Our Bodies, Our Blog

Judy Norsigian and Dr. Meri Khachikyan with Armenian activistsJudy Norsigian and Dr. Meri Khachikyan with Armenian activists

Striving for Gender Equity: My Journey to Armenia

By Judy Norsigian |

Looking back on 2013, one of the highlights for me was a trip to Armenia where I spoke about gender equity and witnessed a dozen young women organizing around the lack of sexuality education in their community.

I was a featured speaker at a discussion on “Promoting Gender Equity and Breaking Gender Stereotypes,” hosted by the (AUA), the , and the . … Read

Women's Rehabilitation Center facilitators in KathmanduWomen's Rehabilitation Center facilitators in Kathmandu

Cross-Border Surrogacy: How My is Advancing Public Discourse and Action

By Ayesha Chatterjee |

by Ayesha Chatterjee & Sally Whelan

In an episode that aired on primetime television in 2007, America’s favorite talk show host portrayed cross-border surrogacy as a win for everyone.

Oprah Winfrey blazed her spotlight on an American couple that traveled to a fertility clinic in the Indian city of Anand to commission a baby. In front of an audience of millions, she extolled the benefits of the arrangement for the couple, who can finally have a baby, and for the woman who is paid to become their … Read

When Off-Label is Safer for Women: The Politics of Medication Abortion

By Rachel Walden |

Among the numerous tactics used to restrict abortion access, have proposed or implemented laws that impose unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion. These restrictions interfere with evidence-based practices that are considered safer for women’s health.

Some states are requiring that medication abortions follow the exact regimen approved by the FDA back in 2000, though research has since proven that lower doses are safer and just as effective. (The FDA has approved updated labeling since 2000, but … Read

Digital Mammography: Is Newer Always Better?

By Rachel Walden |

You may have noticed last time you got a mammogram that the facility used digital imaging rather than traditional X-ray film.

Why is that? And, are there any benefits to the newer techniques?

In 2009, when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) reviewed the evidence and updated its recommendations on breast cancer screening, it concluded there was not enough evidence to assess the benefits and harms of digital vs. … Read

Cochrane Review: The Safety and Benefits of Midwives Overseeing Maternity Care

By Rachel Walden |

If you’re pregnant and living in the United State, it’s likely that an obstetrician will oversee your maternity care and childbirth. In other countries, however, midwives commonly provide care, assuming the pregnancy is low-risk.

An aimed to figure out whether patient outcomes vary by who is leading the care team.

Cochrane compiles findings from multiple studies into systematic reviews, considered top-notch for determining the best evidence-based care. In this instance, the … Read

The Ideal Labia is Your Own: Online Sites Push Back Against “Model” Genitalia

By Rachel Walden |

Cosmetic genital surgery on the labia has been of both in recent years. Many attribute this to the fact that the most readily available images of vulvas, which happen to be in pornography, don’t tend to show much variation in shape, color, hair, or other characteristics.

A few resources exist to help promote the idea that there is a much wider range of what is normal than we often see in media.

Worried About the Effectiveness of Emergency Contraception Pills? Here’s An Alternative

By Rachel Walden |

Emergency contraception is tremendously important for women seeking to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Activists and public health advocates have worked for years to make EC pills read readily available, and have been successful in getting pills such as Plan B available without a prescription or age restrictions.

Emergency contraception pills containing levonorgestrel (including Plan B) may not be right for every woman and situation, however. Though the pills can be taken up to five days after unprotected intercourse, the pills are most effective (95 percent) … Read

Top Hospitals Putting an End to Formula Marketing to New Moms

By Rachel Walden |

Despite a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding provides the most health benefits for infants, many barriers — including rigid work conditions and lack of family or community support — can interfere with a woman’s ability to start breastfeeding, or to keep breastfeeding for at least six months.

Health advocates have long criticized the popular hospital practice of distributing infant formula to new mothers, because doing so that … Read

Is There a Connection Between Endometriosis and Environmental Pollutants?

By Rachel Walden |

Endometriosis is a painful and puzzling condition in which the tissue that lines the inside of the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus, often on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. In addition to causing pain, endometriosis can result in heavy bleeding and infertility. One in 10 women of reproductive age is thought to be affected.

One of the most frustrating aspects of endometriosis is that the cause is unknown. A couple of new studies have focused on environmental … Read