Our Bodies, Our Blog

Good Journalism: The Story of a Transgender Youth and Her Family

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Earlier this month, The Boston Globe published a story that deserves special mention before resuming our holiday break.

The story starts by comparing identical twins, two boys who grew up with distinctly different personalities and interests. As Bella English writes:

Jonas was all boy. He loved Spiderman, action figures, pirates, and swords.

Wyatt favored pink tutus and beads. At 4, he insisted on a Barbie birthday cake and had a thing for mermaids. On Halloween, Jonas was Buzz Lightyear. … Read

The Health Cost of Black Women’s Hair Products

By My |

by Kat Friedrich

There is a striking lack of mainstream news coverage of the health hazards posed by beauty products, such as hair relaxers and skin lighteners, that are commonly used by black women. African-American women spend read on beauty products than white women do, but far too little research has looked at how women use these products.

So when the New York City-based WE ACT for … Read

BRCA Genes and Cancer Outcomes

By Rachel Walden |

You may have seen recent news coverage along the lines of “BRCA variants not tied to worse cancer outcomes.” This story refers to a recently published study about changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that affect breast and ovarian cancer. Women with mutated versions of the genes have greater risks of breast and ovarian cancer than women with typical versions of the genes.

In the new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, … Read

Participate in a Study of Body Image and Well-Being

By Rachel Walden |

A Doctor of Psychology candidate at Deakin University in Australia who is working on her thesis about the connection between a woman’s body image and her sense of well-being ed us with a request to share a link to the online questionnaire where women 18 and older can participate in her research.

The questionnaire will ask you about how you feel about your body, behaviors related to your body, and how you feel about yourself in general. You can complete it online and they estimate that … Read

Susan Wood Issues Response to Sebelius’s Overruling of Emergency Contraception Access

By Rachel Walden |

Last week, we wrote about a controversial decision by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who overruled the FDA’s decision that emergency contraception should be made available over the counter to women of all ages.

On Friday, former FDA official Susan Wood issued her response to the move in the Washington Post, rejecting Sebelius’s claim that read data is needed on safety and label comprehension for the youngest of possible emergency contraception users:

…this type of age restriction, and worries about the use of medicines … Read

Evidence Trampled By Politics: HHS Secretary Sebelius Overrides FDA Decision on OTC Emergency Contraception

By Rachel Walden |

Yesterday, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius interfered with the FDA’s decision that emergency contraception could safely be made available over the counter (OTC) without a prescription to women and girls of all ages.

The drug is already available without a prescription for women 17 and older, after years of political wrangling. Advocates have worked to ensure OTC access because emergency contraception is most effective when used as soon as possible, and time, distance, money, and privacy can be serious barriers to getting a prescription … Read

A landmark in the history of our country…

By My |

by Robert J. Levine, MD

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Tell us your story!

I am very proud and pleased to have a copy of My personally autographed by Judy Norsigian. I see this book as a landmark in the history of our country and its culture. There is, of course, plenty of published support for my perspective.

In this series, readers tell their stories about their experiences with the book … Read

New “Our Bodies, Ourselves” a 2011 Library Journal Best Book!

By Rachel Walden |

We are delighted that Library Journal, a source of book reviews and professional information for librarians, has named the new Myhags 40th anniversary edition one of its Best Books 2011 in the consumer health category.

Library Journal notes the incorporation of global perspectives and says the updated and revised title is “aging superbly.” Other recent mentions in the journal have called the edition “essential for public and medical libraries,” and “…still the bible for women’s health; an … Read

Taking a Look at Osteoporosis Drugs and Fracture Risks

By Rachel Walden |

We have written several times here about concerns about bisphosphonates – a drug intended to prevent bone fractures – and the possibility that these drugs increase the risk of a type of femur fracture. While these fractures are relatively rare and not well understood, the FDA has said that patients should be made aware of the potential risk, especially with long-term use of the drugs. There is also debate over how much these drugs actually help prevent fractures … Read

Why is the Cesarean Section Rate So High?

By Rachel Walden |

A recent Boston Globe Magazine feature “The C-Section Boom,” written by obstetrician Adam Wolfberg, discusses the high rate of cesarean sections as well as the variable rate between providers and facilities, possible reasons for the high rate, and potential approaches for reduction.

Wolfberg believes that the factors that contribute to the high rates include doctors’ convenience, fear of litigation, overdiagnosis of fetal distress, and previous cesareans. One particular statement laid out the power dynamic operating in many birth situations with a clarity I’ve rarely seen:

The truth … Read