A shocking study from this year has also revealed that the cost of birth control in Florida varied considerably. In less wealthy areas, it was found that the cost of prescription contraceptives were more expensive compared to the same product in wealthier zip code areas. The research has raised concern for those in need of the drugs but are struggling financially.
In March of this year, the United Nations shared research that states that by 2015, approximately 233 million women will still be unable to access modern forms of contraception. With contraception being such an essential tool in preventing unwanted pregnancies, it allows women to decide on their desired family size. Contraception is also key in reducing the number of women dying in both pregnancy and childbirth especially as it’s a very cost effective method of intervention.
An American study has also found that women could in fact slash their chances of having a heart attack by up to 32% by simply eating 3 servings of either strawberries or blueberries each week. It’s thought that this could be due to the effect of the flavonoids contained within the fruits which prevents a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which is great news for wine drinkers as its thought the same result is achieved.
2013 has also revealed the results of a lengthy study carried out during 1996-2008 that was trying to establish whether or not there is a link between depression in women and the consumption of inflammation-spurring foods. The study excluded any women already suffering from the condition. The results showed that women who regularly ate foods such as pasta and red meat, were in fact more prone to developing depression.
Across the pond, comprehensive research has been done by the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the current levels of mercury in women’s blood. As women are now more aware of the health risks associated with consuming high levels of mercury, its thought that women are now thinking more carefully about the types of fish they eat. Mercury has been linked to both kidney and neurological problems.
At the latest annual meeting for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, new information was announced claiming a possible link between a lack of sleep and a woman’s ability to conceive. It suggests that women who work irregular shifts could be put at a higher risk of not conceiving whilst those who work during the night increase their chances of mis-carrying. The reason behind this thinking is that interrupted sleep could be affecting their internal clock, so in order to maximise fertility, a woman should aim to get between 7-8 hours’ sleep each night.
There’s been some good news though for cancer survivors, as a recent study has shown that two-thirds of women who have survived cancer before the age of 21 were able to successfully go on to have a child. The statistics were taken after 3,500 18-39 year old sexually-active women were looked at, which revealed these promising results.
This year, preliminary findings into a baby’s brain development has suggested that getting the normal 20 minutes of moderate exercise 3 times a week could help. Researchers are still to make definitive findings but it’s thought that regular exercise helps to boost a baby’s all round development.
New findings by researchers at Duke’s University has suggested that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in its early stages could have a better chance of survival if they opt for a lumpectomy and radiation instead of a mastectomy. In recent times many women have been opting for mastectomies for psychological reasons instead of medical, however, more research still needs to be done.
The US Preventative Services Task force changed its guidelines several years ago surrounding the age at which women should receive routine mammograms. Despite the organisation deciding this, women between the ages of 40-49 are still going for the test with numbers slightly increasing. The results are a good indication that women are taking their health seriously.
This year the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology revealed the results of its study into post-pubescent women’s increased chances of developing food allergies, asthma and rhinitis. They believe women are more likely than men to develop certain conditions as a result of both genetics and sex hormones.
The final big health story for women this year involves a bra, or rather why you shouldn’t wear one. Although almost all women wear a one on a daily, research suggests they may not be beneficial. By not wearing a bra, a woman doesn’t develop her body’s natural tissue which supports the breasts. So not wearing a bra is not only more comfortable, but also better for you too!