Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stress does not affect the success of fertility treatments

(  --  Emotional distress doesn't reduce a woman's chance of getting pregnant via in vitro fertilization or other reproduction treatments.

That's the conclusion from British researchers who analyzed data from more than 3500+ women undergoing in vitro or other fertility treatment programs.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mitchelle Obama advocates breastfeeding to fight obesity

( At the recent Congressional Black Caucus on September 16th, 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama explained childhood obesity had become a national epidemic and was particularly bad in black communities.

One thing that Mrs. Obama promoted was early obesity prevention through breastfeeding, especially in the black community where 40 percent of babies never get breast-fed at all, even in the first weeks of life, and babies that are breast-fed are less likely to be obese as children.

The fact is, black moms still have the lowest breastfeeding rates of all ethnicities. And when it comes to the gold standard of infant nutrition -- six months of exclusive breastfeeding -- the rate among African-Americans is only 20% compared to 40% among whites

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Intravaginal Practices Are Associated With Acquiring HIV Infection

ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — Although there is no evidence to suggest a direct causal pathway, some intravaginal practices used by women in sub-Saharan Africa (such as washing the vagina with soap) may increase the acquisition of HIV infection and so should be avoided. Encouraging women to use less harmful intravaginal practices (for example, washing with water alone) should therefore be included in female-initiated HIV prevention research strategies in sub-Saharan Africa.
These are the key findings from a study by Nicola Low, from the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues and published in this week's PLoS Medicine.
The authors pooled individual participant data from 13 prospective cohort studies in sub-Saharan Africa involving nearly 15,000 women, 791 of whom acquired HIV, and found that HIV infection within two years of enrolment in the studies was associated with self-reported intravaginal practices. After controlling for age, marital status, and the number of recent sex partners, women who used cloth or paper to clean their vagina were nearly one and half times more likely to have acquired HIV infection as women who did not use this practice.
Furthermore, the insertion of products to dry or tighten the vagina and intravaginal cleaning with soap also increased women's chances of acquiring HIV. Intravaginal cleaning with soap was associated with the development of bacterial vaginosis, and disrupted vaginal flora -- two conditions associated with an increased risk of HIV acquisition.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Marching towards Freedom"

For half of her life Jaanki, a 70-year-old widow in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state, has eked out a living cleaning latrines and carrying human excreta on her head, sometimes for as long as an hour, to the nearest drain.

Manual scavenging is the only way of life for her and the other female "Bhangis," a sub-caste of Dalits, who occupy the lowest tier in this nation's caste hierarchy.

India is home to about 300,000 manual scavengers, 85 percent of whom are women, according to estimates by the Safai Karamchari Andolan, a New Delhi-based group that monitors the outlawed practice. Any person who breaks the law by employing a manual scavenger faces punishment of up to year in prison, but the film shows the large extent to which the law is ignored.

For this nauseating work--banned by law in 1993--the workers get paid by each client household 30 rupees (less than $1 U.S.) per month...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Despite Myth, Anorexics Do Become Pregnant | Womens eNews

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

     When women suffering anorexia stop having their menstrual periods many think they no longer have to worry about birth control. But the recent discovery of a higher rate of unplanned pregnancies among women with the disorder turns that thinking on its head.

(WOMENSENEWS)--As a child with anorexia, I was too young to worry about losing my period.
     But many of the older girls and women in my treatment center believed the loss of a regular period was a perk to the potentially deadly illness. With the loss of the menstrual period, called amenorrhea, there was less hassle to deal with each month and less worry about getting pregnant. Many of the women, in fact, believed they could not have children even if they tried, thinking the anorexia had made them infertile.

     A study late last year from a leading eating disorders researcher shows the repercussions of such misperceptions for women with anorexia.

     Published in the November 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the study indicated that women with anorexia are more likely to have unplanned pregnancies and induced abortions compared to women who don't have the disorder.