Our Bodies, Our Blog

Long-term Use of Bisphosphonates Not Helpful for Most Women

By Rachel Walden |

Last week, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published a perspective piece on the long-term use of bisphosphonates for reducing bone fracture risk in the New England Journal of Medicine, describing findings from the agency’s September 2011 review of these drugs. The agency had reviewed data from a few studies on longer term (>3 years) use of the drugs, including whether they increased bone mineral density and decreased bone fractures.

We wrote about that review in read detail here. Essentially, … Read

Obama Addresses Barnard Grads: “Fight for a Seat at the Head of the Table”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Below is the text of President Obama’s remarks at Barnard College’s commencement ceremony (as provided by the White House Office of Communications). Let us know what you think! 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you. Please, please have a seat. Thank you. (Applause.)

Thank you, President Spar, trustees, President Bollinger. Hello, Class of 2012! (Applause.) Congratulations on reaching this day. Thank you for the honor of being able to be a part of it.

There are so many people who are proud of you — your … Read

Learn Read About Inequities in Breast Cancer: Race and Place Matter

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Breast Cancer Action is offering a free, one-hour webinar examining the racial and socio-economic factors that influence the health of individuals and communities.

Titled “Inequities in Breast Cancer: Race and Place Matter,” the webinar will take place Tuesday, May 15, at 2 p.m. PDT/5 p.m. EST (register here) and again on Wednesday, May 16, at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EST (register here).

“Inequities in breast cancer risk and outcomes vary among different racial and ethnic communities and … Read

What Mothers Really Want: Right to Care for Family Members and Selves

By My |

by Ellen Bravo

My favorite Mother’s day gifts from my sons were their original stories, songs and poems. But what I needed when they were infants and toddlers was something children can’t deliver: affordable time off when they were born and when they were sick.

So for all those candidates and elected officials interested in the women’s vote and eager to prove their support for motherhood and families, here’s a sampling of what mothers want and need, not just one day a year but every day:

The right … Read

New CDC Report Finds Trends Toward Read, Better Contraceptive Use Among Sexually Active Teen Girls

By Rachel Walden |

The CDC recently released a report on sexual experience and birth control use among female teenagers in the United States. The agency used data from the National Survey of Family Growth for 1995, 2002, and 2006-2010 to look at sexual activity and birth control use among girls ages 15-19.

The percentage of teen girls who reported that they had never had vaginal intercourse rose from 48.9% in 1995 to 56.7% in the 2006-2010 period.

Of the girls who had had sex in the month before … Read

Progesterone-Alone for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats?

By Rachel Walden |

Many women going through perimenopause and in menopause either don’t have have flashes and night sweats that bother them or are able to ease them with self-help approaches.  However, between 7 and 9 percent of women have symptoms severe enough to interfere with their quality of life.

In the past, the primary treatment for hot flashes and night sweats (called vasomotor symptoms) was estrogen--progestin or estrogen-alone hormone therapy—both effective therapies. But as the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trials demonstrated, these hormone regimens unfortunately increase the … Read

Canadian Funding of Women’s Health Research Cut

By Rachel Walden |

While there has been considerable attention in the United States to political moves intended to reduce access to women’s health services, our neighbors to the north are also experiencing conservative-led cuts that affect women’s health. Six Canadian organizations focused on research and communication in women’s health have been told that their funding will be cut off next spring.

The six organizations forming the Women’s Health Contribution Program focus on issues including: the women’s health implications of the federal government’s regulation of toxic chemicals; the hyper-sexualization … Read

What Do We Know About Low Doses of Chemicals and Our Health?

By Rachel Walden |

Researchers from a number of universities and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences recently published an article in the journal Endocrine Reviews that explores how much exposure to certain chemicals is needed to cause harm, and suggests that “fundamental changes in chemical testing and safety determination are needed to protect human health.”

The researchers, led by Laura Vandenberg, looked at endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) – chemicals like BPA and DES that interfere with the body’s hormone systems. In their review, they explore complex issues … Read

Invasive Strip Searches Halted at Michigan Women’s Prison

By Rachel Walden |

[Note: this post and the linked materials contain graphic discussion of sexual abuse, rape, and prison genital searches.]

A Michigan women’s prison that was practicing a particularly degrading type of visual body cavity search on prisoners has agreed to stop the searches.

Earlier this month, the ACLU sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Corrections demanding that they end the practice of performing spread-labia vaginal searches at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility.  During such searches, women were required to sit on a chair … Read

Sign on to Support Native American Women’s Access to Emergency Contraception

By Rachel Walden |

Native American women are subjected to much higher levels of sexual violence than other women in the United States; the Department of Justice estimates that read than 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime, and they are often denied access to justice.

According to a new report, Native American women are also denied access to emergency contraception through the Indian Health Service (IHS). The report, from the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center, includes the … Read