Research finds that episiotomies may help reduce tearing in assisted births

A new study, co-authored by Giulia Muraca, suggests that episiotomy may be key to reducing vaginal and anal tearing during births assisted by forceps or vacuums.

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Episiotomy may help reduce severe tears in deliveries involving forceps, vacuums, study shows | The Globe and Mail

Episiotomies Reduce Vaginal And Anal Tearing In Assisted Births: Study | The Huffington Post

Study finds episiotomies reduce severe tearing risks in assisted births | CTV News

Move away from episiotomies in childbirth is hurting some women, says UBC-led study | Vancouver Sun

Episiotomy helpful in forceps births says Canadian study | CBC

BC Women’s Health Foundation launches In Her Words report

On October 9th, 2019 the BC Women’s Health Foundation, in partnership with Pacific Blue Cross, released the In Her Words report, exposing women’s experience with the healthcare system in BC.

The report is informed by a survey of 1000 BC women aged 16 and older, and was designed to assess women’s experience with accessing needed care, and their perceptions of interactions with healthcare providers. There was also an effort to understand the unique needs of Indigenous women.

The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) played a role in the formation of the report, through informing the original survey questions, and contributing re-analysis of data, and data interpretation. Data collection was led by the Mustel group and Reciprocal Consulting.

The report illuminated differences in experiences among women, based on age, geographic location, or whether or not they were Indigenous. These intersections compound negative experiences within the BC healthcare system, with staggering numbers like 3 in 5 mature women reporting their symptoms were diminished or overlooked by a healthcare professional, or that 83% of Indigenous women aged 16-24 reported challenges accessing the medical care they needed.

“We’ve seen research that women see on average five to seven providers over three to five years before they receive an accurate diagnosis,” Dr. Lori Brotto, Executive Director of the WHRI , told the Vancouver Sun. “The report illustrated in a numeric form with a representative sample of B.C. women what we hear clinically: Women feel misunderstood, misdiagnosed, diagnosed too late, over-pathologized with certain conditions such as chronic pain.”

Throughout the report, real women share stories about their experiences within our healthcare system. Their messages are a powerful call-to-action for policy makers, healthcare providers, health researchers, funders, and other stakeholders to pay attention and believe women’s experiences, and to work toward closing the health gap.

Read In Her Words on the BC Women’s Health Foundation site.

IN THE MEDIA

New research from Dr. Gina Ogilvie’s team makes waves in the news

The study, in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, shows that BC’s HPV immunization program has cut pre-cancer rates in half for women.

Read more:

B.C.’s school-based HPV immunization program cuts pre-cancer rates by more than half by UBC Faculty of Medicine News

HPV immunization program in B.C. cuts rates of pre-cancer in women, study says by Global News

HPV vaccines having positive impact, B.C. government says by News1130

HPV vaccine cuts rates of cervical pre-cancer by 57% in B.C. women by CBC News

Let’s Talk About Painful Periods And Endometriosis | Gender Equality Week

Earlier this year Kate Wahl co-authored a piece for The Huffington Post about painful periods and endometriosis.

For Gender Equality Week, Kate has written an introduction to the article, emphasizing the importance of destigmatizing menstruation as a step toward greater equality for all Canadians.

Kate Wahl, MSc

“In this article about the burden of endometriosis in Canada, we described how menstrual stigma poses a significant barrier to awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of this chronic gynecological condition. We argued that addressing this barrier would allow people affected by endometriosis to realize their potential, giving them the opportunity for personal achievement and supporting their full participation in the Canadian economy. We closed by suggesting that each of us has a role to play in in transforming attitudes about menstruation.

“We did not discuss the transformational potential of research in the original article, however we believe that this sector has the potential to catalyze the normalization of menstruation. Our team recently received funding from the BC SUPPORT Unit and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to pilot test a menstrual health and endometriosis education program in middle and secondary schools. The program not only seeks to engage students of all gender identities about the symptoms of endometriosis but also aims to remove stigmas, awkward attitudes, and taboos about menstruation. If the project proves feasible over this school year, then we will have preliminary evidence of an inclusive, population-based intervention that could change conversations about menstruation and reduce the burden of endometriosis in Canada.

“The destigmatization of menstruation is already underway in BC. Earlier this year, work by the United Way’s Period Promise campaign and the New West Minister School Board led to a ministerial order that all public schools will provide free menstrual products for students by the end of 2019.

“We hope that our research will help us advance toward a future in which the potential of Canadians is unlimited by the biological fact of menstruation.”

Read the original article on The Huffington Post’s site.