Focusing on Women's Health from Puberty to Menopause.

Monday, 22 October 2012
Perinatal healthcare professionals in the UK have given a mixed reception to Government plans to increase the numbers of home births. A survey of 831 midwives, GPs, consultant obstetricians/gynaecologists and consultant neonatologists/paediatricians in the Eastern NHS Region received a wide range of responses concerning their experience of, and enthusiasm and support for home birth: Midwives GPs O&G** N&P† Experiences of home birth 7 (5-8) 5 (3–7) 5 (2–5) 2 (1–3) Enthusiasm for home birth 9 (8–10) 3 (3–7.5) 5 (3–7.5) 4 (3–5) Support for Government plans to increase home delivery rates 8.5 (7–10) 5 (2–6) 5 (2–5) 3 (2–5) * All scales 0–10 from strongly negative (0) to strongly positive (10); data are median (IQR) ** Consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists † Consultant neonatologists and paediatricians Government moves to make home births more accessible also elicited a range of responses from the different disciplines. Midwives generally reported positive experiences of home delivery and were more favourable about the concept of home birth than any of the other professionals. ACTION The authors suggest that negative experiences and opinions of perinatal healthcare professionals may impact on women’s uptake of home delivery. These concerns will need to be addressed if the Government plans to increase home delivery rates are to succeed. References McNutt A et al. Int J Gynecol Obst 2012:119(Suppl 3):S419(O444)
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
It has certainly been a summer to remember, and one with important take-home messages for the health of every woman. The London Olympic Games demonstrated the benefits that can accrue from the best of evidence-based health care and individual healthy behaviours. And the London Paralympics show that, with personal determination and excellent support, it is possible to overcome almost unimaginable disadvantages to achieve at the highest level.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
The most effective contraceptive is the one that the woman seated opposite you will use. Women are more likely to adhere to contraception when they have been actively involved in choosing the method. This choice is influenced by the patient’s values and beliefs, which are in turn informed by her religious or cultural background. Awareness of these influences helps us to better understand and facilitate patient choice.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Vulval cancer is primarily a disease of elderly women, but is increasingly seen before the menopause. It is a rare disease, and a primary care health professional may see only one case every seven years. It is, however, essential for GPs and practice nurses to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of vulval cancer, since it is highly curable if diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Category: Back to Basics
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Recent changes in the perception of osteoporosis and fracture risk have placed their management firmly within primary care. The inclusion of osteoporosis in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) supports this change and acknowledges the important role of GPs and practice nurses. A new online resource aims to help primary care in taking this opportunity to improve patient care and achieve QOF domains.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Primary care is usually the first point of contact when a woman presents with postmenopausal bleeding (PMB). Prompt referral is essential, since bleeding may be a sign of endometrial cancer. But it is also important for GPs and practice nurses to explain to the patient the reasons for concern, as well as the purpose of the investigations that she is likely to encounter in secondary care.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
As we watch our young female athletes compete in the Olympics, we hope that their legacy will be increasing participation in sports and exercise by all women. The positive effects of exercise are well known, and a sedentary lifestyle can reduce bone mineral density and increase the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. But for the young female performer, high volumes of exercise may paradoxically be linked to the loss of oestrogen and higher risk of stress fracture and osteoporosis associated with the female athlete triad.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
The vulva is the area of skin just outside the vagina. Most women have a slight vulval itch from time to time, but pruritus vulvae means that the itch is persistent and is often worse at night. Pruritus vulvae affects about one in 10 women at some time in their lives.
Category: Editorial
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Over the last 30 years, there has been a trend towards lower parity, older mothers, and a significant rise in the incidence of multiple pregnancies, both spontaneous and induced by assisted reproductive technologies (ART). These developments mean that women receive contradictory information on age-related effects on their ability to conceive. Primary healthcare professionals can play a key role in enabling women to make realistic and informed choices about the risks of deferring childbirth.
Category: Editorial

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