Rss

Archives for : WOMAN PROBLEMS

Broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome is harming women say experts .Video presentations.

Lucy Ogden-Doyle was only 14 when she learnt she may develop fertility problems. It was distressing news for someone who went to see her GP about irregular periods.

Her doctor said she might have a hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and she should drop five kilograms – despite then being 52 kilograms and 172 centimetres tall – to “pre-empt” weight gain, a symptom.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: an expert’s guide

“It was quite a dramatic thing to tell someone so young that they may be infertile and to lose weight, which would have made me underweight,” Ms Ogden-Doyle, now 24, said.

“Two years later I had tests and I do have PCOS but I’m not showing the symptoms like excess hair or extra weight so, while it has been a negative experience, right now I’m not letting it affect me.”

The arts student is among one in five women diagnosed with PCOS, a deeply stigmatising condition. The figure is based on eight separate studies across six countries including Australia and China.

PCOS, which occurs when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal, is the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorder in reproductive aged women.

In an opinion article in the latest British Medical Journal, Australian researchers argue that an expanded definition had inadvertently led to overdiagnosis, and therefore too much treatment and even harm.

The widening of the definition (to include the sonographic presence of polycystic ovaries) in 2003 led to a dramatic increase in cases, from 5 to 21 per cent.

Lucy Ogden-Doyle has polycystic ovary syndrome. The definition of the term is problematic

Lead author Tessa Copp, a PhD student at Sydney University, said many women were being “given a lifelong disease label” in their teenage years when symptoms such as acne and irregular periods overlapped with signs of puberty.

She referred to three studies that found the prevalence of PCOS by age decreased rapidly after 25, suggesting the symptoms may be transitory for some women.

“A lot of my friends had it and were feeling quite dissatisfied because there’s no cure, nothing you can do, except to undergo treatments that focus on alleviating symptoms,” she said.

“Some cases are severe and they will benefit from the label, but women with milder symptoms may experience harm from the overdiagnosis and overtreatment.”

The authors said women diagnosed with PCOS had higher levels of depression, anxiety, poorer self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and decreased sexual satisfaction.

They said it was unclear whether these impacts were due to the condition, its symptoms, or from the psychological effect of being labelled a PCOS sufferer.

“It’s associated with infertility, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, so it labels women as abnormal but the consequences are not the same for everyone,” Ms Copp said.

The authors argue that, given the uncertainties, the risk of psychological harm and the impacts of applying a one-size-fits-all diagnostic criteria to a wide-ranging set of symptoms, it was important for doctors not to rush diagnosing women.

“We need better understanding and research to characterise the benefits and harms of diagnosis and treatment for women with both severe and milder symptoms,” Ms Copp said.

“Instead of diagnosing women in adolescence, note they’re at risk, follow up with them over time and use treatments that target the symptoms.”

Call to action

The article comes as influential health groups, including the Consumers Health Forum and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, launch a call to action to address overdiagnosis in general and “the problem of too much medicine”.

In an initial statement via a Wiser Healthcare collaboration, they said there was an urgent need to develop a national action plan.

“Expanding disease definitions and lowering diagnostic thresholds are recognised as one driver of the problem, and the processes for changing definitions require meaningful reform,” it said.

Dr Ray Moynihan, from Bond University and a Wiser Healthcare member, said the problem of too much medicine was driven by many factors, including the best of intentions.

“PCOS appears to be a strong example of the problem of expanding disease definitions or lowering diagnostic thresholds that are potentially labelling too many people,” he said.

PCOS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high blood pressure and poorer psychological wellbeing.

12 Things Women In Saudi Arabia Cannot Do

saudi-women-in-burkas image www.goodgirlsgo.com

Reportedly, no less than 18 women in Saudi Arabia were elected to municipal councils in ballots held on December 12, 2015. It’s the first time women were allowed to stand for office or vote in the country’s history. Although the vote is a landmark for the ultra-conservative kingdom, its women’s daily lives remain severely restricted. Here are 12 things women in Saudi Arabia are still unable to do!

1. Go anywhere without a male chaperone

Rooted in the thought “giving movement freedom to women would make them vulnerable to sins”, women’s all errands, including shopping trips and visits to the doctor, need to be accompanied by a male guardian, often relative. There’s one extreme case that a teenage girl who had been gang-raped was given harsher punishment than the rapists because she was not with a chaperone when it occurred.

2. Drive a car

Though there’s no official law banning women from driving, the deeply held religious beliefs prohibit it, arguing female drivers “undermine social values.” In 2011, a group of Saudi women launched the “Women2Drive” campaign, encouraging women to drive a car, but they are only allowed to drive their children to school or a family member to the hospital.

3. Wear clothes or makeup that “show off their beauty”

Strictly governed by the Islamic law, the majority of Saudi women were forced to wear an abaya – a long black cloak – and a black head scarf. If they failed to cover the face, they would probably be harassed for exposing too much flesh or wearing too much makeup, though the face does not necessarily need to be covered. The Shoura Council, king’s advisory body, ruled that women should wear “modest” clothes that do not “show off their beauty.”

