Our Bodies, Our Blog

Midwives Risk Death to Help Bring Birth

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Chicago Tribune reports on the high maternal death rate for women in Afghanistan and training programs for midwives. To put it in perspective: “Almost every 26 minutes here, a woman dies giving birth. Only Sierra Leone’s rate is worse. In her lifetime, an Afghan woman has a 1 in 8 chance of dying in labor.”

As Rachel previously wrote, there has been a push in recent years by Afghan health officials and Western aid groups to train midwives, whose skills are desperately needed in … Read

FDA Panel to Discuss Approval of Female Condom

By Rachel Walden |

Tomorrow, the Food and Drug Administration’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel (an advisory committee) will consider and vote on a premarket approval application for the FC2 Female Condom for HIV and pregnancy prevention.

This type of application means that the company making the condoms, the Female Health Company, believes the product is “substantially equivalent” to the female condom that is already on the market (sometimes know as the “Reality” condom, which is another FHC product). Whether the two products are equivalent is something the … Read

Day Without a Gay

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Did you call in gay today?

Day Without a Gay, a loosely organized protest created to draw attention to anti-gay ballot initiatives — including Prop 8, which repealed the right of gays to marry in California — is part economic boycott and part service project. Gays and lesbians are encouraged to spend the day volunteering for a nonprofit organization or worthy cause.

Not everyone can take the day off, so here are four things you can do to participate … Read

Kaiser Webcast on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health and Health Care

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Kaiser Family Foundation is sponsoring a live webcast today at 1 p.m. EST on a very important topic: “Are Health Disparities Back on the National Agenda? Examining the Impact of a New Administration and Congress”

Expert panelists will take a closer look at what types of policies and initiatives could emerge over the next few years. They will also examine how the new administration might prioritize efforts to eliminate health disparities in the future. Submit questions to panelists before or during the show to Read

Emotional Effects of Pregnancy After Infertility or Loss: An Interview With Jen Dozer

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

When a woman becomes pregnant after experiencing infertility, those around her are likely to expect nothing short of complete joy. Pregnancy, after all, is the long-awaited goal.

But as Jen Dozer, a freelance writer and registered nurse, writes in this article published at Myhags, a woman who has experienced infertility or a pregnancy loss may find it difficult to push aside feelings of worry and concern.

“The long-desired pregnancy may not be the joyous experience she has dreamed about,” writes Dozer. “The experience … Read

New Study Reports Carraguard Gel No Better Than Placebo for HIV Prevention

By Rachel Walden |

A study published in the December issue of The Lancet reports on a three-year trial of Carraguard gel for HIV prevention and found that the microbicide, developed by the Population Council and derived from seaweed, is no better than a placebo at reducing HIV infections.

The researchers enrolled read than 6,000 sexually-active, HIV-negative women aged 16 years and older from three South African sites. The women were randomized to receive either the Carraguard gel and condoms or a placebo gel and condoms … Read

Double Dose: Lesbians in the Funny Pages; Future of Reproductive Health and Rights; Certified Organic Male?; You Know the Healthcare System is Broken When …

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Lesbians Star in the Funny Pages: In case you missed it, Alison Bechdel’s “The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For” got a fab review in The New York Times. Dwight Garner not only heaps tons of praise, but he writes like a genuine fan, and the review is very enjoyable to read.

Even Bechdel is impressed. She wrote on her blog: “Lemme tell you whippersnappers. I can remember when the Times wouldn’t even print the word ‘dyke.’ In fact, somewhere … Read

Want to Help Empower Girls? Volunteer/Intern with Teen Voices

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Teen Voices, an awesome leadership program for girls built around the production of Teen Voices magazine, is looking for mentors and interns. Read details about the various positions and application information can be found here.

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Mentors: Teen Voices is looking for women in the Boston area who want to mentor teen … Read

Thursday Morning Sing-A-Long: Prop 8 -The Musical

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Allison Janney, Neil Patrick Harris, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Kathy Najimy and many read actors you know star in this send-up of religious objections to same-sex marriage. Did we mention Jack Black is Jesus?

“After being so angry and confused about this horrible and unconstitutional public shaming, it was amazing to go out there and do what we do best in protest: sing and dance,” said Adam Shankman, who staged and produced the video. The music and lyrics were written by Marc Shaiman, who won a Tony Award for … Read