Our Bodies, Our Blog

What’s Wrong With Fertility Clinics and Online Advertising

By Rachel Walden |

Did you know the United States and New Zealand are the only nations that permit direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical ads?

A decade ago, Kaiser Family Foundation found that every $1 the pharmaceutical industry spends on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising yields $4.20 in drug sales, and that DTC ads were responsible for 12 percent ($2.6 billion) of the total growth in drug spending in 2000.

Groups such as Myhags and the National Women’s Health Network have long argued for … Read

Lessons in Denial: A Student Perspective on High School Health Class

By Guest Contributor |

by Hanna Pennington 

No one ever really wants to take health class; it’s a required course, something people try to get out of the way so they aren’t that about-to-graduate senior who still has to take health. And that’s because at most high schools, health class doesn’t offer much — and everyone knows it.

I spent 80 minutes every other morning in health class during the second semester of my sophoread year, and when faced with an end-of-the-year survey about the class, I realized that the time … Read

Access to Contraception Increases Social and Economic Benefits for Women And Society

By Rachel Walden |

The Guttmacher Institute recently published a report examining how access to and the use of effective birth control affects women’s lives.

“The Social and Economic Benefits of Women’s Ability to Determine Whether and When To Have Children” reviews read than 66 studies over the past 30 years. According to researchers, access to contraception and avoidance of unplanned pregnancy have led to:

  • increases in young women obtaining at least some college education
  • increases in college-educated women pursuing advanced professional degrees
  • increased participation in the workforce by women
  • increases in … Read

What Explains Variation in Cesarean Rates Between Hospitals?

By Rachel Walden |

While cesarean rates (which reached an all-time high in 2007) are known to vary widely by state, they also vary quite a bit by hospital. One common explanation for this has been that different hospitals have different c-section rates because they see different types of patients – patients who are sicker or healthier, or read likely to have complications requiring cesarean.

In an Read

Are Right-to-Know Breast Density Laws Good for Women’s Health?

By Rachel Walden |

There’s been much discussion lately about routine mammogram screening for breast cancer, including, according a new study, the very real psychological harm connected to false positive readings.

Complicating this information further is the issue of breast density. Dense breasts have less fat and read glandular and connective tissue. While some women’s breasts become less dense and read fatty … Read

Myhags Heads to Austin and Chicago With “Absolutely Safe”

By My |

Hey Austin and Chicago! Judy Norsigian, founder and executive director of Myhags, and film director Carol Ciancutti are heading to your cities to host a screening and discussion of the acclaimed documentary “Absolutely Safe,” examining the controversy over breast implant safety. The screenings are free and open to the public.

The Austin event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at the University of Texas at Austin AVAYA Auditorium (ACE 2.302).

The Chicago screening takes … Read

Rally at the Supreme Court – Breast Cancer Gene Case to be Heard Next Month

By Rachel Walden |

Arguments are scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on April 15 on the Myriad Genetics case, which will challenge patents held on human genes, especially the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes known to increase breast cancer risk.

The suit charges that leaving human genes in the hands of corporations limits diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures, and limit women’s options for medical care.

Breast Cancer Action is holding a rally on April 15, the day the case is heard, to … Read

Women’s History: The New York Times Reviews “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Forty years ago today, The New York Times reviewed “Our Bodies, Ourselves” under the headline “Thinking About the Thinkable.”

It’s fascinating to see how the book was received in the mainstream press — and, in this case, how one of the most prominent book reviewers of the late 20th century, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, approached the text.

I admit I was surprised to see his byline when I looked up the review, after being alerted to the anniversary on Twitter via Read

FDA Approves Silicone Gel Breast Implant Without Public Meeting

By Rachel Walden |

In late February, the FDA approved the Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Gel Filled Breast Implant for breast augmentation in women age 22 and older and breast reconstruction in women of any age.

It surprises us that the FDA did not hold a public Advisory Committee Meeting prior to approval. All we found was the press release, which notes the FDA based its approval on seven years of data from 941 … Read

Europe Takes on Review of Birth Control Pills Containing Drospirenone

By Rachel Walden |

While most birth control pills currently available in the United States are safe for most women, some newer pills that contain the progestin drospirenone have come under scrutiny because of an increased risk of blood clots. Birth control pills containing drospirenone include Beyaz, Gianvi, Loryna, Ocella, Safyral, Syeda, Yasmin, Yaz and Zarah.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced late last month that it would take another look at so-called third and fourth generation oral contraceptives, including those with drospirenone, and consider whether use of these drugs … Read