Category Archives: News

Are we Better off than our Mothers?

Is the newest generation better off than their mothers? The women of the baby-boom generation saw significant progress in economic equality and health in comparison with their mothers. Studies show this trend has started to reverse slightly for young millennial women.

There is a higher incarceration rate for American women under 35, than there was in the previous generation. Today, more young women live in poverty, commit suicide or die from pregnancy-related causes. There is also a slight decrease in the likelihood of young women holding high-paying jobs.

Threats to women’s lives appear to be on the rise. The maternal mortality rate for Millennial women has more than doubled since the baby-boom generation. Sadly, the suicide rate for women has increased significantly since the previous generation. The current heroin epidemic has yielded a huge increase in drug overdoses in both men and women.

Fortunately, the news is not all bad: the teen birth rate dropped to an all time low this year. More and more young women ages 25 to 29 are graduating with at least a bachelor’s degree. This doesn’t remedy the equal pay for equal work struggle that has plagued the nation but hopefully we are closing the gap.

As a nation, we need to reverse this trend and continue the previous trend of each generation of young women exceeding the previous generation in every way.

Zika Working it’s Way Through the United States

Zika is working its way  all around the United States. It’s spreading across Florida, and is before long expected to reach Texas, Louisiana and other Southern states and finally make it’s way to the eastern and western coast.

The virus spreads from a type of mosquito.  But while mosquitoes are a key menace when it comes to Zika there is way more to focus on. We also need to pay attention to sex: If we are going to stop the spread of this disease, we are going to need better access to Zika testing for anyone who is sexually active in any and all Zika zones.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends testing for pregnant women at risk of Zika transmission, people who exhibit symptoms of being infected with Zika, and people who have had sex with a partner who might have been exposed to the virus.
The CDC now states that men, women who are not pregnant and children who are not symptomatic do not need to be tested. That, however, is not the best way to manage Zika.
Zika testing isn’t being offered as an essential preventive health service to every American right now. Nor should it be, at least not yet. It would be a waste of medical resources to include a Zika test with every sexually transmitted disease panel, especially for people outside areas of active transmission.
Men and Zika.  Zika isn’t the only virus that can be found in semen for months after infection.  We known  that men can transmit HIV and HPV to a male or female partner.
If men can be carriers of Zika, why aren’t they being recommended for testing in active Zika zones, too? Despite the fact that Zika is  a public health crisis for the general population, pregnant women and their doctors are being asked to bear the burden of preventing its spread. And if we are going to prevent the outbreak from spreading further, shouldn’t testing and counseling be offered to anyone who might be at risk as part of a panel of tests for sexually transmitted infections?
Another issue with testing is that not all brands of tests are created equal, which makes it difficult for patients to know if they even have Zika. While some use a well-established technique, the same one used for a rapid HIV test, some on the EUA list use newer technologies. For those tests, only labs with the equipment manufactured by the company marketing the test can get accurate results. So, without a standard test being offered in Zika zones, combined with the fact that we know a person with Zika is able to infect another person for at least six months, we are creating a perfect storm for the spread to continue.
 Worldwide we need a  Zika policy for the current outbreak and for the long run. Zika virus infection isn’t always a mild illness that will go away on its own.
Garden State Gynecology

The Dangers of Cutting Funding to Women’s Healthcare Clinics

For some women, the closing of women’s health clinics cause undue hardship requiring women to travel sometimes up to 100 miles.  This may lead to an up to 18% chance of undetected cancers.

Studies show how to quantify the closure of women’s health clinics affects the number of women receiving preventive care. In 2011 many states adopted legislation that cut funding to women’s health clinics, particularly those whose organizations were affiliated with abortion providers.

To track the number of clinics that closed,  researchers took quarterly snapshots from 2007 to 2012 of the locations of clinics that are part of a national network of women’s health centers. In Texas, the national network received one of the largest shares of state and federal funding for women’s health services.

The data showed that when the distance to a women’s health clinic drastically increased, fewer women sought preventive care.  Sadly, women with less education were affected the most by closures. For women with a high school diploma or less, a 100-mile increase in driving distance meant a 37 percent drop in breast exams, 64 percent drop in mammograms and 14 percent drop in Pap tests.  This large distance to travel may be financially burdensome to some women.

There is simply no defense to cutting funding in women’s heath care clinics.