Sunday, August 13, 2006

Women's Health Updates

Your friendly neighborhood medical librarian has been beating her head against the wall of a particularly frustrating clinical question this week. Here are some things read on some sites well worth checking out but not yet blogged (please note that for some of the research-based items, I haven't had a chance to fully examine them all):

via Feministing:
  • "Please keep this away from my cervix"
    The Conception Cap, which purports to "to concentrate all the available semen, unexposed to the vaginal environment, at the opening of the cervical os where it will be in contact with the cervical mucus. From there the sperm leave the semen, swim through the cervical mucus and into the uterus, and then swim on into the fallopian tube in search of an egg." Also: "The sperm are shielded from hostile environmental factors in the vagina."

    First of all, the personification of sperm bothers me in some inexplicable way. They're swimming, they're searching, bound to succeed but for the dastardly vaginal environment! Maybe I want my vaginal environment to keep out underachieving sperm, eh? Here's the other thing - the instructions say, "The couple should have sex normally using the non-latex semen collector and sperm-friendly intimate moisturizer. The semen is then immediately squeezed from the collector into the Conception Cap. The Conception Cap is placed over the cervix for six to eight hours, or overnight." Here's the thing - the kit costs $299.95. If this actually worked, couldn't you rig your own for about $40 with a Keeper and some non-latex condoms?

  • "Spread the truth about emergency contraception"
    BitchPhD is selling shirts to advocate clearing up the confusion about how Plan B works.

  • "The Great [ahem] Debate of 2006"
    To shave or not to shave? Sparked by an article in Salon.

  • "Rape culture gone wild"
    Joe Francis, of Girls Gone Wild fame, is a terrifying human being. You had to have seen this already. Aunt B has a good response to this, on the difference between warning a woman that a situation might not be safe and suggesting that the got what she deserved. I have four words: too drunk to consent.

    via the Kaiser Network:
  • "Significant' Decrease in Sexual Experience Among Teenagers; Increase in Condom Use, Study Says"
  • "FDA's Expected Approval of Plan B for Nonprescription Sales to Women Ages 18, Older Is Near Victory for Advocates, Opinion Piece Says"
  • "Majority of U.S. Women Unaware of Cervical, Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations, Survey Says"

    via The Well-Timed Period:
  • "FDA approves Implanon"
    Kind of like Norplant, but one rod. See the Implanon site, Healthfinder story, and MedlinePlus story.

  • "Condoms found to, you know, prevent stuff"
    Winer RL, Hughes JP, Feng Q, O'Reilly S, Kiviat NB, Holmes KK, Koutsky LA. Condom Use and the Risk of Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection in Young Women. N Eng J Med. 2006 Jun 22. 354(25):2645:2654.
    Ooh, free full-text of this article. Researchers followed 83 university women (small study, would like to see larger) who had just begun sexual intercourse with male partners. The women completed diaries about their sexual activity and had cervical testing done every four months.

    According to the researchers: "Women whose partners used condoms 100 percent of the time during the previous eight months were significantly less likely to acquire HPV than were those whose partners used condoms less than 5 percent of the time (Table 3). A linear categorical dose–response effect was observed, since the risk of incident HPV infection decreased with the increasing percentage of time a condom was used for intercourse (P=0.005 by the test for trend). Similar trends were observed through an analysis of risk factors for high-risk types of HPV, low-risk types of HPV, and HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 (Table 4) and for incident cervical and vulvovaginal HPV infection. Among the subgroup of women reporting 100 percent condom use by their partners during the previous eight months, the association between condom use and HPV infection was similar, regardless of whether any unprotected genital skin-to-skin contact was reported."

    Previous research has suggested that condoms do little to prevent HPV transmission, and religious/abstinence promotion groups have used that past research to advocate against safer sex education (example: Concerned Women for America). Takes on the story:
    ObGyn News
    Conservatives hit a dead end on HPV - Slate
    "Groups not impressed by new condom, HPV study" - The Christian Post
    Focus on the Family's response - read: but it's not 100%!

  • "Connect the dots"
    Ema smells a rat in new developments on Plan B OTC approval.

    via the Women's Bioethics Project:
  • "Women's Bioethics Project and Center for Women Policy Studies Organizations Launch State Legislative Advisory Board on Women and Bioethics"
    Legislators from around the country will descend on Gaylord on 8/14 for the first meeting of the first-ever State Legislative Advisory Board on Women and Bioethics. According to the blog, "The advisory board meeting will feature a presentation by Dr. Robin N. Fiore, who is the Adelaide R. Snyder Professor of Ethics at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Fiore's presentation will cover a full range of bioethics issues ranging from end-of-life issues and the effect of the Terry Schiavo case to stem cell research and its impact on women's reproductive rights and health. Following the presentation, the legislative leaders attending the meeting will assist the Center for Women Policy Studies and the WBP in planning a Bioethics Seminar for Women State Legislative Leaders, which will take place in 2007."

  • "Ultrasound might affect baby's brain development"
    It's a mouse study, finding "In baby mice whose mothers were exposed to ultrasound for 30 minutes or longer during pregnancy, a small but significant number of nerve cells did not migrate to their proper locations in the brain." Researchers plan to try to replicate the results in larger animals more similar to humans. The news piece reports that an Australian study did not find effects in humans. If they're found to be real, however, it's more bad news for Tom Cruise, but what about the pregnancy crisis centers who use them to play on pregnant women's emotions to try to convince them to bear children?

  • "DES daughters face high breast-cancer risk"
    "After compensating for other breast-cancer risk factors, the researchers found that women who were exposed to DES in utero had a 91 percent higher risk of breast cancer after age 40, and a three-fold increased risk of breast cancer after age 50, when compared to women not exposed to the drug."

  • "Many teens don't use condoms correctly"

    Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
    MeSH Tags: 3-keto-desogestrel (Implanon); Bioethics; Condoms; Contraception; Contraception, Postcoital; Fertilization; Levonorgestrel (Plan B); Papillomavirus, Human; Sexual Behavior

    Blogger David Rothman said...

    Rachel, I LOVE your use of MeSH tags for the post. Do you use any particlar plug-in for this? Would you consider writing a post on how and why you chose to do this?

    12:13 PM  
    Blogger Rachel said...

    David - Thanks! I actually do it all by hand. Will do a post on it shortly.

    12:48 PM  
    Blogger Mohamed Taher said...

    Re: Tyler love's MeSH for blogs post.
    I came to your post just coz of your creativity in using MESH--showing the librarians who blog that their own brain-child is not just for others...
    Btw, did you do a post on this theme? Do you know any other bloghim / blogher librarian using subject headings (and wh SH are they using)?
    Best wishes, MT

    9:07 AM  

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