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Many Women Unaware of Female-Specific Stroke Symptoms

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, but many are unaware of warning signs and symptoms that are unique to females, a new study says. Of 1,000 women surveyed, only one in 10 was aware that hiccups that occur with unusual chest pain is an early warning sign of stroke in women, said researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus. Although men and women share some risk factors for stroke – such as smoking, being sedentary and having high blood pressure – others are specific to women, the researchers explained. But only 11 percent of women polled knew that pregnancy, lupus, migraine headaches, birth-control pills and hormone replacement therapy increase their stroke risk, the study found. "I think we have a ways to go when it comes to educating women about stroke and their unique risk factors," Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, ... Read more

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FDA Should Stop Sales of Essure Contraceptive Implant: Petition

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

Bayer's contraceptive implant Essure can cause serious complications and should be taken off the market, says a citizen's petition filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA approved Essure about 13 years ago after a review process that was fast-tracked because the device was the first alternative to surgical sterilization for women who did not want more children and offered patients a quick recovery, The New York Times reported. Essure is a metal and polyester coil implanted in a woman's fallopian tubes to make her permanently sterile. The procedure can be done in a doctors' office in just 10 minutes. However, since approving Essure, the FDA has received more than 4,000 reports of serious complications, including severe back and pelvic pain, coils that pierced the fallopian tubes and lodged in other organs, and heavy prolonged menstrual periods, The Times reported. ... Read more

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Teen Use of Long-Term Contraception Rising, But Remains Low

Posted 7 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 – The use of long-acting, reversible forms of contraception remains low among sexually active teen girls, though that trend seems to be changing, according to a U.S. government report released Tuesday. Among teens aged 15 to 19, the use of long-acting reversible contraception rose from less than 1 percent in 2005 to about 7 percent in 2013, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We encourage teens who aren't sexually active to continue to wait, but for teens who are choosing to have sex, we want them to make an informed choice," Ileana Arias, the CDC's principal deputy director, said during a media briefing. "We want them to think about the most effective types of birth control, and ask their doctor or family planning counselor about long-acting reversible contraception as well as about other options," she said. Long-acting ... Read more

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FDA Approves Liletta (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) to Prevent Pregnancy for up to Three Years

Posted 27 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

DUBLIN and SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT), a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, and Medicines360, a nonprofit women's health pharmaceutical company, today announced the approval of Liletta (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by women to prevent pregnancy for up to three years. Liletta is placed in the uterus by a healthcare professional and works by continuously releasing levonorgestrel, a progestin, to prevent pregnancy. Actavis and Medicines360's groundbreaking partnership will allow women, regardless of income and insurance coverage, to access this new and effective contraceptive option. Through the collaboration, Liletta will be available in the U.S. commercially as well as at a lower cost to public health clinics enrolled in the 340B Drug Pricing Program. "At ... Read more

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Use of Long-Acting Birth Control Rises Fivefold in a Decade: CDC

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – The use of long-acting birth control methods such as IUDs or under-the-skin implants jumped fivefold between 2002 and 2011, according to a new U.S. government report. Among U.S. women aged 15 to 44, the use of these long-term but reversible contraceptives rose from 1.5 percent in 2002 to 7.2 percent in 2011-2013, says the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from the agency's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) believe that these methods are gaining in popularity because of their proven ability to prevent unintended pregnancies. An easing of concerns about safety may be playing a role, too. IUDs (intrauterine devices) were commonly used by women in the 1970s, until safety issues led to a decline in their use. However, since then, IUDs have improved in quality, experts say. Also, over the past 20 years, ... Read more

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IUDs, Contraceptive Implants Work Longer Than Thought, Researchers Report

Posted 5 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 5, 2015 – Hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants appear to prevent pregnancy one year beyond their approved length of use, according to early results from an ongoing study. Researchers are assessing whether these long-acting forms of birth control may be effective up to three years after their approved length of use. Hormonal IUDs are currently approved for five years and contraceptive implants – small rods inserted into the arm – are currently approved for three years. Both types of contraception were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The study, by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will eventually enroll a total of 800 women. These preliminary results were from 263 women who used the hormonal IUD Mirena and 237 women who used the contraceptive implants Implanon and Nexplanon. The women ... Read more

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Better Contraceptive Knowledge Can Aid in Safe Use of Acne Drug: Study

Posted 5 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 – Researchers say giving birth control information to women visiting dermatology clinics can help promote the safe use of the drug isotretinoin, an acne medication known to cause birth defects. Isotretinion was originally sold under the brand name Accutane. That particular brand has been discontinued, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the drug is still available under other brand names, including Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret and Zenatane. The FDA requires women of childbearing age to sign a pledge that they will use two forms of contraception when taking isotretinoin because the medication is known to cause birth defects. The study included 100 female patients from one dermatology clinic. Their average age was about 27, and nearly two-thirds had a college education. Their knowledge about eight methods of birth ... Read more

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Modern Birth Control Methods Could Avoid 15 Million Unwanted Pregnancies: Report