4. Interact with men

Saudi women are restricted in the amount of time spent with men they are unrelated to. The majority of the public buildings including offices, banks, universities and most of the public transportation, parks and beaches are segregated for men and women. Unlawful mixing will lead to criminal charges against both parties, but women typically face harsher punishment.

5. Go for a swim

A Reuters correspondent once tried to use the gym and pool at an upmarket Riyadh hotel. And she such described her experience: “As a woman, I wasn’t even allowed to look at them (‘there are men in swimsuits there,’ a hotel staffer told me with horror) – let alone use them.”

6. Compete freely in sports

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia proposed hosting an Olympic Games without women because in their belief women cannot compete in sports. When Saudi female athletes attended the London games for the first time, hard-line clerics denounced them as “prostitutes”. Meanwhile, they had to be accompanied by a male guardian and wear a “Sharia-compliant” sports kit covering their hair.

7. Try on clothes when shopping

Maureen Dowd, a Vanity Fair writer, once said in “A Girl’s Guide to Saudi Arabia”: “The mere thought of a disrobed woman behind a dressing-room door is apparently too much for men to handle.”

8. Entering a cemetery

9. Reading an uncensored fashion magazine

10. Buying a Barbie doll

11. Working in a lingerie shop

Though some stores have recently begun hiring female employees, the majority are still staffed by men.

12. Open a bank account without her husband’s permission

Luckily, things in Saudi Arabia now are slowly starting to modernise, and “women are highly educated and qualified”, says Rothna Begum from Human Right Watch, “They don’t want to be left in the dark.”

FBB

Henry Sapiecha

With this dowry I now own your son: Indian brides turn tables

indian bride has a dowry & owns the groom image www.goodgorlsgo.com

“Ask nicely, and I might let you use my things,” says this bride in a video made for the government campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter) in India. Photo: Supplied

New Delhi: India’s efforts to stop baby girls being aborted are seeing the circulation of some surprisingly hard-hitting videos that are turning the tables on men, using the issue of dowry to turn them into pathetic “objects”.

Having to give a dowry to daughters is the single most powerful reason that Indian parents prefer boys. The dowry – cash, fridges, jewellery, TVs, scooters, furniture, sewing machines, cooking utensils – can bankrupt families but without it, no daughter will ever find a husband.

In one video, made for the government campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter), a young bride is shown about to go for a ride on a scooter with her husband. The woman’s father-in-law tells her contemptuously that she had better think again because he needs the scooter to do his chores.

“Monthly instalments are only for objects,” says this bride to her mother-in-law in response to suggestions how dowry payments should continue, in a videos for Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter campaign. Photo: Supplied

The bride retorts: “I’m the one who paid the quoted price. I gave you the scooter as part of the dowry I brought so I own the scooter and your son. Ask nicely, and I might let you use my things.”

The second video, too, alters the usual image of a new bride in her in-laws’ home, namely, tense, eager to please, everyone’s doormat. It shows her in the kitchen with her mother-in-law who is goading her into asking her parents for a new fridge.

The bride says her parents only recently gave a sewing machine. “What is this? Do I have to give monthly instalments or what?” asks the young woman. The mother-in-law’s reply is why not?

The wife answers: “Well, monthly instalments are only for objects, so if you expect monthly instalments from me, that means your son is an object I can use as I wish”.

The videos were funded by business consultant Sunil Alagh in Mumbai.  He says he wanted to contribute to the government’s campaign to empower women but not with a preachy sermon on the evils of dowry that everyone has heard before.

“I was at a friend’s house where the servant told me that a girl in his village had told her prospective father-in-law that if he wanted a dowry from her, he had better accept that he was selling his son to her. It was brilliant, I knew I had to use that line,” said Mr Alagh.

The two videos, produced by Red Carpet Entertainment, have attracted two million views on Facebook, more than 225,000 hits on YouTube and are being shown at all INOX cinemas in India. They have also generated intense debate because Indians are accustomed to homily-laden education campaigns, not videos which savage traditions in this fashion.

Reactions have ranged from praise to criticism that the videos implicitly accept the practice of dowry instead of questioning it. “All the ad is doing is discouraging audiences from finding an educated bride for their family … because education, apparently, transforms a woman into the quip-hurling bitch who’s out to isolate her husband from his parents, according to this advertisement,” wrote Rohan Venkataramakrishnan on the current affairs website Scroll.

For New Delhi economist Anuradha Bhasin, such criticism is absurd. “They are clever and funny. While the setting is traditional [mother-in-law hectoring the daughter-in-law], the daughter-in-law is educated and knows her rights. And equating a dowry with the buying of a son is fantastic,” she said.

The practice of dowry has etched the preference for boys deep in the psyche. Last month, some doctors practising the traditional Indian system of medicine known as ayurveda were arrested in Bhopal during a herbal fair for selling herbs that ensured women would conceive baby boys.

Last February, India’s most famous yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, came under attack for selling an ayurvedic potion to infertile couples that “guarantees” a male child.

