Breast cancer patients want to talk to survivors about their experience

Edie Falco, 9 year survivor

An overwhelming number of breast cancer patients and survivors say that talking to other survivors is key to dealing with the disease.  The findings, the result of a new national poll of breast cancer patients and survivors, inspired Edie Falco, the award-winning actress of the hit series Nurse Jackie and 9-year cancer survivor to join forces with Y-ME, a national breast cancer organization focused on the needs of survivors and patients.

Bicycling and Women’s Sexual Health

Spending time on a bicycle seat, which has been linked to erectile dysfunction in men, may also be a hazard to a woman’s sexual health, a new study shows.

Many women who cycle or take spin classes are familiar with the numbness that sometimes can occur from sitting on a traditional bike seat. Bike seats are designed in such a way that body weight typically rests on the nose of the seat, which can compress nerves and blood vessels in the genital area. In men, this raises the risk of erectile dysfunction, something that has been documented in studies of male police officers on bicycle patrol.

PT for UI: Muscle training effective for urinary incontinence in women

A type of exercise called pelvic floor muscle training is effective for treating adult women with urinary incontinence (the involuntary loss of urine) without risk of side effects, according to a new report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The report also found that drug-based treatments can be effective, but the degree of benefit is low and side effects are common.

Pregnant women have longer labor now than 50 years ago

Women take longer to give birth today than did women 50 years ago, according to an analysis of nearly 140,000 deliveries conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers compared data on deliveries in the early 1960s to data gathered in the early 2000s. They found that the first stage of labor had increased by 2.6 hours for first-time mothers. For women who had previously given birth, this early stage of labor took two hours longer in recent years than for women in the 1960s. The first stage of labor is the stage during which the cervix dilates, before active pushing begins.

Shifting from health care to jobs

While we continue to fight for  access to health care (pending the US Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act) it’s rewarding to see that work continues on economic and job issues.   U.S.  Senator Tom Harkin recently  introduced the Rebuild America Act, which would improve economic security for women and their families.

Rural Women’s Health discussed on WBEZ Radio

We tend to think of rural women’s issues in the context of the developing world. But in America rural women also struggle. One of the big factors in rural poverty is the lack of access to decent health services. On March 30,2012, Worldview, a weekly talk show on WBEZ radio, a PBS affiliate, explored rural women’s health issues and needs in the U.S. with Sharon Green, the executive director of Northwestern University’s Institute for Women’s Health Research.

Lack of Chlamydia testing can threaten reproductive health

Just 38 percent of sexually active young women were screened for chlamydia in the previous year in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC recommends annual screening for all sexually active women aged 25 and under.   If recent policies related to health care reform that focus on preventive care are cut, this problem could become worse.

Autism on the rise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities.  Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls – with 1 in 54 boys identified.

Locker room anxiety

More women work out at coed gyms and are comfortable sweating side by side with men. But what about the women’s locker room?   A recent study found that when it comes changing in the locker room, the acts of disrobing, dressing, showering and being naked in front of others, can be very discomfiting. It’s a complex experience as women are faced with an awareness of their bodies different than in any other space. Some women seek privacy while others are very comfortable changing in front of others.

Gender bias persists in cost of insurance

Women still pay more than men for the same health insurance coverage, according to new research and data from online brokers.  This is one reason women should be monitoring the US Supreme Court’s hearings on the recent Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking place in the nation’s Capitol.  The major point of contention under discussion is whether the mandate that all people must have insurance is constitutional. If the entire ACA is stuck down (verses only the mandate section) the prohibition of gender rating may be at risk.