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 – If more women had access to modern birth control methods and used them correctly, there would be 15 million fewer unwanted pregnancies in low- and middle-income nations each year, a new study suggests. For women in these countries, unwanted pregnancies can have serious consequences, including death, disease, disability and fewer educational and job opportunities, the researchers noted. Also, many unwanted pregnancies end in abortion. Researchers looked at birth control use by women between the ages of 15 and 49, in 35 countries, between 2005 and 2012. Birth control was defined as modern or traditional. Modern methods included condoms, intrauterine devices, oral and injectable contraceptives, implants, sterilization and breast feeding. Traditional methods included withdrawal and trying to time intercourse when women weren't fertile. The risk of unwanted ... Read more

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Use of 'the Pill' Tied to Higher Risk for Rare Brain Cancer

Posted 22 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 22, 2015 – The risk for developing a rare form of brain cancer known as glioma appears to go up with long-term use of hormonal contraceptives such as the Pill, new Danish research suggests. Women under 50 with a glioma "were 90 percent more likely to have been using hormonal contraceptives for five years or more, compared with women from the general population with no history of brain tumor," said study leader Dr. David Gaist. However, the Danish study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, and Gaist stressed that the findings "need to be put in context" for women because "glioma is very rare." How rare? Only five out of every 100,000 Danish women between the ages of 15 and 49 develop the condition each year, according to Gaist, a professor of neurology at Odense University Hospital. He said that figure includes women who take contraceptives such as the birth control pill. So, ... Read more

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U.S. Birth Rate Continues Decline, CDC Reports

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – The U.S. birth rate remained at an all-time low in 2013, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. But as the economy continues to improve, births are likely to pick up, experts say. "By 2016 and 2017, I think we'll start seeing a real comeback," said Dr. Aaron Caughey, chair of obstetrics and gynecology for Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. "While the economy is doing better, you're still going to see a lag effect of about a year, and 2014 is the first year our economy really started to feel like it's getting back to normal." More than 3.9 million births occurred in the United States in 2013, down less than 1 percent from the year before, according to the annual report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. The general fertility rate also declined by about 1 percent in 2013 to 62.5 births per 1,000 ... Read more

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The Pill Remains Most Common Method of Birth Control, U.S. Report Shows

Posted 11 Dec 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 11, 2014 – The pill remains one of the most popular methods of birth control for women, along with female sterilization and condoms, a new report shows. Among the two-thirds of women aged 15 to 44 who used birth control between 2011 and 2013, approximately 16 percent used the pill. Female sterilization, where women have their fallopian tubes closed or blocked, was used by 15.5 percent of women, while 9.4 percent used male condoms, according to the report published Dec. 11 by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). But intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, both types of long-acting reversible contraceptives, are close on the heels of these other forms of birth control, with 7.2 percent of women using them. "Use of long-acting reversible contraceptives is becoming more popular," said report author Kimberly Daniels, of the NCHS. Their use has nearly ... Read more

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Free, Long-Acting Contraceptives May Greatly Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rate

Posted 1 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1, 2014 – Giving teenage girls free birth control – especially long-acting implanted devices – could slash pregnancy and abortion rates to well below the current U.S. average, new findings suggest. In a study of 1,400 teenage girls, researchers found that counseling and free contraceptives substantially cut the girls' rates of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. Over three years, their annual pregnancy rate averaged 34 per 1,000 girls – versus a rate of 158 per 1,000 among all sexually active teenage girls in the United States. Meanwhile, the abortion rate was 9.7 per 1,000 girls in the study, compared to a national abortion rate of 41.5 per 1,000 sexually active girls, the researchers report in the Oct. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "What we're seeing here are extraordinary declines," said Bill Albert, chief program officer for the Washington, ... Read more

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Pediatricians Endorse IUDs, Implants for Teen Birth Control

Posted 29 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 29, 2014 – Long-acting contraceptive devices should be the first choice of birth control for teenage girls, new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics state. Although most U.S. teens opt for condoms or birth control pills, two other forms of contraception – intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants – are much more reliable, according to the academy. And they should be the "first-line" choices for teenage girls who don't want to remain abstinent, the academy says in guidelines published Sept. 29 in the journal Pediatrics. The advice is in line with guidelines from other medical societies, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But experts said they hope the official recommendation to pediatricians will increase teenage girls' use of IUDs and implants. The academy's move is "fantastic," said Dr. David Eisenberg, an ... Read more

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Administration Offers New Rules for Religious Objections to Health Care Law

Posted 22 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 – Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration on Friday proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan, while respecting the views of companies that objected to the provision on religious grounds. "Women across the country deserve access to recommended preventive services that are important to their health, no matter where they work," Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in an agency news release. "Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by nonprofit organizations and closely held for-profit companies." Under the Affordable Care Act health plans must offer at no extra charge all forms of birth control for women that have been ... Read more

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Some Birth Control Pills May Up Breast Cancer Risk

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 31, 2014 – Birth control pills containing high doses of estrogen, along with some other formulations, may increase the risk of breast cancer in women under 50, new preliminary research suggests. "There are numerous oral contraceptive formulations," explained lead researcher Elisabeth Beaber, a staff scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "Some of these formulations increase breast cancer risk while other formulations do not raise risk." Overall, birth control pill use within the past year was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of breast cancer risk compared with former use or no use of birth control pills, Beaber found. This study was designed to find a possible link between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk in younger women. But, it wasn't designed to prove that birth control pills definitively cause the increased risk. ... Read more

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