With female foeticide still rampant, the sex ratio has fallen from 927 girls per 1000 boys in 2001 to 918 girls for every 1000 boys in 2011.

In launching the Save your Daughter, Teach your Daughter campaign in January, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited members of the public to devise their own ways of promoting women’s empowerment.

Mr Alagh is one of many Indians who have tried to do something innovative to change attitudes. Another was Sunil Jaglan, a father in Haryana who organised a “Selfie with Daughter” campaign on social media, which Mr Modi promptly helped promote on his own Twitter account.

ooo

Henry Sapiecha

The medical epidemic few women have been willing to talk about – until now

womans hands on lap image www.goodgirlsgo.com

When Carmel Price’s mother had an operation six years ago, Price helped her in the hospital but never really knew what the procedure was for. “I heard that she was having ‘reconstructive surgery,’ like that her organs had moved around and they were putting them back where they belonged,” said Price, a university professor.

Then Price had two babies of her own and suddenly she understood – and unlike many women in the past, she is talking about it.

“My bladder was bulging outside of my body, and if I was on my feet for any significant length of time, like if I was giving a three-hour lecture, or running or jumping, it would fall out even further.” Her mother confirmed that it was the same thing she’d had.

Pelvic organ prolapse – when a woman’s bladder, uterus, or rectum falls down through the vaginal canal – affects millions of women in America, and becomes more likely the older they get. The average age women start to notice pelvic floor disorders, which include prolapse as well as urinary and fecal incontinence, is 56; by 80, half of all women have one or more symptoms. One in 10 end up in surgery.

And yet for years, few women talked about it. Gynaecologists often do not notice it in routine exams, and many women have lived with the condition for years or even decades without realising anything could be done.

“This is a stigmatised condition,” said John DeLancey, a Univeristy of Michigan professor of gynecology and urology. “It’s nothing people would talk about in polite company … And because nobody talks about it, everyone thinks they’re the only one.”

prolapse sketch image www.goodgirlsgo.com

Recently, however, the conversation has opened up ever so slightly. Last month the actress Kate Winslet spoke publicly about her urinary incontinence since having babies. The FDA recently approved several versions of a pelvic floor muscle trainer, which provide feedback via a smartphone app. And new internal devices for incontinence and prolapse, which advocates say work better than earlier versions, are just hitting the market.

“There has definitely been a sea change starting this calendar year,” said Missy Lavender, executive director of the Women’s Health Foundation, which does education and advocacy on the issue. “We suddenly have people looking at women’s pelvic health, going, ‘Why don’t we do more?'”

References to pelvic organ prolapse appear in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Medieval woodcuts, and the Bible (which says it is a sign a wife has been unfaithful). Treatments throughout the ages included fumigating the lower abdomen with herbs; tying a woman upside-down to a ladder and shaking it; or menacing the wayward organ with a hot poker to frighten it into place.

In reality, pelvic floor prolapse is similar to a hernia where the organs and vaginal walls are pushed out through an opening in the muscles of the pelvic floor. The condition is most common among women who have given birth; in 10-15 per cent of vaginal deliveries, the attachment of the muscles to the side walls tears, weakening the ability of the muscles to support the organs. Most women have no idea there is a problem until years later, when the muscles weaken with age and are no longer able to hold the organs in place.

“It’s not painful so much as uncomfortable,” DeLancey said. “They feel this intense pressure. Often they say they have a backache.”

Pelvic floor problems run in families. Other risk factors include obesity, routine heavy lifting, older maternal age at first birth, and the use of forceps during delivery.

Treatments include the use of a pessary, an internal support device that women can insert to hold the organs in place, or surgery using the patient’s own tissue or a mesh to lift and repair the fallen organs.

There are 320,000 surgeries a year for pelvic floor disorder, 200,000 of which are for prolapse. For less advanced cases, physical therapy can help reduce symptoms.

Left untreated, the prolapse can grow to the size of a grapefruit or larger, and it can become painful if the organs pull on the ligaments. It can become dangerous if the prolapse causes blockage in the tubes that attach kidney to bladder, And it can put women at risk of reduced activity and social isolation.

“Urinary incontinence is one of the top reasons people end up in nursing homes – people don’t want to deal with the smell,” said Cheryl Iglesia, director of MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Section of Female Pelvic Medicine.

In the US, more pads are sold for incontinence than menstruation, Iglesia said. “It is a problem because we don’t have enough trained experts [in pelvic floor issues] to handle the aging population.”

Even when it is not dangerous, it erodes enjoyment of life. Women stop exercising because physical activity tends to worsen the condition – especially running or jumping, or activities involving weights, sit-ups or squats. Some avoid intimacy, fearing that prolapse or incontinence will repel their partners.

But even when women do speak up, they can hit a gender bias.

“My ob-gyn said, ‘Oh, your body just changes after having a baby’ and it’s just life,” said Price, 38, who since her diagnosis has shifted her research to study the issue. “It felt really dismissive. It made it seem like my surgery was elective, as if I was having cosmetic surgery. In other words, if I was willing to be sedentary and just live with it, it wasn’t necessary.””

Washington Post

ooo

Henry Sapiecha