The Women’s Health Activist Newsletter
I had an Intrauterine Devices (IUD) in the 70s, when a feminist outcry exposed serious problems caused by the Dalkon Shield IUD, including infertility, uterine perforation, and death. The Dalkon Shield was removed from the market and its manufacturer declared bankruptcy after paying millions of dollars in malpractice settlements.
In mid-July, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted to keep the diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) on the market, while simultaneously acknowledging not only that the drug increases the risk of heart attacks, but also that there are many other, safer medications available — including Actos (pioglitazone), a close sibling of Avandia made by a competing manufacturer.
Mammography is a useful but problematic diagnostic tool that exposes breast tissue to radiation that can increase the risk of breast cancer. Screening mammography saves lives in menopausal women over 50, but not for women under 50.
If you or your mother became menopausal between the 1960s and 90s, you know that most women were pressured to take hormones from their first hot flash until their death. A friend joked that all women would be clutching a vial of Premarin on their death-beds. Joking aside, all Network members should be proud to be part of the only national membership organization that consistently opposed estrogen for disease prevention.
One day around two years ago, while examining my body, I discovered a pelvic organ prolapse. Being a health researcher, I immediately started researching what I was facing. Two gynecologists I saw were ready to wheel me into surgery for a hysterectomy, and offered no alternatives, because I was menopausal, and therefore “do not need” my uterus.
Advocates fought for years to make emergency contraception available over-the-counter so that women could have convenient and timely access to this contraceptive option when they needed it. But removing the prescription requirement created a new barrier for some women.
Suzanne Somers looks great. In interviews and a series of books, the actress attributes her seeming agelessness — not to mention increased energy, libido, and a host of other benefits — to her use of “bioidentical” hormones.
The Treatment and Mistreatment of Chronic “Urgency and Frequency”- Gathering Women’s Experiences About Interstitial Cystitis
In 1970 I had a bladder infection, hardly a cause for alarm. My gynecologist cleared up the infection with antibiotics but sent me to a urologist just to be on the safe side. Little did I know that I had just embarked upon a course of pain, repeated treatments, and frustration that would last for the next three decades.
When was the last time you heard a joke suggesting that sex invariably goes ever downhill or totally crashes after menopause? Like yesterday? This concept was boldly reaffirmed — without reference to reliable research — at a conference on menopause held by the National Institutes of Health in 2005!
I doubled over and groaned as the stabbing sensation worsened in my abdomen. I was in the middle of a math test my sophomore year of high school, but the Pythagorean Theorem was the last thing on my mind. I was imagining punching my doctor in the face for telling me to simply take more Advil the next time that my cramps began.