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Women’s Health

Oral contraceptive use linked to increased risk of suicidal behavior among young women



According to a study published in Psychological Medicine, taking oral contraceptives in young women aged 15-22 is associated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior, especially during the first year of use. Although the risk of suicide with hormonal contraceptives is relatively low, the results indicate that the topic deserves additional attention and research.

(If you have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or follow this link to their online chat.)

“I became interested in this topic because of the potential effects of oral contraceptive use on women’s health. Women use oral contraceptives for a number of reasons, but relatively few studies have used population-based longitudinal samples to examine associations with suicidal outcomes, “said study author Alexis C. Edwards, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I think it is important to be aware of potential risks and contextualize them in relation to other predictors so that women and their caregivers can make informed decisions and choose the health care options that are best for an individual.”

The researchers analyzed the data of 216,702 women born between 1991 and 1995 who were included in the Swedish national registers. About 45% of these women took only combination pills during the observation period, 11% only progestogen pills and 12% both combination and progestin-only pills. The remaining 32% had no record of using hormonal contraceptives.

Edwards and her colleagues found that suicidal behavior was slightly more common in people who used oral contraceptives than in people who did not use oral contraceptives. The risk of suicidal behavior decreased with prolonged use of oral contraceptives.

“Overall, the risk of suicidality when taking oral contraceptives is relatively low: in women who took combination pills, the risk of suicide one year after they started taking them hardly differed from women who did not take the pill. What is important is that the risks associated with oral contraceptive use are eclipsed by those caused by mood and anxiety disorders, ”Edwards told PsyPost.

Using the statewide registers allowed researchers to control sociodemographic, familial, and psychiatric factors such as parental suicide history. But like all research, the study has some caveats.

“We were only able to follow women for a limited amount of time, and it is possible that the risks associated with oral contraceptive use have continued to decrease over time. We were also unable to compare women taking combination pills or progestogen-only pills with those using other types of birth control (condoms, IUDs, etc.), ”explained Edwards.

“Important remaining questions are whether there are differences in risk depending on sexual activity (not everyone who takes the pill is sexually active), whether the risks vary depending on the reason for taking oral contraceptives and how the use of contraceptives with Behavioral or interpersonal factors interact to influence the risk of suicidal behavior. “

The results are in line with an earlier study that looked at similar data from Danish population registers.

“Studies like ours and those of Charlotte Skovlund and Katherine Keyes, to name a few, can be used to open discussions between women and their health care providers about oral contraceptive use, always taking into account reproductive health choices and behavior are complex issues – different decisions work for different people, ”said Edwards.

The study “Use of Oral Contraceptives and the Risk of Suicidal Behavior in Young Women” was written by Alexis C. Edwards, Sara Larsson Lönn, Casey Crump, Eve K. Mościcki, Jan Sundquist, Kenneth S. Kendler and Kristina Sundquist.

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Women’s Health

Waco OBGYN doctors ‘empower’ patients with life-changing procedures



WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Two doctors who grew up on the same street in Waco now provide health care to women of all ages in their hometown, fulfilling lifelong dreams, thriving and growing, while offering unique procedures.

Dr. Lacy Kessler and Dr. Hayley Voige are the two OBGYNs who co-founded Deerwood Women’s Health & Wellness with home nurse Kim Austin.

Kessler and Voige named their clinic Deerwood because they grew up on Deerwood Drive in Waco.

“It’s really just where we both grew up,” says Kessler. “Here we both developed our dream of studying medicine and becoming doctors.”

Dr. Kessler, a graduate of Vanguard College Preparatory School who completed her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, originally opened the practice in 2012.

Dr. Voige, a Waco High School graduate who graduated from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, quit her job as an OBGYN at a family practice center to visit her childhood neighbor.

“I became OBGYN because I’ve always been interested in women’s health … it’s one of my real loves,” said Voige.

Together, doctors have given birth to thousands of babies, more than 260 in the past year, to women of all ages across central Texas.

“We’re lucky enough to take care of women, and sometimes their sisters and mothers, and then give birth to their babies and watch these children grow up,” said Kessler. “It was a real pleasure.”

FULL INTERVIEW: Dr. Lacy Kessler with Deerwood Women’s Health & Wellness

In 2018 the clinic decided to add an aesthetic practice.

They offer facials, laser hair removal, body contouring, and all kinds of ways to treat problems on the face or body. They offer everything from ways to get rid of fat to non-surgical options for natural hair restoration.

“We have put several procedures in place to help with some of these aesthetic issues and other issues that traditional OBGYN treatment has not addressed in the past,” said Kessler.

One of the newest options is what they call “empower”. It uses radio frequency to treat the vaginal tissue and to help with bladder control problems.

