• Since You Asked: I often find myself being talked down to by my health care providers. How can I be more assertive when interacting with my providers?
    January 11, 2021
    Since You Asked: I often find myself being talked down to by my health care providers. How can I be more assertive when interacting with my providers?
    At the NWHN, one of our primary goals is to ensure all women are able to receive the health care that is best for them. We believe that women are the experts of their own bodies. However, it is easy to feel intimidated at the doctor’s office, especially when jargon you don’t understand is being ...
  • Since You Asked: I recently tested positive for COVID-19. How long will COVID-19 symptoms last?
    December 11, 2020
    Since You Asked:  I recently tested positive for COVID-19. How long will COVID-19 symptoms last?
    Unfortunately, there’s no singular, clear-cut answer to this question. When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, the widespread assumption was that the illness was relatively mild for most people diagnosed, and that the majority of patients would recover. However, in recent months, the media has placed more attention on folks who experience symptoms for an extended ...
  • Since You Asked: What is the Oura Ring, and how does it relate to Natural Cycles? Is it a reliable contraceptive method?
    November 23, 2020
    Since You Asked: What is the Oura Ring, and how does it relate to Natural Cycles? Is it a reliable contraceptive method?
    At the NWHN, we have been long-time skeptics of Natural Cycles, a smartphone app that markets itself as a reliable birth control method. Natural Cycles uses a high-tech version of the “rhythm method,” where users track their menstrual cycles in order to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. The app relies on data uploaded by the user ...
  • Since You Asked: Hey NWHN – Would YOU Take a COVID Vaccine?
    November 3, 2020
    Since You Asked: Hey NWHN - Would YOU Take a COVID Vaccine?
    Considering the political turmoil surrounding vaccine approval, we’re getting this question a lot!1 We’re pleased that the government is prioritizing vaccine development. But, we’re concerned that, prior to the November elections, the Trump-Pence administration was committed to announcing a success, regardless of how safe or effective a vaccine was. So, while we fervently hope a ...
  • I have been seeing policymakers push to have the drug Makena taken off the market. Why? What is wrong with Makena?
    October 21, 2020
    I have been seeing policymakers push to have the drug Makena taken off the market. Why? What is wrong with Makena?
    Makena is a progestin injection used to reduce the risk of preterm birth, or birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, in pregnant people with a history of spontaneous preterm birth. Policymakers and health advocates, including the NWHN, are advocating to have Makena taken off the market because there is no evidence showing that Makena is ...
  • I’ve heard that certain personal care products and cosmetics brands contain talc that is harmful to women. Is this true? What makes talc harmful, and how does it end up in my products?
    October 2, 2020
    I’ve heard that certain personal care products and cosmetics brands contain talc that is harmful to women. Is this true? What makes talc harmful, and how does it end up in my products?
    You’re right! Over the past few years, companies like Claire’s and Johnson & Johnson have been involved in investigations due to their talc-based products being contaminated with asbestos. Despite a few exceptions, current laws do not require the makers of cosmetics and personal care products to get FDA approval before their products go to market. ...
  • I’ve noticed that the FDA has been flagging hand sanitizers as toxic. Why is that?
    August 4, 2020
    I’ve noticed that the FDA has been flagging hand sanitizers as toxic. Why is that?
    Washing your hands with soap and water is a best practice for protecting yourself and others against infectious diseases, like COVID-19; to supplement hand-washing, and when you’re out and about, it is a good idea to also use hand sanitizer to kill germs and reduce the risk of infection.  Not all hand sanitizers are created equally, ...
  • “I heard there’s a new study about the Essure birth control device. I thought it was no longer being used. What’s up?”
    July 20, 2020
    "I heard there's a new study about the Essure birth control device. I thought it was no longer being used. What's up?"
    You’re right. Essure is no longer available in the U.S. — but many women still have the device in place, and a study of the device, mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still going on. First, a little background. Essure is a permanent non-hormonal, non-surgical birth control method designed to be an ...
  • What do Racial Health Disparities Look Like During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
    June 11, 2020
    What do Racial Health Disparities Look Like During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
    To date, the novel coronavirus has taken the lives of over 115,000 people in the United States. This nationwide burden has weighed disproportionately on communities of color, specifically Black and Latinx populations. While the Black population comprises 13% of the U.S. population, the population accounts for roughly 22% of documented coronavirus cases. Within the Black population, the mortality rate of ...
