The Inaccessibility of Sexual Health Care for Disabled Women in Canada

The Inaccessibility of Sexual Health Care for Disabled Women in Canada

In Canada, standard health protocol recommends that women receive a Pap test every few years in order to detect cervical cancer as early as possible. However, health practitioners at ACCESS, a clinic in Vancouver which provides sexual health services exclusively for disabled women, have identified a significant deficit in the accessibility of such services for the demographic they serve. This inaccessibility is derived in part from a widespread lack of appropriate equipment. Many offices do not possess an accessible exam bed with a lift, preventing gynecological screening for disabled women. Additionally, many doctors, in providing care to these women, draw upon the misguided assumption that individuals with disabilities are not sexually active and thus neglect to ask their patients for a comprehensive history of their sexual health. Because this discourse does not occur, or is  not prioritized due to more immediate health issues directly relating to the disability, cervical cancer is rarely screened for amongst disabled women, and thus persists largely...
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New Studies Relating to the Grandmother Hypothesis

New Studies Relating to the Grandmother Hypothesis

The “grandmother hypothesis” represents the idea that a grandmother has beneficial effects on the reproductive success of her children and the survival of her grandchildren. Therefore, it is predicted that women who have the genes for living longer would then have grandchildren who also carry these genes. Recently, two more studies that further explore the notion of the grandmother effect were published in Current Biology. The first analyzes data of birth, death, and marriages in certain Catholic parishes from 1608 in an area that is present-day Quebec. The findings point to the fact that families who stayed geographically near their grandmas not only created larger family sizes and shifted child mortality rates, but positively promoted mothers to have children at younger ages. The second study was led by Dr. Chapman of the University of Turku in Finland and analyzed data from pre-industrial Finland. Dr. Chapman concluded that specifically, when a grandma is in her 50-70’s, she is most capable of...
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Update on Health Efforts in Nigeria

Update on Health Efforts in Nigeria

Reproductive health supplies are dwindling in Nigeria, with family-planning funds provided by the United States having been revoked two years ago in accordance with Trump’s gag-rule. This revocation of funds was catalyzed by the Trump administration’s accusations that the United Nations Population Fund was facilitating coercive abortions and sterilization- accusations which turned out to be entirely unfounded. Regardless, Nigeria, a country with one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, subsequently lost more than half of its family planning funds within one year, bringing about devastating impacts upon contraceptive accessibility and efforts to address gender-based violence. FP2020 is a family planning initiative launched in 2012 with the goals of improving accessibility to family planning services and commodities, slowing the rate of population growth, and empowering the agency of women within decisions having to do with their bodies and health. However, without U.S. Funding, FP2020 has seen Nigerian health services deteriorate. And yet, despite the gag rule, studies have shown...
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World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Yesterday, on February 4th, the world celebrated World Cancer Day. Initiated in February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, the event is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control. The Paris Charter aims to promote research, prevent cancer and raise awareness. 2019 marks the beginning of the organization's "I Am and I Will" campaign, which will last till 2021 and emphasize each individual's personal commitment to reducing cancer's impact. In concurrence with World Cancer Day, the UN World Health Organization released a statement explaining that incidences of cervical cancer will likely increase by almost 50 percent in 2040. It noted that the number of new cases could be reduced if all girls between the ages of 9 and 14 are vaccinated for HPV. The organization stressed the importance of collaboration between governments, UN agencies and healthcare professionals to preventing increased rates of cervical cancer....
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New York State Passes Reproductive Health Act

New York State Passes Reproductive Health Act

On the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York legislature passed a law protecting a woman's right to abortions. The most controversial aspect of the law is its provision for abortions after 24 weeks, in cases of fetal in-viability or danger to the woman's life or heath. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only slightly more than one percent of abortions are performed during or after 21 weeks of pregnancy. The law also took abortion off of the state's criminal code, which prevents medical professionals from being criminally prosecuted. The pro-choice community has lauded the law's passage, considering it a protection against possible future decisions by the Supreme Court. The Catholic Bishops of New York State denounced the law, and many critics claim it is too far-reaching....
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How Climate Change May Affect the Gender of Newborns