According to Kessler, 70 percent of women with incontinence said they were worried about coughing, sneezing, and even laughing in public because of fear of having an accident. 35 percent of these women avoid exercise, travel, and intimacy to accommodate themselves, and 62 percent wait a year or more before discussing their condition with a doctor.

“This new technology also has the ability to correct vulvovaginal atrophy and sexual dysfunction, as well as strengthen the pelvic floor. This breakthrough is truly remarkable as it can help women feel confident in old age and not be prevented from leading their best lives, ”said Kessler.

The Waco doctor calls it the most exciting advancement in women’s health she has seen in her career.

“We only published it a few months ago in our practice and are already seeing amazing results and are looking forward to making it available to all interested parties from January,” said Kessler. “So many women just don’t know that they are not alone and that many of us go through this.”

Deerwood Women’s Health and Wellness offers gift cards for the holiday season.

They say it is something many women would enjoy as a non-traditional treat under the tree.

Both Kessler and Voige are honored to offer good health to other women in a city that made them what they are today.

“We love it,” said Kessler. “This is the community that we are passionate about, that we grew up in and that we have lived our lives in.”

Learn more about Kessler and Voige services by visiting their website.

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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Women’s Health

California Positions Itself as a ‘Refuge’ of Abortion Rights



California leaders said Wednesday that they would work to make the state a haven for women seeking an abortion if a Supreme Court ruling bans the trial in more conservative parts of the country.

The proposal, released with the assistance of Governor Gavin Newsom and the leaders of both California chambers, calls for increased funding for abortion providers and dozens of other measures to make it easier for customers to access and pay for abortion services. It also includes a recommendation to fund the procedure for low-income women coming to California for abortion services.

Toni G. Atkins, the chairman of the California Senate, whose office helped prepare the proposal, said the details of funding for abortions for women outside of the state would have to be negotiated in the state legislature next year, but could A mixture of state and private funds.

“We consider this to be an incredibly critical moment in the history of women’s rights,” Ms. Atkins said in an interview. “We want to show people that we will be part of the solution, that we are a lighthouse.”

California’s proposals were driven in part by developments at the bitterly divided US Supreme Court, which last week appeared to be on the verge of upholding a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation in the country.

Many of the recommendations in the proposal call for more funding for abortion services, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. Political leaders recognize, however, that the state could see abortion providers burdened much more if the court decides to overturn Roe against Wade.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group campaigning for the right to abortion, 21 states already have anti-abortion laws in place that could go into effect if Roe is tilted.

Anti-abortion activists ruthlessly criticized California’s efforts. Lila Rose, the California-based president of Live Action, an anti-abortion group, said the state’s proposal was evil. “More like a slaughterhouse than a sanctuary,” she wrote on Twitter. “Terrible.”

Mary Rose Short, the public relations director for California Right to Life, an organization campaigning against abortion and trying to change the minds of women who go to abortion clinics, said the proposal to fund abortions for women outside of the world State has shown that California gave abortion priority over childbirth.

“We ignore any woman who wants to give birth but feels financially constrained,” said Short.

Approximately 15 percent of the country’s abortions are performed in California, slightly more than the state’s share of the national population of 12 percent. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the number of abortions in California could increase significantly if Roe is overthrown.

Ms. Atkins, who represents San Diego and started her career at a women’s health center, says California has been used to providing abortion services for decades to women in Mexico, where abortions were decriminalized in September.

She said she was “incredibly optimistic” that lawmakers will increase government funding for abortion services next year. Medi-Cal, the state’s medical system for low-income residents, covers nearly half of all abortions performed in the state.

Erin Mellon, acting director of communications for Mr. Newsom, said it was too early to comment on whether the governor’s draft budget would include such funding next year.

Ms. Mellon referred to comments made by Mr. Newsom earlier this month saying California is a “haven”.

“Not just for 40 million Californians, but women and girls across the country and will remain so proud,” said Mr. Newsom.

Two years ago, Mr. Newsom made an official proclamation that California was a “state of reproductive freedom.”

The most recent report was produced by Ms. Atkins’ office in collaboration with reproductive health organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which have come together under an umbrella group called the California Future of Abortion Council.

In a statement released Wednesday, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California chief Jodi Hicks said her organization had “already felt the effects of restrictive abortion laws” and last year served 7,000 customers outside of the state, including patients from Texas, after three months ago a law had come into force that essentially banned abortion after six weeks of gestation.

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Women’s Health

Opinion: Yes, abortion is your business’s business



It’s an assault on reproductive freedom, and it looks like it’s working. Coupled with the failure of Congress to legally codify abortion rights, state abortion bans and their growing success send a message to 40 million American women of childbearing age: Their rights are not the government’s problem. As appalling as it is, there is at least one other group of executives who can help protect the lives and livelihoods of women even in post-Roe v. Wade America: employers.

