Our Bodies, Our Blog

Attack of the Too-Clean Environment?

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Washington Post has an interesting if somewhat frustrating front-page story today about the rise of allergies and immune-system diseases — which experts say have “doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in the last few decades, depending on the ailment and country.”

“Allergic diseases” includes ailments such as hay fever, eczema, asthma and food allergies. Autoimmune diseases include lupus, MS, Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition to varying theories about what’s causing the increase in both, scientists are implementing various methods in … Read

A Feel-Good Story with a Jolt

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

I’m not one to get sappy over Starbucks, but this story about a 51-year-old barista who is donating one of her kidneys to a customer with polycystic kidney disease is too good to pass up.

Sandie Andersen took the job read than four years ago for the health benefits, which her husband’s job does not provide. Now she’ll share her health with Annamarie Ausnes, 55, a university administrative assistant who started coming in for a daily pick-me-up about three years ago. The women bonded … Read

What Do These Articles Say About Cesarean Section?

By Rachel Walden |

This will be a long one, but two articles on c-section were recently brought to my attention for discussion here.

The first is a recent study of what happens when women attempt VBAC and how their outcomes change after having had a VBAC successfully. The authors prospectively looked at 13,532 VBAC attempts from 1999-2002 at several U.S. academic medical centers among women who were considered candidates for it – those with singleton pregnancies, with at least one previous c-section by a low transverse, and ultimately delivered … Read

Double Dose: Hormone Therapy Affects Mammogram Results; UN Meetings on Status of Women; African Lesbians Demand End to Criminalization of Homosexuality; A Dose of “Slow Medicine”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Planned Parenthood Stands to Lose State Funding: “The Virginia Senate voted Wednesday to cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood of Virginia because it offers abortions, an action that could endanger hundreds of thousands of dollars in state aid for women’s health-care program,” reports the Washington Post.

“The irony is, Planned Parenthood probably prevents read abortions than any other organization in the country,” said Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax).

Online Rally for Paid Sick Days: Join in at EveryoneGetsSick.org a project of the … Read

Remembering Barbara Seaman

By Rachel Walden |

We at My are saddened to report that Barbara Seaman, co-founder of the National Women’s Health Network, noted feminist, women’s health activist, and author, died this morning. Seaman’s life and work leave much to be celebrated, as she was a tireless advocate for informed consent and exposing information on hormonal medications, including publication of the breakthrough 1969 book “The Doctors’ Case against the Pill,” which led to Congressional hearings on oral contraception and ultimately to the first safety warning on the drug.

Born in 1935 and … Read

Myhags: Pregnancy and Birth

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Announcing “It’s a BOOK!” doesn’t have the same ring as “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!”

But we here at Myhags are bursting with the pride of new parents. After a two-year gestation involving the work of many doctors, doulas, midwives, birth activists, nurses, educators and, of course, mothers, “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth” has arrived.

The new book addresses the questions and needs of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the “fourth trimester” — early motherhood. Topics include: choosing a provider … Read

Conference Evaluates Microbicides for HIV Prevention

By Rachel Walden |

Microbicides 2008, an international conference to discuss current research on microbicides, is happening this week in New Delhi, India. Microbicides are a hot topic in global HIV/AIDS prevention research, as they represent a woman-controlled, non-barrier method that do not require a partner’s cooperation.

An early report from the conference notes that tenofovir gel, a vaginal microbicide that incorporates an antiretroviral drug (such as those used in HIV treatment), has passed safety trials for daily use. The next step in research will be to … Read

Legal Momentum Hosts Panel Discussion on Sex Ed

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

The Rayburn House Office Building on Tuesday will play host to sex, lies and stereotypes. And no one will get in trouble for it.

But there will be plenty of talk about the trouble with abstinence-only programs and the harm they cause to women and girls in particular. “Sex, Lies & Stereotypes” (PDF) is the name of a new report produced by Legal Momentum and the title of Tuesday’s panel discussion.

Based on recommendations arising from a September 2006 roundtable at … Read

Double Dose: BCA Blasts Approval of Avastin; Short Maternity Leave for Women in the Military; Do Cellphones Affect Male Fertility?; Read on Migraines; Debating “Juno”

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Score One for the Patient: A breast cancer patient whose medical coverage was canceled by her insurer was awarded read than $9 million from her for-profit insurer, Health Net Inc., reports the L.A. Times. “The award issued by an arbitration judge was the first of its kind and prompted Health Net to announce it was scrapping its cancellation practices that are under fire from state regulators, patients and the Los Angeles city attorney.”

BCA Blasts Approval of Avastin: In a surprise move, the FDA … Read

V-Bombs and Sex-Ed Fights: Vaginas in the News

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

“School Newspaper Drops a V-Bomb” reads the headline of this L.A. Times story about the confiscation of a high school student newspaper that featured a labeled diagram of a vagina on the front page of the Valentine’s Day issue.

The paper’s editor-in-chief, 15-year-old Richard Edmond, said he was trying to raise awareness of violence against women with a lead story about playwright Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.”

“I didn’t think it was going to be that big a deal,” Edmond said. “But they are really upset.”

Edmond … Read