 American Urogynecology Society Meeting and the 2011 International Urogynecologic Association Axel Ingelman-Sundberg Award for Best Abstract. The results of the study were published in Obstetrics and Gynecology in February of 2012  10.1097/AOG.0b013e318242a849

Evaluation and Management of Vaginal Mesh Complications
This grant supported a multi-center retrospective cohort study of 347 women presenting to a tertiary care urogynecology practice for evaluation and management of complications after vaginal mesh surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Two hundred and sixty women in this study also completed a follow-up survey to evaluate their outcomes after medical or surgical management of their mesh complications. This grant resulted in the publication of two research papers:

Outcomes following treatment for pelvic floor mesh complications.
Unger CA, Abbott S, Evans JM, Jallad K, Mishra K, Karram MM, Iglesia CB, Rardin CR, Barber MD.
Int Urogynecol J. 2014 Jun;25(6):745-9. doi: 10.1007/s00192-013-2282-9. Epub 2013 Dec 7. PMID:24318564
Evaluation and management of complications from synthetic mesh after pelvic reconstructive surgery: a multicenter study.
Abbott S, Unger CA, Evans JM, Jallad K, Mishra K, Karram MM, Iglesia CB, Rardin CR, Barber MD.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Feb;210(2):163.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2013.10.012. Epub 2013 Oct 11. PMID:24126300

Medical Student Research Fellowship
FFHA provided a grant to support a year of research study for a student in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University graduating class of 2012. This grant supported Sara Abbott MD's medical school clinical research thesis titled "A Model to Predict Failure of Uterine Artery Embolization." In this project advanced statistical modeling were used to develop a nomogram that physicians can use to predict treatment failure and success for an individual patient considering uterine fibroid emobilization for symptomatic fibroids. This project also served as her thesis for a Masters of Science in Clinical Research.