News and Issues

Makers of sleeping pill ordered to lower dose for women: FDA

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Women who take zolpidem - a very popular sleeping pill – process the drug much more slowly than men, and tend to have more traffic accidents related to the pill.

With this new finding about the drug's effect, the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has just ordered that zolpidem makers lower the dose for women. Doses for women will be lowered from 10 milligrams to 5 milligrams for regular products, and 12.5 milligrams to 6.25 milligrams for extended-release formulations.

Zolpidem is sold as generics and under the brand-names Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Zolpimist, and Intermezzo.

The FDA recommends that manufacturers lower the dose for men as well, due to reports of driving-related problems related to the drug’s use.

The FDA did not learn why women metabolize zolpidem much more slowly than men.

Read the MeDWatch alert, including links to the Drug Safety Communication, News Release, and Q&As.

Women in the Philippines gain reproductive rights

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Women in the Philippines have just gained important reproductive rights, as a landmark health bill was recently ratified in that country. 

Read the whole story in The Guardian.

What IS great sex?

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Do you ever watch a movie, riveted by those slow, languorous, delicious lovemaking scenes; or the rip-your-clothes-off-and-get-sweaty-in-the-heat-of-the-moment scenes that make you want to howl at the moon: “I want that!” … 

Curious? Want to read more?

This month in her CWHN blog Spring Talk Sex, Lyba Spring talks about what makes sex fabulous.

Check out Great Sex.

New Canadian Task Force guideline: Start Pap tests at age 25, not 18

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The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care has issued new recommendations for cervical cancer screening.

They recommend starting routine Pap tests at age 25, a significant change to the previous (1994) guideline that Paps tests start at age 18 at the latest.

The main changes in the new guidelines are:

-  Routine Pap tests are not recommended for sexually active women under age 25. Previously, Pap tests were recommended when a woman first started being sexually active, or at age 18, whichever came first.

- For asymptomatic women (women without symptoms of cervical cancer) from age 25-69 who are or have been sexually active, Pap tests are recommended only every three years. Previously, the recommendation varied, but generally annual tests were recommended for women 20-69, possibly changing to once every two or three years after two normal tests in a row.

-  Screening is now more explicitly recommended in women over 69 if “prior screening has not been adequately performed.” Previously, screening for women 70 and older was not recommended.

The reasons given for these change are:

-  The Task Force recommends against cervical cancer screening (with Pap tests) for women aged younger than 25 because minimal or no benefit was found to outweigh the potential harms in this group.

- The Task Force found moderate quality evidence showing that screening with Pap tests may have a small effect in reducing cervical cancer mortality and morbidity among women aged 25‐29 and recommends screening these women at intervals of 3 years.

- The Task Force found high quality evidence showing that screening for cervical cancer with Pap tests reduces mortality and morbidity among women aged 30‐69, and strongly recommends screening these women at intervals of 3 years.

Do you know how to pour a standard drink?

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Éduc’alcool in Qubec has recently launched a campaign explaining exactly what a “standard drink” is. The goal is to get everyone in Quebec to put this information into practice and become accustomed to pouring the appropriate amount when serving common alcoholic beverages.

Test your knowledge with their online Standard drink server.

Watch their video on how to pour a standard drink

Read about how women drink and how alcohol affects our health, in CWHN's article Women and alcohol: To your health?  by Ann Dowsett Johnston.

Della: Hurdles to Health – a short film on poverty and health

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This free online film follows the life of a woman and her family in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Della: Hurdles to Health provides a glimpse into the family's daily struggles as a working poor family and illustrates how poverty affects health and wellbeing. Issues of housing, childcare, nutritious, accessible and affordable food, diabetes, and social supports are explored.

The film was made by the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership.

Watch Della: Hurdles to Health online (8 min. 18 sec.).

Talking about monogamy…

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This week CWHN’s blogger Lyba Spring talks about the ins and outs of monogamy, casual sexual relationships, what “monogamish” means, and more!

Read all about it, in Spring Talks Sex: Monogamy.

Menopause, heart disease and death: What is the connection?

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What is the relationship between heart disease, stroke and menopause? Does reaching menopause really mean you have one foot in the grave?

Read our thought-provoking new article in Network by Laura Wershler questioning the message of the recent fundraising campaign by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The Make Death Wait” campaign ads strongly suggest that menopause makes women more vulnerable to heart disease and stroke. But is it true?

Read about it in Death loves Menopause.

 

Judy Norsigian talks about women’s fight for reproductive freedom

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As attacks on women’s access to reproductive health care continue, some states in the U.S. are slashing their budgets for family planning clinics.  The PBS news show “Need To Know“ that aired December 7, 2012, examines the effects of these cuts on women in Texas.

The episode features Our Bodies Ourselves Executive Director Judy Norsigian offering an historical perspective of the fight for women’s reproductive freedom and women’s health policy debates over the past 40 years.

You can see the show online on PBS' website

Our webinar on Endocrine Disruptors in the Workplace gets favourable review

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A review of CWHN’s webinar Endocrine Disruptors in the Workplace: The Case of Women and Automotive Plastics Manufacturing recently appeared in CAND Vital Link, the magazine of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, with praise for the webinar.

Author Dr. Verna Hunt will also be publishing an article on our website about other ways to think about breast health and cancer prevention, which we are planning to run later in December.

Read Dr. Hunt’s review below.

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