Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Health and Wellness

The Science Behind The Copper IUD: How Does Metal Work for Birth Control?

  Most forms of birth control, in terms of understanding how they work, are fairly straightforward. Barrier methods like diaphragms and condoms physically prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and hormonal methods like birth control pills, NuvaRings, and Nexplanon administer dosages of hormones that disrupt ovulation. But there’s an outlier in the BC field: PARAGARD, also known as the copper IUD. It is different from its other T-shaped counterparts because it does not contain any hormones; copper is the contraceptive in this product. How does copper actually work to prevent pregnancy? Is this method as reliable as its hormone-based peers, like other IUDs and the Nexplanon implant? Medical mechanisms In a mechanism of action report by CooperSurgical, the company that makes the copper IUD, the pharmacology behind this birth control… Read more »

Trump’s Plan to Fund Abstinence-Only Sex Ed is Grossly Misled

Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that grants for sexual education programs available through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program will favor programs that focus on abstinence-only sexual education. Both The Hill and The New York Times report that the grants will focus on supporting programs that follow one of two models: “sexual risk avoidance” and “sexual risk reduction.” The Times also notes that “the announcement … mentioned an ‘emphasis on cessation support,’ a phrase many involved in teen pregnancy programs interpreted as urging sexually active teenagers to stop having sex.” In essence, Trump’s administration is favoring abstinence-centric sex ed programs over comprehensive sexual education. They see avoidance as the main option, and the administration is leaning away from evidence-based programs. Here’s why this is a big… Read more »

Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Is Not Just a Slogan

To anyone that believes that Trump’s presidency isn’t causing any real harm, I’m afraid to tell you that you are terribly mistaken. The State Department recently released their annual human rights report, and the section on reproductive rights has been removed. A section that previously included an outline on access to abortion and contraception and detailed maternal mortality rates has been replaced with a section discussing “coercion in population control” which documents involuntary or “unethical” sterilization. This, along with new sections solidifying America’s compliance with countries with governments known to violate human rights, exemplify what the Trump presidency prioritizes and what it always has. Reproductive rights hadn’t even been included in the human rights report properly until 2011 under the Obama administration. The reasoning behind removing reproductive rights from the human… Read more »

Why Essential Oils Should Get More Hype in Your Self-Care Routine

People all around the world have been using essential oils for centuries and their endless healing qualities are no secret to the earth. However, in modern day, there seems to be an increasing aura of skepticism and an onslaught of stigmas associated with natural remedies and forms of healing like crystals, aromatherapy and meditation. The first uses of essential oils trace back to cave paintings in France depicting the use of medicinal herbs, as well as in Egypt, which was a major hub for incense, perfume and aromatic oils.  During this time, the use of aromatic oils took on a very religious undertone. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, brought to light the health effects of 300 plants and spent a lot of time highlighting the utilization of natural remedies to… Read more »

Breaking News: Sexual Education Did Not Prepare Me for Sex

Let me introduce myself. I am an upper middle class woman who grew up in a fairly prosperous area. I went to a middle school and high school that are highly ranked in the country. I am currently in the Honors College at a well-ranked public school on the pre-medical track. My friends, for the most part, are progressive and openly talk about sex. All of these factors, one may think, might make me more prepared for sexual encounters. This may be the case, but I still would not label myself as “prepared”. In fact, I think I was fairly far from it when I started having sex and still do not know as much about sex and sexual health as I would like. I have made many mistakes along… Read more »

Why Adulthood Doesn’t Have to Be a Trap

In my last month of being nineteen, I have heard many times that, “adulthood is a trap”. I have seen it on t-shirts and read it in books, and even heard it in conversation: growing up seems to come with this unsettling, shocking feeling like suddenly, no amount of time will ever feel like enough. Being in college has also paved way for a large wave of baby fever. A lot of my friends have asked me what I am going to name my children, how many I want, and if they’re going to play piano or guitar. I always feel really excited for them when they talk like this, but inside it’s always a scary, sometimes sad, prospect to consider—the possibility that five, ten years from now, life will… Read more »

Let’s Get Real About Mental Health, No More Empty Gun Control Rhetoric

Every time there is a mass shooting, politicians talk about “mental health” as the leading problem instead of seriously considering the way the United States treats guns. Mental health becomes a ‘priority’ for two weeks, and then it is abandoned completely. Not only is mental health superficially addressed as a cop-out during times of crisis, the United States treats it hypocritically. After the Parkland shooting, the Trump administration did not fail to blame inadequate mental health care as the leading reason for the tragedy. “We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” We have heard it before numerous times, along with the discrepancy between the words coming out of politicians’ mouths and the reality of… Read more »

Reminder: Low Income Families Are People Not Caricatures of Poverty

This week, the Trump Administration decided to modify the way the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) distributes aid. Under the new proposal, SNAP would be cut by 30%. To achieve this cut, SNAP recipients will no longer be able use the money to buy what they see fit for their family. Instead, families would receive their aid in the form of a “USDA Foods package.” The package would be delivered to a family’s door, with food that the government has deemed appropriate. The budget uses “ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit” as an example of what the box would look like. Basically, the Trump administration does not think poor people should have a choice as to what they want to eat, instead they should survive… Read more »

Innovations by Women are the Future of Reproductive Health

With the rise of women worldwide entering STEM fields, more and more modern-day innovations are created by women and girls. We are also seeing more businesses run by women, creating new products and enhancing old products for other women and female-bodied people. Female innovators in every field are important, and their contributions to society are valuable. In particular, women and other people creating great products that positively impact reproductive health are critical, and should be celebrated. First, look at LOLA. It’s a company that sells “tampons and pads by women, for women.” Their products are different because LOLA is straightforward with what materials they’re using; for example, their tampons are 100% cotton. LOLA’s founders, Jordana and Alex, came up with the idea for their product by considering a simple question:… Read more »