  • As COVID-19 Continues to Spread, It’s Important to Make Safe and Healthy Cosmetic and Personal Care Products Choices
    May 6, 2020
    As COVID-19 Continues to Spread, It’s Important to Make Safe and Healthy Cosmetic and Personal Care Products Choices
    As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact everyone, it is imperative that consumers make safe choices with regard to the personal care and beauty products they use. The virus can be deadly, especially for those with suppressed immune systems. Doctors have advised avoiding potential exposure to the virus, for example by washing hands frequently and ...
  • Should COVID-19 Impact the Labor and Delivery Process and the Presence of Support Guests?
    March 31, 2020
    Should COVID-19 Impact the Labor and Delivery Process and the Presence of Support Guests?
    By: Olivia Snavely In the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect health care workers, hospitals are enacting increasingly strict policies regarding visitation. But the most restrictive edict so far has come from two New York City hospitals who announced that they would not allow any family members, including partners and spouses, or outside ...
  • Does COVID-19 Affect Women Differently Than Men? Here’s What We Know
    March 25, 2020
    Does COVID-19 Affect Women Differently Than Men? Here’s What We Know
    By: Olivia Snavely As COVID-19 spreads around the globe, one trend is increasingly clear: the disparity in how COVID-19 affects men versus women. Early data in Hubei, the Chinese province where the outbreak began, showed a mortality rate of 2.8 percent for men and 1.7 percent for women, despite the infection rate being evenly distributed across ...
  • If I’m Not Likely to Get Seriously Ill From COVID-19, Why Should I Stay Home?
    March 18, 2020
    If I’m Not Likely to Get Seriously Ill From COVID-19, Why Should I Stay Home?
    “Social distancing” is the new media buzzword, but why does it matter for healthy populations? Although about 80% of COVID-19 cases do not require hospitalization and can be treated at home, it is vital that even those who have a low risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms start practicing social distancing now, for several reasons. The ...
  • How Does COVID-19 Affect Different Age Groups?
    March 16, 2020
    How Does COVID-19 Affect Different Age Groups?
    While COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, can lead to hospitalization and even death for young and middle-aged adults, it has caused the most severe health issues for adults over the age of 60 — with particularly fatal results for those 80 years and older. This is due in no small part to ...
  • Wash Your Hands! and Other Tips for the Coronavirus
    March 4, 2020
    Wash Your Hands! and Other Tips for the Coronavirus
    You’ve read about the novel coronavirus in the news but what is it and what can you do to stay healthy and safe?   March 4, 2020 By Mara Lurie and Sarah Christopherson Editor’s note: we have updated the section on facemask usage in response to evolving recommendations from public health experts.   Background Coronaviruses are a “family” of viruses that can ...
  • What happens in pre-abortion counseling?
    February 25, 2020
    What happens in pre-abortion counseling?
    Pre-abortion counseling is required by law in  34 states. While this can be an opportunity for patient-centered care, the reality in most states is that the materials counselors must share in states that mandate pre-abortion counseling stigmatize abortion by using misleading language and inaccurate facts about fetal health, abortion risks, and the reversal of medication ...
  • How Do I Practice Good Post-Sex Hygiene?
    February 12, 2020
    How Do I Practice Good Post-Sex Hygiene?
    Having sex can feel messy. There are many ways to practice good post-sex hygiene, even if you do not feel like showering. Getting a urinary tract (UTI), yeast, or bacterial infection after oral or penetrative sex can be quite common for women. Urinating within approximatley 30 minutes of having sex is important, especially if you ...
  • What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
    January 28, 2020
    What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
    Toxic shock syndrome  (TSS)  is a sudden, rare, and potentially life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections.  TSS can affect men and women alike, however, it is mostly associated with women who menstruate. Toxic shock syndrome may occur from two different kinds of bacteria. The most common bacteria is staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. The syndrome ...
  • What is a yeast infection and why did I get it? 
    January 8, 2020
    What is a yeast infection and why did I get it? 
    A vaginal yeast infection, also known as vuvlovaginal candidasis, is when healthy yeast over produces in the vagina. Yeast infections occur because the chemistry of your vagina is off balance. This is most commonly seen as a hormonal imbalance. Several factors can cause a yeast infection, including poor eating habits, stress, weak immune system, diabetes, ...
  • I was on Depo-Provera birth control for years, what can I do to help prevent osteoporosis now?
    December 10, 2019
    I was on Depo-Provera birth control for years, what can I do to help prevent osteoporosis now?
    Depo-Provera is a progesterone-based contraceptive shot injected into the arm, upper thigh or abdomen. It is 97-99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy. Each shot lasts for about 13 weeks. While “the shot” is effective, there are significant side effects that are important to keep in mind if you are, were, or thinking of beginning this method ...