Business leaders have had to move a long way to protecting their employees when the government has failed, from securing a living wage to paid parental leave to providing quality health care to all employees.

While there is still much progress to be made on all of these fronts, the private sector has barely touched reproductive rights. Although statistically one in four women employed by them will have an abortion at some point, most employers only vaguely speak of “women’s health” if they dare to speak about it at all.

Perhaps they fear the subject is too divisive. Perhaps they believe that having access to abortion is not relevant to their business. Or perhaps abortion had always felt to be an exception for her: a right that, unlike paid vacation and childcare and health care, the state would protect.

The last few weeks – hell, the last year and a half – have made it clear that none of these excuses are enough.

Most Americans advocate abortion, and the recent restrictions are deeply unpopular even with Republicans. In addition, however, they are detrimental to a workforce already affected by the decade-long trickle of women from the labor market and a real burst pipe in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. A study found that abortion restrictions caused $ 105 billion in economic damage in the last year alone. There are good reasons to believe that the sum is just the tip of the iceberg: Should the Supreme Court Roe v. Tilt Wade or even defuse it, 26 states have laws in place to severely restrict or ban abortions in the next year. The consequences for anyone seeking an abortion – and anyone who depends on their job – will be quick and disastrous.

Many states will close most or all abortion providers within their borders, keeping pregnant people away from care for hours or even days. Several states will impose pregnancy bans for more than six or eight weeks, leaving pregnant people with little to no time to decide what treatment they need. And declares that upholding abortion law will become “target states” for reproductive health services, making it difficult to access appointments even where they are legal.

Especially for mothers – the majority of people seeking abortion – these guidelines cost valuable time and money, and make safe and affordable care nearly inaccessible.

But you don’t have to.

Why it would be a disaster for Conservatives, Roe v.  Overturning calf

As business leaders, we have a responsibility to take care of our employees when politics leaves them behind. It starts with thoughtful guidelines on planning, paid vacation, and reproductive care.

With reproductive health services scarce and distant, workers need to be able to schedule appointments in stable leisure time. Roughly one in five Americans has irregular or inconsistent working hours, including a disproportionately large number of women and people of color. As soon as an employee has made the necessary appointments, she needs paid vacation – both for the time in the provider’s office and for the trip there and back. Under new access restrictions, this trip may take days and the worker may have to make it multiple times depending on requirements such as waiting times. Companies must give their employees enough paid sick days and sick leave to access reproductive health care, even when there are no states. Finally, companies need to ensure that our health policies cover reproductive care. Abortions are expensive, costing up to $ 1,500 excluding travel expenses. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal health care providers from covering abortions altogether. Workers’ health insurance must help them get the care they need, rather than hold them back. These steps are incredibly important – but they’re only the beginning. To truly protect access to abortion, companies must intervene in the communities they serve: select suppliers who uphold pro-choice values, establish businesses in states with accessible reproductive care, and, when they have the means, pay, to keep their people from harm way. Our pregnancy loss story shows what abortion bans could cause in traumaIf not for their wives, then companies have to act for our own result – and quickly. The road to abortion law is critical to recruitment and retention. A number of Millennials believe reproductive health coverage is a crucial factor in accepting a job offer, while research by reproductive rights advocates shows that employees would be more loyal to a company that supports prenatal, family planning, and abortion care companies. The same survey also found that the majority of workers believe that companies should consider access to reproductive health care when opening a new office – not surprising as a 2020 report found that more than half did so of college-aged women would not apply for a job in a state where abortion was prohibited. Action is also crucial for customer loyalty. Increasingly, customers are choosing to buy from companies that reflect their beliefs – beliefs that for the majority of women (and many other people) include the right to choose. Employers can orientate themselves on several future-oriented companies. After the draconian abortion ban went into effect in Texas, Salesforce offered to relocate employees and their families so they could have better access to reproductive medicine. Uber and Lyft have announced that they will pay legal fees for drivers who may now be charged with “assisting” with an abortion. Texas-based dating apps Match and Bumble set up a fund to help cover travel expenses for employees and their loved ones seeking out-of-state care. And several manufacturing companies have ceased business in Georgia while their abortion restrictions are in place.

It is devastating and annoying that our nation has come this far: that a woman’s right to control her body depends on where and if she works. But there is too much at stake to simply spread platitudes about physical autonomy, toss a few dollars at one or the other politician, or, worse, do nothing at all.

Abortion is more than just a right. It is a necessity – a way for millions of women to achieve economic opportunity and personal freedom, and to raise or raise a family on their own terms. As the government declines its responsibilities again, we employers face a choice: Follow their example or take a new and fair path forward. In the interests of our people and our own, I hope that we choose wisely.

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