How Climate Change May Affect the Gender of Newborns

Author and founder of the M&K Health Institute in Hyogo, Japan, Dr. Misao Fukuda, led a study with results that stated, “temperature fluctuation may play a role in the recent decrease in the sex ratios of births.” Since the mid-20th century, climate change has been a direct result of human activity and has caused a warming trend of the planet. Extreme weather has a connection to human stress which is likely to impact the birth sex ratio. Climate change very well may affect the number of male newborns; more male newborns are predicted to be born in areas with rising high temperatures. Scientist Steven Orzack of the Fresh Pond Research Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts claims that sex ratio is equal at conception, but there are external factors throughout birth and childhood which cause the ratio to differ. Specifically, senior researcher in the Section of Ecology, Department of Biology at the University of Turku in Finland, Samuli Helle, discovered evidence that...
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Judges Block Trump Birth Control Policy

Judges Block Trump Birth Control Policy

This Monday, Philadelphia District Judge Wendy Beetlestone decided to block a Trump administration rule that would allow employers to decline contraceptive healthcare coverage on religious grounds. While the Women's Health Amendment of the Affordable Care Act originally required employer-provided healthcare plans to include free or affordable birth control, the current administration amended the ACA to expand religious-based exemptions. The Trump administration's rules would have impacted tens of hundreds of childbearing-age women, increasing pressure on state-funded healthcare services. This nationwide injunction followed a similar decision earlier in the day, in which a California judge blocked the new rules for 13 states and the District of Columbia. After this decision, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement that “the law couldn’t be clearer – employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions. Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care. It’s 2019, yet the Trump Administration is still trying to roll...
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California Right to Access Act Revisited

California Right to Access Act Revisited

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 There was a recent attempt in September to require California to provide medical abortion in public colleges and universities. Medical abortion is otherwise known as the abortion pill. Unfortunately, this bill was not signed by by Governor Jerry Brown. California’s governor announced that he vetoed the bill because “the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus” within five to seven miles off California state university campuses, meaning that he found it an unnecessary government expenditure. The problem with going off-campus to seek these services is that half of students in the California state university school-system are low-income students, meaning that they are likely to struggle to pay for abortions off-campus. Furthermore, the majority of these students do not have a car, making transportation very difficult and not accessible to everyone. Reproductive health rights activists have not given up, as there has been an introduction of updated version of the bill into the state’s legislature...
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Intake of caffeine during pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Intake of caffeine during pregnancy and neonatal outcomes

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 Experts are beginning to warn pregnant mothers who drink coffee on the daily in heavy loads about potential impacts on their pregnancy. Researchers at the University College Dublin have found results that have correlated increased consumption in caffeine during pregnancy to premature births. The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK suggests to that the safe caffeine intake for pregnant women should be kept at around 200 mg, or about 2 regular cups of coffee. Their data suggests that even drinking the below what is considered the “safe” cutoff for caffeine during pregnancy, it may still lead to giving birth to a small baby. The study consisted of 941 mother-baby pairs born in Ireland. Tea was the source of caffeine to 48% of mothers, and coffee was the source of caffeine for 38% of mothers. Results at the end of the study indicated that for the first trimester for every additional 100 mg of caffeine consumed...
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Nesterone, a birth control gel for men, could come to the market soon

Nesterone, a birth control gel for men, could come to the market soon

Story by Karina Moreno Bueno, T'21 A new form of contraceptive for men might be out on the market soon, in the form of a birth control gel. This gel is called NES/T and is rubbed on the back and shoulders on a daily basis to be absorbed by the skin. This gel is supposed to reversibly lower sperm count to a very they cannot get a woman pregnant. It contains segesterone acetate — which contains progestin — and a dose of testosterone and is made under the brand name Nestorone. Testosterone production in the testes is hindered by progestin, which results in very low sperm production. This gel is very similar to a vaginal ring used as a female contraceptive, which contains Nestorone combined with a hormone called estradiol. The hormone mimics pregnancy in women, which causes women to stop releasing eggs. If there aren’t any eggs released, she can’t get pregnant. In men, the hormone makes the body think it...
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