Wegienka Ganesa


Dr. Ganesa Wegienka, the Director of Women's Health Research at Henry Ford Health in the Public Health Sciences Department, is leading research that focuses on improving women's health. One area of her research is dedicated to understanding and addressing uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. These fibroids are the leading cause for women undergoing hysterectomy, a surgery to remove the uterus. They can cause heavy periods, anemia, pelvic pain, and discomfort, impacting women's quality of life.

What makes Dr. Wegienka's work even more crucial is the significant impact uterine fibroids have on different racial groups. African American women are more likely to develop fibroids at an earlier age and have larger fibroids compared to white women. This racial disparity has been a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. To tackle this problem, she is leading a study called the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids (SELF). This study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is one of the most important fibroid studies to date. The study is based in Detroit and exclusively focuses on Black and African American individuals. By following these participants over time and regularly screening for fibroids, this study provides valuable insights into the natural history of fibroids and potential causes.

She also leads other vital Women's Health research studies funded by the NIH. One of these studies, known as ePRESTO, is a collaboration with Boston University. It aims to explore how environmental toxins and lifestyle factors can impact fertility and pregnancy in women. Another significant study, the inVitD Trial, is conducted at Henry Ford Health in Detroit and the Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina. This study focuses on investigating the relationship between vitamin D levels and menstrual cycles.

Dr. Wegienka and the dedicated Women's Health Research teams at Henry Ford Health are committed to understanding the experiences of women who undergo hysterectomy. While many studies focus solely on clinical factors like hospital stay or blood loss, Dr. Wegienka’s work emphasizes what matters to patients. The work delves into understanding how women perceive and comprehend their surgeries, considering the physical and emotional implications. The work also explores the impact of post-surgery regret and the financial stress that may be associated with treatment.