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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Six years after American women finally won the right to choose a medical abortion, the procedure has once again become controversial. In the last few years, six women have died shortly after a medical abortion due to severe infections of the bloodstream (sepsis). Another mifepristone user died as a result of an ectopic pregnancy.
By Emily Galpern
If you're handed a laptop at your doctors office to type in your medical information, don't use it - unless you don't mind your personal medical information being sent straight to a pharmaceutical company. Phreesia, a New York company, distributes wireless "WebPads" that patients use to input medical histories and other information, including why they're seeing the doctor.
By Courtney Chappell
Abortion, teenage pregnancy, and comprehensive sexuality education are the primary topics that guide the national dialogue about reproductive rights in America. Yet, the intersection of reproductive rights and other critical factors that influence sexual health is often missing from the debate. Many of these issues – including immigration, health care, welfare reform, and environmental justice -- intimately impact the reproductive and sexual health of women, including women of color like Asian Pacific Americans.
In the last three years, pharmaceutical companies have lost over six million customers. Who were all those people, and why did they stop taking their medicines? The vanished consumers were women taking menopause hormone therapy (HT). They quit the drugs when they learned that, for the vast majority, hormones were ineffective and risky rather than helpful. Once women learned that HT didn't prevent heart disease or Alzheimer's -- and it increased their risk of stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, and incontinence -- they dumped the pills and stopped wasting their money.
By Jiayan Chen
It was one of those topics that rarely makes its way into daily conversation. The three other NWHN interns and I had just finished watching a video on microbicides, the topical contraceptives being developed as a woman-controlled form of protection against HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy. Talking about the video, we found ourselves discussing contraceptive use and wondering why, if condoms are so effective in preventing HIV and pregnancy, don’t more women use them?
by Kristen Suthers, Ph.D
Worried about your bone density? Anti-osteoporosis drugs makers hope you are. Osteoporosis is represented as a deadly disease, a silent killer that affects millions of women who go about their daily lives, unaware that their bones are dwindling to kindling. A 1995 book for consumers states, ‘If osteoporosis gets bad enough, a woman who has it could suffer a broken arm lifting a casserole out of the oven or reaching back to zip up her dress. She could break her foot stepping put of bed or a rib upon sneezing.’(1)
by Electra Kaczorowski
The reproductive health and rights movement is facing some tough times: family planning funding is sidetracked into programs promoting abstinence until marriage; Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion are appointed; the FDA's ability to approve new contraceptives is hampered; and funding for programs young women rely on for reproductive health care is slashed.
by Katie Cox
By Amy Allina
By Electra Kaczorowski
Most obstetrician/gynecologists over-screen low-risk women for cervical cancer, according to a recent study. The findings, published in February 2005 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, revealed that the majority of physicians overuse the Pap test, which identifies cervical cancer and pre-cancerous cells.
by Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D.
By Cindy Pearson
Remember shell games? Three shells are shown to an audience and a prize hidden under one of them; then the shells are moved around quickly, and the audience is challenged to say which shell conceals the prize. It's a tough game to win, as the shells look alike and are moved quickly.
By Amy Allina
By Katherine Beagle
I call myself a feminist. I am preparing to graduate with a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Riverside (UCR). I believe that a woman’s value should not be measured in terms of her attractiveness, sexuality, or reproductive capabilities. Nonetheless, I have wanted breast implants since I was a sophomore in college. I have simultaneously fought for women’s equality and desired breast augmentation.
by Adriane Fugh-Berman
“Even the scale I was weighed on had the name of a drug on it – a weight loss drug,” said my friend, after visiting her doctor. If it’s any consolation, the ad wasn’t directed at her. A doctor’s scale is a more extravagant present than the mugs, pens, Post-it notes, and clocks usually on display in doctor’s offices, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep the names of specific drugs uppermost in the subconscious of the doctors who are surrounded by the ads.
by Cindy Pearson