What is the HPV Vaccine?

Our family doctor has recommended that my teen get the HPV vaccine. What does the HPV vaccine protect you from, and when should my teen get the shot? The human papilloma virus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. It’s so prevalent that, according to the CDC, “nearly … Continued

Safe Mammogram Alternatives for Breast Cancer Screening?

Are thermography and ultrasounds safe and beneficial alternatives for mammograms? How accurate are they and what information do they provide? Despite claims that thermography and ultrasounds are acceptable alternatives to mammograms, neither has been proven to be as good as mammography for routine breast cancer screenings. According to the American Cancer society, mammograms are still … Continued

Fibroids Treatment Options for Someone with a Family History of Cancer

I am a 53-year-old African American woman with severe menstrual bleeding due to fibroids. Over the last 19 years, I have had two myomectomies and two UFEs. I am scheduled to have a hysterectomy because the fibroids keep returning. Several people have suggested that I have an oophorectomy due to my family history of cancer. … Continued

Health Facts: No, Abortion Doesn’t Cause Breast Cancer

The Problem Opponents of reproductive choice have spent years attempting to frighten women by touting a non-existent link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer. There is no evidence of such a link and the claim is not supported by research scientists or breast cancer activists. Nonetheless, anti-choice organizations continue their attempts to … Continued

Snapshots

A Dept. of Veteran Affairs (VA) study found that few female service members who experience sexual assault seek post-assault health care, despite clear needs and the military’s (slowly) growing awareness of this issue. The study examined 1,339 servicewomen: 207 (15%) reported being sexually assaulted during military service, but just 33% sought health care related to … Continued

Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy in the United States: Background Hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed surgical procedure (after cesarean section) for U.S. women who are of reproductive age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2006-2010, 11.7 percent of women between the ages of 40-44 had a hysterectomy.1 Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually … Continued

Menopause Hormone Therapy and Ovarian Cancer

For decades, women approaching and experiencing menopause have been advised by their doctors and urged by extensive advertising campaigns to use hormone therapy to treat symptoms, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and to ward off age-related illness and conditions, like heart disease and wrinkles. With the release of results from the Women’s Health Initiative … Continued

Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening

Background If every woman in the world received adequate health care, almost none would die of cervical cancer. Effective treatments exist for pre-cancerous conditions and for cervical cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage. So, unless a woman has a compromised immune system, cervical cancer progresses very slowly and can be detected — and … Continued

Snapshots

The rates of women dying after being hospitalized with a heart attack are declining, but are still higher than men’s. A recent study examined more than 200,000 U.S. hospitalizations after acute myocardial infarction (AMI, or heart attack) among people aged 30-54. Researchers examined patient data from 2001-2010 in subgroups of age, gender, and ethnicity. Women’s … Continued

Snapshots

Postpartum depression affects nearly 13 percent of new mothers and primarily occurs within the first 3 months after childbirth. A new study suggests that longer maternity leave decreases a women’s risk for postpartum depression. Researchers followed more than 800 Minnesota women during their first year postpartum. Data were gathered on the women’s depressive symptoms at … Continued