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Women's Health Education Program WHEP Blog


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Roe v. Wade newspaper headline concept.

Roe v. Wade

In January of 1973, the U.S Supreme Court sided with “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade’s pivotal declaration of existing anti-abortion law as an encroachment of several personal freedoms outlined in the Constitution. Most notably, legislature protecting privacy and due process appear in the Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendments. Specifically, the 14th Amendment reads that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.


Mother holding newborn in birthing tub after home water birth.

Benefits and Concerns of Water Births

Water births are when labor and/or delivery occurs in a warm body of water, usually a birthing tub or pool. The earliest account of a water birth was in 1805, in which a woman had been laboring for hours and went for a bath for the purpose of relaxation. She then gave birth into the water and the baby survived. What are the proven benefits of water births, and are there risks?


Growing Fetus

Reproductive Justice on the PA Ballot in 2022

On June 24 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right for a woman to choose a safe medical procedure that grants reproductive freedom and justice. Reproductive justice is defined as the “human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey set back reproductive justice to 1973 in 13 states that passed trigger laws.


Portrait of confident doctor. -->

The Underrepresentation of Women Physicians in Cardiology

In cardiology, women comprise only 18% of fellows, less than 15% of practicing general cardiologists, and less than 5% of interventional cardiologists. This is a stark difference to the patients they serve, with recent estimates indicating that more than 50% of women in the United States above 40 years old suffer from cardiovascular disease.


Vaccine bottle on a colored background.

HPV Vaccination

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States; approximately 14 million Americans become infected each year. Although HPV most often presents asymptomatically and clears without major clinical consequence, it can persist and progress to anogenital warts, precancers or even cancers of the cervix, other anogenital tract and oropharynx. In the United States, over 40,000 cancers are diagnosed each year in both men and women that are attributed to HPV infection. In women, HPV is thought to be linked to greater than 90% of cervical cancer cases and approximately 70% of vaginal and vulvar cancers.


Dietitian with patient.

Size-Inclusive Medicine: A Response to AAP’s Guidelines for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity

We are a grassroots advocacy organization of medical students across the country, focused on making health care more equitable for patients in larger bodies. We join the physicians, eating disorder professionals, and community members who raise concerns regarding the AAP’s most recent clinical guidelines, “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity.” (


Portrait of confident doctor.

Stories From the Wards: A Woman in Medicine

It seems that almost every woman in every medical field has an anecdote about being mistaken For another member of the health care team, or about having their medical decision-making undermined by either a patient or a colleague. As a medical student with only a little over a year of clinical experience under my belt, I too have these stories.


Reproduction Concept

Restriction on Abortion Care Amplifies Health Disparities and Suffering

Reproductive rights including abortion care have been protected for the last 50 years. However, in June of 2022 the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The implications of such policy signify that individual states have full authority to regulate abortion policy in any way they deem fit.


Ovarian cancer concept.

What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

Cancer is a condition in which cells within the body rapidly grow out of control. The type of cancer is determined by the site where it began, regardless of whether it has spread. There are six main types of female reproductive cancers including vulvar, vaginal, cervical, uterine, fallopian and ovarian. Ovarian cancer is the second most common reproductive cancer and the deadliest gynecological tumor in the Unites States.


Holding medicine with a glass of water.

Telehealth Abortions

Patients who undergo a medication abortion are using medications to end a pregnancy. Typically, two medications — mifepristone and misoprostol — are administered in succession.


Abstract Background

Pain Management With IUD Placement

As a medical student on clinical rotations, I have witnessed many office gynecologic procedures such as pap smears, IUD insertions and even colposcopies and endometrial biopsies. With IUD insertion specifically, I am always surprised by the wide range of patient reactions to what the provider usually describes as “a small pinch.” Some people tolerate these procedures well while others are visibly tearful and in a lot of pain. IUDs are an extremely effective and reliable form of birth control, but it is possible the pain of insertion deters some from utilizing this method.


Chestfeeding person.

Inclusivity in Chestfeeding

Gender identity is often fluid, and individuals who identify as transmasculine can still have the desire to chestfeed and carry their own child in their uteruses. Birthing parents who do not identify as a woman exist and they may not resonate with terms like "breastfeeding" or "mom." Language is powerful, as it can cause harm people and trigger feelings of gender dysphoria. But on the other hand, it can empower and help people feel more included.


Father working at home but baby interrupting his session.

No Paid Parental Leave for Americans

Paid parental leave is a benefit of employment that almost seems intuitive; it lets parents in the workforce care for themselves and their newborn following delivery, reducing financial insecurity and stress during those times. The United States remains the only industrialized, modernized country that does not have a paid family medical leave program. While the U.S. has implemented the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), this only affords unpaid leave and has strict eligibility requirements, often excluding those most in need, exacerbating existing health disparities.


Growing Fetus

Substance Use Disorder During Pregnancy

Substance use during pregnancy is a public health concern as it can harm both the mother and the fetus. It is estimated that 8.5% of all pregnant women in the U.S. use substances during the pregnancy (Smith, 2020). Substance use during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of low birth weight, birth defects, neonatal mortality and long-term developmental issues (Louw, 2018 and Oni, 2021). Because of the possible health risks of using substances during pregnancy, physicians should have an understanding of this issue.


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