Dr. Caroline Mitchell is a clinician and scientist conducting translational research on how the vaginal microbiome impacts reproductive health. Her clinical practice focuses on vulvovaginal disorders.
- Clinical Interests
- Vaginal discharge
- Vulvar dermatoses
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Medical Education
- MD, Harvard Medical School
- Residency, University of Washington Medical Center
- Board Certifications
- Obstetrics & Gynecology
- Foreign Languages
- Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
- Existing Patients
- Patient Gateway
- Insurances Accepted
- Aetna Health Inc.
- Beech Street
- Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
- Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
- Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
- Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
- BMC HealthNet Mass Health MCO/ACO
- Cigna (PAL #'s)
- Commonwealth Care Alliance
- Fallon Community HealthCare
- Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
- Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
- Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
- Humana/Choice Care PPO
- Medicare - ACD
- Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
- Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
- OSW - Maine
- OSW - Rhode Island
- Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
- Railroad Medicare
- Railroad Medicare - ACD
- Senior Whole Health
- Tufts Health Plan
- United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
- United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.
- Patient Age Group
- Provider Gender
Dr. Mitchell runs a referral vulvovaginitis clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital and is a faculty member in the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology. Dr. Mitchell received her BA in Women’s Studies from Harvard College and spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in Southern Africa before returning to Harvard Medical School for her MD degree. She did her OB/Gyn residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she also received her MPH degree. She spent 7 years on faculty at the UW before returning to MGH in 2014.
Dr. Mitchell spends the majority of her time in the lab doing translational and basic science research. Her work focuses on the relationship between the vaginal microbiota and the reproductive mucosal immune response, and how interactions between humans and our microbes influence reproductive health.
She has received career development awards from NIH and the Doris Duke Foundation. She is currently funded by the NIH as a principal investigator of a study of idiopathic vaginitis, and as a co-investigator on a trial evaluating treatments for genitourinary symptoms of menopause. She has also received funding from the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynceologists Foundation, and is an MGH Claflin Award recipient
- Research Summary
There are more bacterial cells in and on our bodies than human cells, and we are learning that these bacteria can have a profound influence on our health.The goal of the Mitchell Lab is to understand how vaginal microbes influence reproductive health and disease. Our current projects include:
- A proposal focused on identifying characteristics of Lactobacillus species associated with beneficial reproductive health outcomes was the basis of Dr. Mitchell’s successful application for an MGH Claflin Scholar Award in 2015.
- Dr. Mitchell is conducting an observational cohort study of women with vaginitis who don't have a clear diagnosis. The goal of this research is to identify the cause of symptoms, to allow design of better diagnosis and treatment. In 2015 she received both a bridge award from the American Association of Obstetricians & Gynecologists Foundation and an R21 from the NIH to support this work.
- Dr. Mitchell is part of the MSFLASH menopause research networkm and is a co-investigator on a Seattle-based randomized trial of two treatments for menopausal vaginitis symptoms, which will also evaluate the role of the vaginal microbiota after menopause.
- In collaboration with Dr. Moran Yassour of the Broad Institute Dr. Mitchell initiated the OriGiN study, an observational cohort study that is designed to identify where infants derive their gastrointestinal microbiota. This project enrolled 190 families, and the samples and data are under analysis.
- The Domolky Innovation Award allowed Dr. Mitchell to initiate a study of vulvovaginal symptoms and the microbial community in women with inflammatory bowel disease, which is the first of its kind in this population.
A clinical trial comparing two treatments for postmenopausal vaginal discomfort – low-dose vaginal estrogen and a vaginal moisturizer – to placebo treatments found that both produced symptom improvements similar to those associated with the placebos after 12 weeks of treatment.
The Vagina Dialogues: Vulvovaginal Health after Menopause
Caroline Mitchell, MD, MPH, director of the Vulvovaginal Disorders program at Mass General, discusses vaginal and genitourinary health for women after menopause and reviews common treatments for vaginal discomfort—some of which are better supported by research than others.
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696