• The NWHN Testifies for the Use of Better Evidence at the FDA
    February 27, 2019
    The NWHN Testifies for the Use of Better Evidence at the FDA
    By Tessa Ruff In 2016, the FDA reclassified transvaginal mesh used to repair pelvic organ prolapse (POP) as a Class III device—the highest risk category—in response to over 20,000 adverse event reports during a three-year period alone. The NWHN actively fought for the change, which also should have required manufacturers to submit thorough, randomized safety and ...
  • Taking on Gender Bias in Clinical Trials
    February 26, 2019
    Taking on Gender Bias in Clinical Trials
    By: Caitlin Hoff, Consumer Advocate at ConsumerSafety and NWHN Staff The National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) has long advocated for the greater participation of women and other key groups in clinical trials for all drugs and devices, and particularly for products that are principally marketed and used by women.  For decades, health research was done on men ...
  • My “Baby Friendly” Hospital Harmed My Baby: How Hospitals Can Do Better
    February 6, 2019
    My "Baby Friendly" Hospital Harmed My Baby: How Hospitals Can Do Better
    The decision to breast- or formula-feed is a highly personal one, with the right answer varying parent to parent. But this is not an article about the benefits of breastfeeding or about concerns that previous studies may have exaggerated those benefits. This isn’t an overview of the long coercive history of formula companies or the ...
  • How Medication Abortion Changes the Narrative of Self-Managed Abortions
    January 29, 2019
    How Medication Abortion Changes the Narrative of Self-Managed Abortions
    By Tessa Ruff “I have had transmasculine patients who have told me they would not feel comfortable seeking an abortion in a clinic—a waiting room full of female-identified people can be triggering. I have had a patient tell me that taking any more time off of work would risk them getting fired or that finding ...
  • Good News Can Be Hard to Find: How you can fight the spread of rightwing propaganda and misinformation
    January 28, 2019
    Good News Can Be Hard to Find:  How you can fight the spread of rightwing propaganda and misinformation
    In the wake of historic election gains for women last fall and opinion polls this month showing that Americans (correctly) blamed Donald Trump for the longest government shutdown in history, it’s easy to feel complacent. It might seem like we’ve overcome the information challenges that defined the 2016 election when, for example, the media’s obsession ...
  • Instagram Influencers & the New Obsession with “All-Natural”: How Companies Sell Food, Exercise, and Now Even Contraceptive Methods as a New Way of Life
    January 17, 2019
    Instagram Influencers & the New Obsession with “All-Natural”: How Companies Sell Food, Exercise, and Now Even Contraceptive Methods as a New Way of Life
    By Tessa Ruff My peers and I have access to more information about our bodies and our health than ever before, encouraging us to take care of ourselves and make well-informed decisions. But informed and well-informed are not the same and sometimes Google searches can be disempowering—particularly when the top hits promote pseudoscience, debunked claims, and ...
  • Riding the crimson wave
    December 14, 2018
    Riding the crimson wave
    By: Lily O’Connor Coates I don’t know about you, but I very clearly remember the first time I learned about my body in grade school. It was fifth grade and all of us girls were separated from the boys and brought into a classroom with a projector. Without a word, our teachers set up the ...
  • Protect science at federal agencies
    November 15, 2018
    Protect science at federal agencies
    By Tessa Ruff At the National Women’s Health Network, we are deeply concerned about the state of science under the Trump-Pence administration. Respect for science and scientists at federal agencies has dangerously eroded over the last 21 months. By repeatedly hiding, mischaracterizing, and ignoring scientific data in the rule making process, the administration has threatened public ...
  • Removing barriers to voting is essential to the advancement of women’s health
    November 13, 2018
    Removing barriers to voting is essential to the advancement of women’s health
    By: Julia Vitale Women’s suffrage has been an essential factor in the advancement of women’s rights, including abortion, contraception, health care coverage, and protections against discrimination in the workplace. It is no surprise that women’s voting rights, and voting rights in general, still take center stage among feminists and civil rights activists. Even though it ...
  • Getting an IUD: How one size does not fit all
    October 17, 2018
    Getting an IUD: How one size does not fit all
    By: Tessa Ruff In college, getting a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) was in vogue. It seemed like everywhere I went, women were talking about how their IUD had changed their life for the better. I was on the pill, and honestly, I wasn’t that great at taking it at the same time every day because I ...