Journal: American journal of obstetrics and gynecology
The obstetrics-gynecology community has issued a call to action to prevent toxic environmental chemical exposures and their threats to healthy human reproduction. Recent committee opinions recognize that vulnerable and underserved women may be impacted disproportionately by environmental chemical exposures and recommend that reproductive health professionals champion policies that secure environmental justice. Beauty product use is an understudied source of environmental chemical exposures. Beauty products can include reproductive and developmental toxicants such as phthalates and heavy metals; however, disclosure requirements are limited and inconsistent. Compared with white women, women of color have higher levels of beauty product-related environmental chemicals in their bodies, independent of socioeconomic status. Even small exposures to toxic chemicals during critical periods of development (such as pregnancy) can trigger adverse health consequences (such as impacts on fertility and pregnancy, neurodevelopment, and cancer). In this commentary, we seek to highlight the connections between environmental justice and beauty product-related chemical exposures. We describe racial/ethnic differences in beauty product use (such as skin lighteners, hair straighteners, and feminine hygiene products) and the potential chemical exposures and health risks that are associated with these products. We also discuss how targeted advertising can take advantage of mainstream beauty norms to influence the use of these products. Reproductive health professionals can use this information to advance environmental justice by being prepared to counsel patients who have questions about toxic environmental exposures from beauty care products and other sources. Researchers and healthcare providers can also promote health-protective policies such as improved ingredient testing and disclosure for the beauty product industry. Future clinical and public health research should consider beauty product use as a factor that may shape health inequities in women’s reproductive health across the life course.
Oral contraceptives have been used by hundreds of millions of women around the world. Important questions remain regarding the very long-term cancer risks associated with oral contraception. Despite previous research important questions remain about the safety of these contraceptives: i) how long do endometrial, ovarian and colorectal cancer benefits persist for? ii) does combined oral contraceptive use during the reproductive years produce new cancer risks later in life? and iii) what is the overall balance of cancer among past users as they enter the later stages of their lives?
Primary dysmenorrhea is common among women of reproductive age. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and oral contraceptives are effective treatments, although the failure rate is around 20-25%. Therefore additional evidence-based treatments are needed. In recent years, the use of smartphone applications (apps) has increased rapidly and may support individuals in self-management strategies.
Intrapericardial teratoma is a rare, lethal tumor often detected in fetal life. Tumor mass and pericardial effusion cause cardiac tamponade, which if relieved, could be life-saving. Optimal timing of intervention and methods for effective fetal treatment are unknown.
Current cell-free DNA assessment of fetal chromosomes does not analyze and report on all chromosomes. Hence, a significant proportion of fetal chromosomal abnormalities are not detectable by current non-invasive methods. Here we report the clinical validation of a novel non-invasive prenatal test designed to detect genome-wide gains and losses of chromosomal material ≥7 Mb and losses associated with specific deletions <7 Mb.
We examined neonatal mortality in relation to birth settings and birth attendants in the United States from 2006-2009.
Placentophagy or placentophagia, the postpartum ingestion of the placenta, is widespread among mammals; however, no contemporary human culture incorporates eating placenta postpartum as part of its traditions. Nevertheless, there is an increasing interest in placentophagy among postpartum women, especially in the United States. The placenta can be eaten raw, cooked, roasted, dehydrated, encapsulated, or through smoothies and tinctures. The most frequently used preparation appears to be placenta encapsulation after steaming and dehydration. Numerous companies offer to prepare the placenta for consumption. The evidence for positive effects of human placentophagy is anecdotal, and limited to self-reported surveys. Without any scientific evidence, individuals promoting placentophagy, especially in the form of placenta encapsulation, claim that it is associated with certain physical and psychosocial benefits. We found that there is no scientific evidence of any clinical benefit of placentophagy among humans, and no placental nutrients and hormones are retained in sufficient amounts after placenta encapsulation to be potentially helpful to the mother, postpartum. In contrast to the belief of clinical benefits associated with placenta encapsulation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a warning owing to a case where a newborn infant developed recurrent neonatal group B Streptococcus sepsis after the mother ingested contaminated placenta capsules containing Streptococcus agalactiae. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the intake of placenta capsules should be avoided owing to inadequate eradication of infectious pathogens during the encapsulation process. Therefore, in response to a woman who expresses an interest in placentophagy, physicians should inform her about the reported risks and the absence of clinical benefits associated with the ingestion. In addition, clinicians should inquire regarding a history of placenta ingestion in cases of postpartum maternal or neonatal infections such as group B Streptococcus sepsis. In conclusion, owing to the harmful effects of placentophagy, there is no professional responsibility on clinicians to offer placentophagy to pregnant women. Moreover, because placentophagy is potentially harmful with no documented benefit, counseling women should be directive: physicians should discourage this practice. Healthcare organizations should develop clear clinical guidelines to implement a scientific and professional approach to placentophagy.
Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality and adverse neonatal outcomes. Little is known about the extent of the health and cost burden of preeclampsia in the United States.
Reproductive coercion is male behavior to control contraception and pregnancy outcomes of female partners. We examined the prevalence of reproductive coercion and co-occurring intimate partner violence among women presenting for routine care at a large, urban obstetrics and gynecology clinic.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is an increase in the cesarean delivery rate in women who undergo induction when oxytocin is discontinued in the active phase of labor.