Our Bodies, Our Blog

New Studies Compare Blood Clot Risks from Oral Contraceptives

By Rachel Walden |

Most users of hormonal birth control have heard warnings that the drugs may increase risk of blood clots. Two new studies in the journal BMJ examine this risk, and attempt to characterize the amount of risk by how long women were on the drugs and the type of hormone. In general, they find the highest risk when women first start taking the pill, decreased risk with decreased dose, and a lower risk with levonorgestrel than with other progestagens.

The first, a case-control … Read

Debate on Banning Prescription Drug Ads

By Rachel Walden |

Last week, the New York Times hosted a “Room for Debate” discussion on prescription drug ads that focused on whether these ads harm consumers or serve as educational resource. Participants included medicine/public health and advertising/marketing experts, science/medicine authors, and drug company critics.

For context, check out this ad for a drug for restless leg syndrome:


Notice the warning about how the medication can cause “new or increased gambling, sexual, or other increased urges”? Really makes you want to try the drug, huh?

Also check out this … Read

Double Dose, Part 2: Clinton Focuses on Elevating Women; Whole Foods Fight; Our Genders, Our Rights; The Gender Politics of “Mad Men”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Clinton Prioritizes Women’s Rights: “Clinton intends to press governments on abuses of women’s rights and make women read central in U.S. aid programs,” writes Mary Beth Sheridan at the Washington Post. “But her efforts go beyond the marble halls of government and show how she is redefining the role of secretary of state. Her trips are packed with town-hall meetings and visits to micro-credit projects and women’s dinners. Ever the politician, Clinton is using her star power to boost women who could be … Read

Double Dose, Part 1: Poll – Pro-Life Majority a Fluke?; Drug Prescriptions, Personal Data for Sale; Individual Insurance Market Full of Loopholes …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

A bit of catching up to do …

About That Pro-Life Majority …: Amy Sullivan always thought the Gallup poll released in May that showed, for the first time, a majority of Americans describing themselves as “pro-life” rather than “pro-choice,” was a fluke. And she was right:

My skeptical interpretation of the poll didn’t turn out to be terribly popular. The idea that just a few months after the election of a pro-choice president, Americans were racing to embrace the pro-life cause was too … Read

Stephen Colbert on Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Pushing Hormone Replacement Therapy

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Read swooning over Stephen Colbert ensued last night when “Myhags” popped up on the screen during a feature on women’s health.

The topic? How Wyeth pharmaceutical company hired ghostwriters to write scientific papers that emphasized the benefits of taking hormone replacement therapy and de-emphasized the risks. Read than 8,000 lawsuits have been filed against Wyeth by women who claim that the company’s hormone drugs caused them to develop illnesses.

The New York Times broke the news earlier this month. Natasha Singer … Read

Breakdancing Mums Can Groove Their Bumps, But Do They Inspire Action?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Have you seen this video?

I think Flashmobs are the the coolest. What first appears as spontaneous and organic comes to be understood by the bystanders as something orchestrated and substantial. It’s grassroots. It’s guerrilla. And it can be an incredibly effective way of making a point.

From the text that appears in the video clip above — “Worldwide, 1,400 women die everyday in pregnancy and childbirth due to lack of basic healthcare” — the point here is to raise awareness of maternal health in poor countries … Read

Comments Are Back

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

So chime in now, OK? : ) I also added words related to women’s health and politics to the captcha field commenters use to prove they’re real people. Way read fun than built-in terms like “broad” or “ikea.”

10 U.S. Hospitals Added to Baby-Friendly List

By Rachel Walden |

During last week’s World Breastfeeding Week, we learned via Women’s eNews that 10 additional U.S. facilities have been added to the list of Baby-Friendly Hospitals so far this year.

To be included on the list, facilities must meet 10 criteria demonstrating a commitment to improve institutional breastfeeding policy, training and practices. The ten steps for successful breastfeeding outlined by UNICEF/WHO for the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initative include helping mothers initiate breastfeeding, appropriately training all staff, avoiding non-breastmilk food unless medically indicated, allowing “rooming … Read

Political Diagnosis: Hijacking Healthcare Reform

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The White House Strikes Back: Faced with mixed public support and increasing disruptions at town hall meetings orchestrated by right-wing groups, the Obama administration yesterday launched a new website to help get out the facts on healthcare reform: WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck

President Obama also went on the offensive today, telling a friendly town hall audience in Portsmouth, N.H., “For all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary is if we do nothing.”

The New York Times leads off a Read