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.
Cesarean Section When It’s Not Medically Necessary: Safe Practice or Risky Decision? Results of a NIH Consensus Panel
By Kathi Carlisle Fountain & Kristen Suthers, Ph.D.
Recently, you may have read news articles stating that cesarean sections pose no extra risk to women who are giving birth, or that “it may be reasonable for many women to deliver by caesarean section even without a medical need.”[2,3] The truth, however, is much more complicated than these misleading sound bites suggest.
By Kristen Suthers, PhD
The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. – Helen Keller
What Can the Women's Health Initiative Tell Us About How to Age Healthfully? Low Fat Diet, Hormone Therapy & Calcium: Which One Works, and for What? (Part II)
By Cynthia Pearson, NWHN Executive Director
This multi-part series explores the background behind the establishment of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and the major findings for women's health on the benefits of various interventions. Part I addresses the WHI's background and describes findings on low fat diets. This section looks at what we've learned from the WHI about menopause hormone therapy and calcium/vitamin D.
By Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D.
Do you know that radiation exposure from one “CAT” scan can be equivalent to the dose received by some survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombing? No? Chances are, neither does your doctor.
Breaking the Silence
By Megan Steffer
One of the most common topics the NWHN receives questions about is bio-identical hormones. Women know that the earlier claims for menopause hormone therapy (HT) have been disproven and that HT leads to an increased risk of stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer (see related article in this issue). Many women are looking for a safer version of menopause HT and they’ve been told that bio-identical hormones are the answer.
By Lisa Jacobs
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 Emily Galpern
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 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.
By Cynthia Pearson, NWHN Executive Director
This multi-part series explores the background behind the establishment of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and the major findings for women's health on the benefits of various interventions. Part I addresses the WHI's background, and explores the study's findings on low fat diets. Part II addresses what we've learned from the WHI about hormone therapy and calcium/vitamin D supplements.
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)
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 Kristen Suthers, Ph.D
by Electra Kaczorowski
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?
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 Katie Cox
by Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D.