Our Bodies, Our Blog

Different Shapes, Sizes, and Colors: The Wide Range of Normal Vulvas

By Rachel Walden |

As mentioned in yesterday’s post on this past weekend’s New York Times Magazine carried an amazing article  —  — that uses a Philadelphia private school’s approach to sex ed to illustrate a simple but controversial question: What if we actually taught young people about pleasure, orgasms, healthy relationships, and the wide variety of what is normal in both sexual desire and physical appearance?

I want … Read

Sexuality, Pleasure & Safety: How to Know What You Really Really Want

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Imagine if sex education covered not only important information about how to protect your health and prevent unwanted pregnancy, but also how to have really good sex — including how to know what you want and how to value your needs and desires along with your partner’s.

As reported this past weekend, a truly comprehensive sex-ed class does exist — one that gives as much weight to female orgasm as to navigating complex emotional and … Read

Read Discussion of Nitrous Oxide in Labor

By Rachel Walden |

The November/December issue of the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health has , a nurse-midwife and epidemiologist who has long advocated for making nitrous oxide available as a pain relief option for U.S. women in labor.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas that a laboring woman can breathe in through a mask.  It works very quickly, taking effect in about a minute, and wears off quickly.  Because it is administered by the laboring woman herself, it … Read

Mammograms: How Effective Are They?

By Rachel Walden |

Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times’s Well blog begins with a provocative question: Has the power of the mammogram been oversold?

It’s not a question that has been completely ignored – considerable debate erupted in late 2009 when the US Preventive Services Task Force recommending that women without higher risk wait until age 50 to begin routine mammograms.

Myhags, the National Women’s Health Network and Breast Cancer Action all have previously raised concerns about … Read

Helping women then and now

By My |

by Jayne Marchesi

Oh my gosh! Congratulations on 40 years!

I received my first “Our Bodies, Ourselves” when I was starting college back in 1978. Then I gave a newer edition to my daughter when she was in high school. The information in this book was so invaluable to me. Having so many questions and not knowing who to talk to back then made me feel empowered in my young years.

Do you remember when you first read “Our Bodies, Ourselves”? Read

What the Mississippi Personhood Amendment Can Teach Us About Organizing Around Reproductive Rights and Justice

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Voters in Mississippi are heading to the polls today to vote on a ballot initiative that would define a fertilized egg as a person. If it passes, it would have far-reaching implications for women’s health and reproductive rights.

would define personhood as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” Colorado voted on a personhood amendment in 2008 and 2010, and both times the amendment failed. But in Mississippi the vote looks much read … Read

Understanding In Vitro Fertilization and Ovarian Cancer Risk

By Rachel Walden |

A in the journal Human Reproduction has attracted a fair bit of attention because it suggests a possible link between in vitro fertilization (IVF) and later increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Certain factors increase a woman’s risk of getting ovarian cancer, including a family history of reproductive cancers, personal history of cancer, certain gene mutations, increasing age, hormone replacement therapy, and infertility itself.  Right now, it’s still very hard to determine how much fertility treatments – such as the ovarian stimulation used … Read

Finally, Some Consensus on Home Birth: The Nine Statements of Agreement

By Judy Norsigian |

At an historic Home Birth Consensus Summit in Virginia last month on “The Future of Home Birth in the United States: Addressing Shared Responsibility,” a group of 68 national and international experts developed nine key common ground statements that provide a foundation for continued dialogue and collaboration across sectors in the maternity care field.

The statements were posted this week at , along with comment about the scope and context of the meeting. The site also includes information about Read

Raise a Stink! – Send a Letter Against Pinkwashing

By Rachel Walden |

is the selling of potentially harmful or cancer-causing products through pink ribbon promotions, many of which were active in October, which is national breast cancer awareness month.

Breast Cancer Action is running their “Raise a Stink!” campaign in response to concerns about one particular product, the “Promise Me” perfume marketed by Komen. BCA that some ingredients in the product could be potential carcinogens, and objected to the small amount of money donated for each bottle of perfume.

Komen released a … Read