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Archive for the ‘reproductive health’ Category

Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS–Cognitive and Affective Study

July 14, 2015 Comments off

Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognition and Mood in Recently Postmenopausal Women: Findings from the Randomized, Controlled KEEPS–Cognitive and Affective Study
Source: PLoS Medicine

In the KEEPS-Cog trial, 220 healthy recently postmenopausal women took an estrogen pill every day and a progesterone pill for the first 12 days of each month, 211 women wore an estradiol patch (transdermal estradiol) and took a progesterone pill for the first 12 days of each month, and 262 women received placebo patches and pills for up to four years (the average follow-up was a little less than three years). The researchers assessed the trial participants for their overall cognitive health using an instrument called the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination, for four specific cognitive functions using several established instruments, for depression symptoms using the Beck Depression Inventory, and for mood using the Profile of Mood States instrument at baseline and at 18, 36, and 48 months. Statistical analysis of the data collected indicates that, during the trial, there were no treatment-related effects on cognition or depression symptoms. However, women treated with estrogen pills and progesterone (but not those treated with estradiol patches and progesterone) showed improvements in some mood symptoms compared to women in the placebo group.

Transparency About Abortion Coverage Still Lacking, but Achievable

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Transparency About Abortion Coverage Still Lacking, but Achievable
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Individuals purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces may have difficulty finding consistent, clear information on whether a plan includes or excludes abortion coverage. However, transparency about abortion coverage is both necessary and achievable, according to a new analysis published in the Guttmacher Policy Review.

Under the ACA, insurance plans are neither required to nor prohibited from covering abortion. However, 25 states prohibit coverage of abortion on their health insurance marketplaces. In the remaining states and the District of Columbia, issuers can offer plans that cover abortion care beyond the narrow instances of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is endangered. But a new Guttmacher analysis of publicly available 2015 plan documents in these states found the vast majority of plans do not include information on whether and to what extent abortion is covered. Among the minority of issuers that do address abortion coverage, the way the information is provided varies considerably and is not always useful.

Few teens use the most effective types of birth control

July 4, 2015 Comments off

Few teens use the most effective types of birth control
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Teen births continue to decline in the U.S., but still more than 273,000 infants were born to teens ages 15 to 19 in 2013. Childbearing during the teen years can carry health, economic, and social costs for mothers and their children.

The good news is that more teens are waiting to have sex, and of those who are sexually active, nearly 90 percent used birth control the last time they had sex. Data show that teens most often use condoms and birth control pills which, when not used consistently and correctly, are less effective for preventing pregnancy. According to this month’s Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, increasing access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is one way to further reduce teen pregnancy.

Coercing Pregnancy

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Coercing Pregnancy
Source: William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law

Intimate partners coerce thousands of women in the United States into pregnancy each year through manipulation, threats of violence, or acts that deliberately interfere with the use of, or access to, contraception or abortion. Although many of these pregnancies occur within the context of otherwise abusive relationships, for others, pregnancy serves as a trigger for intimate partner violence. Beyond violence preceding or resulting from pregnancy, women who experience coerced pregnancies often suffer other physical, financial and emotional harms. Despite its correlation to domestic violence, reproductive coercion fits imperfectly, if at all, within our existing laws designed to combat domestic violence or rape. Although the harms of forced sex and, though to a slightly lesser extent, the harms of domestic violence, are well understood and accepted in our culture and our laws, the harm of experiencing a pregnancy through coercive acts remains largely invisible in both spheres, despite the prevalence of coerced pregnancies. This Article begins by filling in the missing narrative of reproductive coercion by exploring the social and legal contours of how women are coerced into pregnancy, the harms that can result, and the deep correlation between such acts and domestic violence. It then explores how our cultural and legal conflation of pregnancy with sex, motherhood and even abortion, limits our ability to isolate and understand the experience of pregnancy coercion. This Article concludes by considering how arming feminists and other advocates with an increased understanding of the interrelatedness between pregnancy, coercion, and intimate partner abuse can help to broaden domestic violence laws and policies, and reconceptualize pregnancy prevention as violence prevention.

Rounding Out the Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee: Why ‘Male’ Contraceptive Methods Matter for Everyone

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Rounding Out the Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee: Why ‘Male’ Contraceptive Methods Matter for Everyone
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Highlights

• Contraceptive methods used by men—currently, vasectomy and male condoms—provide preventive health benefits for women, by helping them to prevent unplanned pregnancies and space wanted ones.
• Vasectomy and condoms were left out of the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of contraceptive coverage without out-of-pocket costs, despite their proven health benefits and long history of inclusion in other public and private programs.
• There are multiple potential pathways to rectify this oversight, most notably state-level actions to clarify and expand the ACA’s guarantee, and new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force; however, all of those have obstacles.

U.S. Abortion Reporting Systems Should Be Strengthened, Not Subverted to Promote Antiabortion Agenda

June 30, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Abortion Reporting Systems Should Be Strengthened, Not Subverted to Promote Antiabortion Agenda
Source: Guttmacher Institute

The current U.S. abortion surveillance system yields reliable statistics on abortion incidence and patient characteristics, thanks to the joint efforts of state and federal governments and the Guttmacher Institute. Still, a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review argues that this system should be strengthened in two key ways: First, the state and federal governments should collect data in a more complete and timely manner. Second, government abortion surveillance at the state and federal levels must be focused solely on collecting basic incidence and demographic data needed for legitimate public health purposes.

While very effective in informing public health policies and programs, the current U.S. abortion surveillance system is a patchwork. Most states report aggregate abortion data to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but reporting from some of them is incomplete and California, Maryland and New Hampshire do not report to the CDC at all. The Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that funds its abortion surveillance work through private sources, supplements these government collection efforts through its own periodic census of abortion providers and survey of abortion patients.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015

June 19, 2015 Comments off

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2015
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

These guidelines for the treatment of persons who have or are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were updated by CDC after consultation with a group of professionals knowledgeable in the field of STDs who met in Atlanta on April 30–May 2, 2013. The information in this report updates the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010 (MMWR Recomm Rep 2010;59 [No. RR–12]). These updated guidelines discuss 1) alternative treatment regimens for Neisseria gonorrhoeae; 2) the use of nucleic acid amplification tests for the diagnosis of trichomoniasis; 3) alternative treatment options for genital warts; 4) the role of Mycoplasma genitalium in urethritis/cervicitis and treatment-related implications; 5) updated HPV vaccine recommendations and counseling messages; 6) the management of persons who are transgender; 7) annual testing for hepatitis C in persons with HIV infection; 8) updated recommendations for diagnostic evaluation of urethritis; and 9) retesting to detect repeat infection. Physicians and other health-care providers can use these guidelines to assist in the prevention and treatment of STDs.

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