Newsletter The Women’s Health Activist® is a bimonthly publication of the National Women’s Health Network. We’d like to hear from you. Please e-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
Half of the public skimped on health care last year. Respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll reported resorting to means including using home remedies and over-the counter drugs in-stead of visiting a doctor, passing on dental care, not filling prescriptions, skipping or halving prescription doses, and postponing surgery. When medical care could not be postponed, respondents fell behind on other bills, went into debt, and depleted their savings to cover health care costs.
A randomized, six month study has explored whether skills training on how to use female condoms increased sustained use of the barrier method and resulted in more protected sex acts overall. Half of the 409 participants received brief instructions on using the female condom to promote women’s health; half received intensive skills training sessions focusing exclusively on the female condom, including self-insertion and removal.
By Rebecca Chalker
Join us in New York for the National Women’s Speakout for Action on Health Reform and Strategy Conference
By Cindy Pearson
Female condoms may soon be more available and affordable for women in the United States and around the world, if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows the recommendation made by its advisory committee. On December 11, the FDA convened a group of medical and scientific experts to consider a new version of the female condom (FC2), and the committee voted unanimously to recommend approval.
The Treatment and Mistreatment of Chronic “Urgency and Frequency” – Gathering Women’s Experiences About Interstitial Cystitis
By Kay Zakariasen, MA & Jennifer R. Hill, MD
By Nicole Shah
By Rachel Walden
After many years of ignoring important drug safety concerns, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking action. The agency recently alerted women about pos-sible problems with the most commonly used osteoporosis medicines, saying it needs more studies to explore how they might be damaging the hearts of people who take them. The drugs, bisphosphonates, are used by millions of women to strengthen their bones and lessen the risk of a serious fracture.
By Cindy Pearson
I almost spilled the mug of hot tea I was holding when I saw the article in the paper one morning recently. What could make me lose my grip on a hot drink? Well, now that I think of it, a lot of things could do that – I’m actually pretty clumsy! But, this news was actually spill-worthy. The government of the United States is proposing to use grassroots organizing techniques to build support for health care reform. Wow! Who would have thought that would be possible?
On October 6th, over 65 guests to launch the NWHN’s Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women’s Health. While the event honored the memory of the Network’s co-founder, Barbara Seaman, it was also a fundraising success that generated $31,000 for the Network. We were delighted to be hosted by Sybil Shainwald at her Fifth Avenue apartment in New York City. Sybil is a pioneering women's health activist and litigator, past NWHN Board Chair, and long-time friend and colleague of Barbara Seaman.
By Heather Arsenault
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when my obsession with food, diet, and exercise began. From a young age, I was always smaller than my peers, and remained on the low end of the height and weight charts. I was a very active child, involved in several athletic activities from an early age, including swimming, soccer, gymnastics, and track and field. My parents were physically active, as well. My mom taught aerobics at the local YWCA, and both my mom and dad cycled, ran, and frequented the gym.
By Charlea T. Massion, MD and Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD
A 59-year old physician friend of ours told us that her gynecologist sends her cards every year urging her to come in for an annual Pap test. My friend has been in a monogamous relationship for over 30 years and has had at least 20 normal Pap tests since she was 20. She feels guilty for not getting an annual Pap but, in fact, she doesn’t need one.
New National Maternity Care Performance Measure Set: A Much-Needed Tool to Improve the Health of US Women and Children
by Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH
By Amy Allina
In November, the United States elected a president who campaigned by calling on all of us to believe and engage in making real change in the country. The Congressional election results – which strengthened support for abortion rights and family planning in both the House and the Senate -- also signal popular support for change. And, after eight years of an administration that has been openly hostile to women’s reproductive rights, reproductive health policy is one of the areas most badly in need of a new direction.
By Cynthia Pearson
By Susan K. Flinn, MA
By Rachel Walden