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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.
Obstetrics & Gynecology
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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
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:
View my most recent publications at PubMed
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.
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.
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