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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.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Human, Sociology, Cosmetics, Hygiene, Personal care, Feminine hygiene


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?

Concepts: Pregnancy, Birth control, Emergency contraception, Sexual intercourse, Hormonal contraception, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Colorectal cancer, Menstrual cycle


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.

Concepts: Combined oral contraceptive pill, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Anti-inflammatory, Paracetamol, Menstrual cycle, Acupuncture, Menstruation, Dysmenorrhea


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.

Concepts: Surgery, Benign tumor, Pericardium, Cardiac tamponade, Nature, Pericardial effusion, Spina bifida, In Utero


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 ‚Č•7 Mb and losses associated with specific deletions <7 Mb.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Species, Chromosome, Cytogenetics, Chromosomes, Chromatin


We examined neonatal mortality in relation to birth settings and birth attendants in the United States from 2006-2009.

Concepts: United States, Milk, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Infant mortality, Setting, American Civil War


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.

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Oxytocin, Epidural, Caesarean section, Breech birth, Labor induction, Pre-eclampsia


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.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, United States, Economics, Barack Obama, Massachusetts, Health care in the United States


To determine if expectant management of severe preeclampsia prior to 34 weeks of gestation results in improve neonatal outcome in countries with limited resources.

Concepts: Clinical trial,, Pre-eclampsia, Multicenter trial


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of prophylactic misoprostol use at cesarean delivery for reducing intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. RESULTS: Seventeen studies (3174 women) were included of which 7 evaluated misoprostol versus oxytocin and 8 evaluated misoprostol plus oxytocin versus oxytocin. Overall, there were no significant differences in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage between sublingual or oral misoprostol and oxytocin. Rectal misoprostol, compared with oxytocin, was associated with a significant reduction in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage. The combined use of sublingual misoprostol and oxytocin, compared with the use of oxytocin alone, was associated with a significant reduction in the mean decrease in hematocrit (mean difference, -2.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], -3.4 to -0.8) and use of additional uterotonic agents (relative risk, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.18-0.62). Compared with oxytocin alone, buccal misoprostol plus oxytocin reduced the use of additional uterotonic agents; rectal misoprostol plus oxytocin decreased intraoperative and postoperative blood loss, mean fall in hematocrit, and use of additional uterotonic agents; and intrauterine misoprostol plus oxytocin reduced the mean fall in hemoglobin and hematocrit. Women receiving misoprostol, alone or combined with oxytocin, had a higher risk of shivering and pyrexia. CONCLUSION: Misoprostol combined with oxytocin appears to be more effective than oxytocin alone in reducing intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage during caesarean section. There were no significant differences in intraoperative and postoperative hemorrhage when misoprostol was compared to oxytocin. However, these findings were based on a few trials with methodological limitations.

Concepts: Childbirth, Systematic review, Randomized controlled trial, Obstetrics, Epidural, Caesarean section, Labor induction, Placenta accreta