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Women's Health Education Program WHEP Blog: Reproductive Health


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Breastfeeding Mother

Barriers to Breastfeeding

“Breast is best” is a common phrase used to promote breastfeeding. However, providers should still be cognizant of the barriers to breastfeeding and the shame that mothers may feel when they are unable to or prefer not to breastfeed.


Doctor holding T-shaped intrauterine birth control device.

A Deep Dive Into Long-Acting Reversible Contraception

Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) can be a great option for pregnancy prevention. LARC options include hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), copper IUDs and hormonal subdermal implants. Other than surgical sterilization, LARCs are the most effective option for preventing unintended pregnancy.


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?


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.


Acne on chin reflected in mirror.

iPLEDGE: An Ineffective Program, Impeding Effective Care

Isotretinoin, more commonly known by its brand name Accutane, is an approved therapy for the treatment of severe acne with unrivaled efficacy. However, its use can cause profound birth defects in a developing fetus. Because of this, the United States Food and Drug Administration created the iPLEDGE program in 2006 to remove the risk of fetal exposure to isotretinoin by ensuring patients are not pregnant or at risk of becoming pregnant while on a prescribed course of the medication.


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”.


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.


Pregnant woman with doula touching baby bump.

The Role of Doulas in Addressing Black Women’s Maternal Mortality

The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in the United States has approximately doubled in the past two decades while the global MMR has decreased nearly 40%1. This is a troubling statistic as the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developing world.


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.


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.


Reproduction Concept

What Legal Rights Do Pennsylvania Minors Have to Reproductive Care?

As the national landscape of reproductive health care evolves, health care providers must stay abreast of local and state laws, and patients should know what rights they have. Health care providers to minors in Pennsylvania may encounter questions or concerns about what types reproductive of health care their patients can receive confidentially and independently.


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