Category Archives: Women’s Health

Women’s health – Week 47: Alcohol

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Even in small amounts, alcohol can have negative effects on a woman’s health. In some ways, heavy drinking is a lot more risky for women than it is for men.

Women who drink more than one drink per day increase their risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 46: Stroke

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

A stroke, also called a brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain suddenly stops. Blocked or damaged vessels are the two major causes of stroke.

During a stroke, brain cells begin to die because oxygen and nutrients cannot reach them. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage.

Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. Immediate treatment can save a person’s life and enhance the chance for a successful recovery.

stroke

Diagram showing what happens in the brain during a hemorrhagic stroke and a ischemic stroke.

There are two kinds of stroke: Continue reading

Share

Half of abortion clinics in Texas close due to new state law

Share

200px-Flag-map_of_TexasBy Carrie Feibel, KUHF
KHN / JULY 18TH

This story is part of a partnership that includes Houston Public MediaNPR and Kaiser Health News. 

In just over the past year, the number of abortion clinics in Texas fell from 41 to 20, and watchdogs say that as few as six may be left by September.

Many of those closed because of the requirement that doctors at those clinics obtain hospital admitting privileges within a certain radius of the clinic, and many doctors couldn’t comply. That requirement began November 1. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the law that started it all.

Bitter fighting over the law last summer propelled state senator Wendy Davis into the national spotlight, and she is now running for Texas governor on the Democratic ticket.

“We’re seeing delays,” said Heather Busby, executive director of  NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “We’re seeing people being pushed further into pregnancy, having to leave the state, having to drive and sleep in their cars in parking lots because of these barriers to access.” Continue reading

Share

Senate Democrats fight to reverse Supreme Court, state abortion restrictions

Share

Most of the momentum in fights over birth control and abortion has been in the direction of opponents of late. But you wouldn’t know that by watching the U.S. Senate.

Democrats who control the chamber have scheduled a vote for Wednesday on a bill that would effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling regarding contraceptive requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

And on Tuesday the Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a separate, sweeping measure that would invalidate many state abortion restrictions. Continue reading

Share

Women’s health – Week 45: Sexually transmitted infections

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s HealthSexually

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): also commonly called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections you can get by having sex with someone who has an infection. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 44: Puberty

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Puberty is the set of physical changes that occur when a person becomes sexually mature. Puberty usually occurs between ages 10 and 14 for girls and ages 12 and 16 for boys.

In girls, the first sign of puberty is often breast development. Other signs are the growth of hair in the pubic area and in the armpits. Sometimes acne appears and, eventually, menstruation begins. Continue reading

Share

Did the Supreme Court tip its hand on contraception cases yet to come?

Share

The Supreme Court’s opinion Monday holding that some for-profit firms do not have to provide women the contraceptive coverage required under the Affordable Care Act if they have religious objections addressed only half of the ongoing legal battle over the birth control mandate.

But those on both sides of the issue think the court’s majority may have telegraphed which way it could rule when one of those other cases reaches the justices. Continue reading

Share

Hobby Lobby decision may not be the last word on birth control cover

Share

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday saying that “closely held corporations” do not have to abide by the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act may not give those firms the ability to stop providing that coverage after all.

More than half the states have “contraceptive equity” laws on the books that require most employers whose health insurance covers prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of that package. Continue reading

Share

Pelvic exams no longer recommended for well-woman visits

Share

Woman's HeadBy Jenny Gold
KHN/JULY 1ST, 2014

The American College of Physicians announced a major change to their screening guidelines Monday evening: Healthy women should no longer receive pelvic exams during their annual well-woman visits.

The recommendation does not apply to women who are pregnant or who have symptoms of pelvic disease.

“It’s an intrusive test, it’s a test women don’t like, and there’s no evidence that we should be doing it,” says Dr. Hanna Bloomfield, associate chief of staff of research at the Minneapolis VA Healthcare System, who conducted the evidence review that led to the new recommendation.

During the exam, the patient lies on the exam table with her feet in stirrups. The doctor examines the woman internally with one hand and applies pressure externally with the other hand, in what is known as a “bimanual exam.”

Another part of the exam involves the use of a speculum. The screening is used to find cancer, noncancerous masses and infection in the ovaries, uterus and other pelvic organs. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 43: Endometriosis

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Endometriosis occurs when tissues that are like the lining of the uterus grow on surfaces of organs in the pelvis or abdomen. Endometriosis may affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant. The two most common symptoms of endometriosis are pain and infertility.

Symptoms can include:

Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 42: Overview of the Reproductive System

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Overview of the reproductive system A healthy reproductive system is an important part of a woman’s overall health.

Your reproductive health is influenced by many factors – these include age, lifestyle, habits, genetics, medicines, and exposure to chemicals in the environment.

The female reproductive system contains two main parts: internal and external. Continue reading

Share

Women’s Health – Week 41: Quitting Smoking

Share

tacuin womenFrom the Office of Research on Women’s Health

Quitting smoking If you stop using tobacco, you could greatly improve your health. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.

Smoking causes most cancers of the larynx (voice box), oral cavity (mouth) and pharynxesophagusbladderkidney, stomach, and cervix.

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that are harmful. Health care providers know that at least 250 of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke are harmful.

If you smoke, your risk of developing smoking-related diseases, such as lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, increase with each additional year you smoke. Continue reading

Share

For women just out of jail, health care could be key to better life

Share

This story is part of a partnership that includes KQEDNPR and Kaiser Health News.

transition clinic 300

Juanita Alvarado (right), a community health worker at the Transitions Clinic in San Francisco, helps a patient. (Photo courtesy Transitions Clinic).

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department is implementing a new city law allowing its staff to enroll inmates into health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi believes that making sure people have health coverage when they’re released will help prevent them from committing another crime and coming back.

One inmate – Sophia – recently requested help signing up for health insurance. Sophia, who asked that her last name not be used, was caught driving a stolen car in January and sentenced to three months in the county jail.

She says that was because she stopped getting treatment for her substance abuse and mental health problems when her health insurance expired.

“It stopped in December and I didn’t get it reinstated. So I didn’t address any of my issues and I guess that’s why I found myself in a car, driving around,” she says.

Pretty soon, health insurance sign-ups like Sophia’s will happen for all inmates at the San Francisco county jail — whether they request it or not. They’ll happen right when most new arrivals get booked into custody. Continue reading

Share

How Supreme Court decision may affect access to birth control

Share

 One of the most watched cases before the Supreme Court this term will may turn on the question of religious freedom.

But it will also likely determine how women will be able to access a key provision of the Affordable Care Act – one seeking to guarantee no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance plans. Continue reading

Share