Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

MTV Reality Show Runs More Like A Contraceptive Ad And Covers Little To No Side Effects

In this week’s episode of Teen Mom 2, Kailyn heads to her gynecologist for birth control and leaves with a Mirena IUD in her uterus.

The entire encounter, obviously edited, ran more like a commercial for Mirena than a contraceptive counseling session. Other contraceptives were mentioned generically only  -”a patch”, “a ring”, “the pill” – but when it came to the IUD, all we hear is the word Mirena – six times, to be exact, during the entire 2 and a half minute encounter with the doc.

DOC: If you don’t like the birth control pill, you do have other options. You know that there’s a birth control patch.
KAILYN: (suspiciously) Yeah
DOC: There’s a once a month vaginal ring. The ring itself is not uncomfortable. (Hands her the ring) They’re one size fits all – Right Isaac? (Baby plays with Nuvaring) They’re cool, right?
KAILYN: I just feel like me putting something in myself is all that much more room for error.
DOC: There’s also the Mirena.
KAILYN: Whaaaat is Mirena? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Violence As A Means Of Miscarriage

In less than six months after I wrote ”Seven Reasons Why Pregnancy Becomes a Deadly Affair,” the public outrage is faint and inaudible regarding domestic violence committed against pregnant women. The subject therefore needs to be revisited again.

On a college campus less than 90 minutes away from my home, a 17-year-old woman was kicked and punched in her abdomen for no apparent reason other than that she carried life within her womb. The alleged father of her baby, Devin Nickels, a college student at Florida State University (FSU), was apparently not happy about his new prospective role. He purportedly contacted a high school buddy, Andres Luis Marrero, who now attended the University of Tampa, and asked him to beat his girlfriend until she had a miscarriage for $200.00. Marrero, instead, offered to assault the girl for free.

According to the University of Tampa’s newspaper, The Minaret, Nickels drove his girlfriend to a secluded wooded area near an apartment complex and Marrero allegedly assaulted her despite her pleas that she was pregnant. The woman was treated at a local hospital and her pregnancy was still viable. Hours later, Marrero allegedly wrote about the attack on his Facebook wall describing it as “fun.” He was subsequently arrested for armed kidnapping and aggravated assault on a pregnant woman. His father made a statement that his son was an “outstanding kid all his life” and he had no idea “where this was coming from.” Nickels was also arrested on the FSU campus.

Unfortunately these travesties continue. The Oakland Press reported the story of a 17-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan high schooler who allegedly stabbed a classmate (with whom he’d had sex) in the back of the head 12 times because she told him she “might be pregnant.” She ultimately had surgery that resulted in an intensive care unit admission. The classmate lived because she “played dead.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

Teen Pregnancy Decline Is Likely As Low As It Will Go

Teen pregnancy rates have declined, but likely bottomed out, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Teen births dropped by a third between 1990 to 2005, but rose again in 2006 and 2007. The latest figures for 2008 show a decline of 2.4 percent, to 41.5 pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers. Experts told My Health News Daily/MSNBC the dropping rates have bottomed out, and that new strategies are needed to deglamorize teen pregnancy.

Teen birth rates were consistently highest in states across the South and Southwest, and lowest in the Northeast and upper Midwest. In 2008, state-specific teenage birth rates varied widely, from less than 25.0 per 1,000 15-19 year olds (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont), to more than 60.0 per 1,000 (Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Birth Control: How Men Think It Works

People, people, people: If you don’t understand how birth control works, you shouldn’t be having sex. What happened to the old days when the boyfriend was expected to sit through the video and conversation about all the types of birth control during the appointment at Planned Parenthood?

A friend sent me a link to the funniest video of men (trying to) explain how birth control works — it’s worth viewing for the laughs. These are all adult men who have some serious misconceptions about how birth control works, but “lady business” as a euphemism for vagina may become part of my vocabulary!

It’s no wonder that the United States has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections — our youth are ignorant about how to prevent them. Please talk to your teens about birth control.

Remember that the teens who know the most about sexuality tend to be the ones who don’t have sex. How’s that for motivation to talk to your teens?

Photo credit: nateOne

This post, Birth Control: How Men Think It Works, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

ABC’s Private Practice Takes On Teen Pregnancy

Last night, ABC’s Private Practice took on the very challenging issue of teenage pregnancy in a story arc that began with last week’s show when 15 year old Maya announced to Addison that she was pregnant. The show well depicts the shock, the emotion and the difficulty of handling the pro-choice/pro-life discussion when a teenager is at the center of the discussion.  It was a raw episode at times and in the end we are left with a 15 year old opting to keep her pregnancy.  It’s tempting to criticize the writers for not focusing enough on Maya but, in truth, the show was more realistic than you may realize.

In the episode, Maya’s mom, Naomi, basically freaks out from the start. This pro-life mom first storms out of the room then tries to force an abortion onto her daughter. When that doesn’t work, she shows Maya a woman in labor only to have Maya entranced by the sight of a baby and determined to keep the pregnancy even more. The show concludes with Naomi leaving the building not talking to anyone, in tears. True to life? You bet. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »