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Women's Health Education Program WHEP Blog

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Mother holding newborn in birthing tub after home water birth.

Deciding Where to Deliver: At home or at the hospital

Pregnant people in the United States have many options when it comes to planning what their labor and delivery experience looks like. Common options include home delivery, various types of delivery centers and the hospital. In the United States and other western countries, hospital deliveries have largely become the default. Each option comes with its own benefits and downsides.

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Menstruation Hygiene Products

Tampon Tax: An Additional Economic Burden for Those Who Menstruate

Period poverty is the lack of accessibility or affordability of menstrual hygiene tools and educational material, such as sanitary products, washing facilities and waste management.

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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression

Many mothers would agree that the process of childbirth is not an easy experience. The body goes through physical, psychological and emotional changes. One of the most common problems that women face after childbirth is postpartum depression (PPD).

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Crowd demonstrating against global warming and plastic pollution, concepts about green ecology and environmental sustainability.

Climate Change Disproportionately Affects Women

Rising temperatures, sinking cities and increased natural disasters show the necessity of addressing climate change today. While these issues have sparked a global uproar and propelled action among world leaders, an insidious component of climate change lurks beneath the surface of melting ice and raging fires. Climate change highlights inequality and demonstrates the vulnerability of certain regions and populations.

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Acne on chin reflected in mirror.

Acne and IUDs: What’s the Deal?

If you’ve ever had acne, you’ll know that there are a million things that can cause it, and another million things that are supposed to get rid of it…including birth control. Birth control pills are well known for improving acne, but what about other types of hormonal birth control? How does the IUD stack up? In the past, it has been accepted that IUDs only deliver hormones to the uterus, and that the level of hormones was too small to make it through the bloodstream to other places in the body. Studies are now suggesting that it is possible that hormones in the IUD can and do worsen acne.

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Acupuncture

Acupuncture to Treat Pain During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a unique period in a person’s life. During these 40 weeks, the body goes through many changes and adjustments to nurture the fetus growing inside. One common complaint, present in about 50-80% of pregnant patients, is low back and/or pelvic pain. As the patient gains weight, the center of gravity is shifted forward which increases the forces applied to the lower back. Back pain has also been correlated with increased levels of relaxin which is a hormone produced by the corpus luteum and uterine decidua.

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Pap smear medical test.

The Power of Pap: Navigating Cervical Health Screenings

In the landscape of women's health, the Pap smear stands as a robust diagnostic tool, particularly vital in the prevention of cervical cancer. This article explores the complexities of Pap smears, highlighting their pivotal role in early detection and underscoring the nuanced influence of public policies in broadening accessibility to these screenings.

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Breastfeeding Mother

Breastfeeding in Public: Why So Taboo?

The health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and infant have been well-touted for years. Based on these undeniable benefits, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continuation of breastfeeding until two years of age or beyond, a recent revision from the previous recommendation of continued breastfeeding for the first year of life or longer.

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Unhappy couple with negative pregnancy test result.

An Overview of Infertility

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), “Infertility is the result of a disease (an interruption, cessation, or disorder of body functions, systems, or organs) of the male or female reproductive tract which prevents the conception of a child or the ability to carry a pregnancy to delivery” (Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2022). An infertility evaluation should be initiated after one year of unprotected intercourse without pregnancy.

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Chestfeeding person.

Benefits and Safety of Breastfeeding With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

Postpartum women with opioid use disorder may ask their provider if they would need to stop taking buprenorphine or methadone while breastfeeding their newborns. Taking any medication while breastfeeding warrants inquiry into the costs and benefits to the mother, baby and lactation. There is growing evidence demonstrating the safety and benefits of breastfeeding while taking medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), especially for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

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Doctor holding T-shaped intrauterine birth control device.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (An IUD Insertion)

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are an increasingly popular choice for contraception. There are two types: hormonal (which contain progestin, a form of progesterone) and non-hormonal, made with copper. You can discuss with your health care provider which one is best for you.

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Silicone Implants

Disparities in Postoperative Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction in Women Who Have Had a Mastectomy

For far too long disparities in the health care system, whether it was race, socioeconomic class or gender identity, have had a major impact on patients. Today we still see disproportionate measures when it comes to cancer and how it is diagnosed and treated. Breast cancer is the most common non-cutaneous cancer, with hundreds of thousands of new cases each year. Due to the increase in early detection and more effective treatments, the overall mortality rate due to breast cancer has decreased over the years.

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Chestfeeding person.

Adolescent Parents and Chest Feeding

During my Women’s Health Education Program (WHEP) elective, I had the privilege of spending a month learning from international board-certified lactation consultants and caring for lactating parents at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. As a medical student, I knew only that chest feeding led to better health outcomes. However, what I now know is that U.S. parents who chest feed tend to be of higher socioeconomic statuses, be disproportionately white, and have job flexibility, social support, low stress levels and higher levels of education.

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Doctor holding T-shaped intrauterine birth control device.

Emergency Contraception: What Are the Options?

Emergency contraception (EC) is used to prevent pregnancy before it happens after unprotected sex or at times when birth control fails during sex. It is different from the abortion pill, which is meant to terminate pregnancies after they have already occurred. There are a variety of reasons someone might need EC. Perhaps they forgot to take their birth control pill that day or place their vaginal ring. Maybe the condom broke during sex or their partner did not pull out in time.

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Person holding up trans rights are human rights sign.

Mental Health Impacts of Anti-Trans Legislation

Amidst anti-transgender legislation and don’t-say-gay bans, it is vital to consider the social and public health implications of attempts to minimize or even eliminate the experience of gender and sexual minorities. Transgender, or trans, individuals are those whose gender expression or identity differs from what they were assigned at birth.

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