Women's health stories

Women In Cambodia Are Using Facebook Messenger To Access Abortions And Sexual Health Advice

J, who lives in Cambodia’s southern province of Takeo, wasn’t sure who to turn to for advice on her unplanned pregnancy. She couldn’t afford to have another child, and knew she wanted an abortion. “I felt afraid to discuss it with my family but I told my sister,” she told BuzzFeed News through an interpreter. “My husband supported my decision because our baby is one year and five months old, so we spend a lot of money already.”

Australian Doctors Can Already Turn Away Women Seeking Contraception Or An Abortion. What Will The Religious Discrimination Bill Do?

Doctors in Australia can already object on religious grounds to providing contraception and abortion. In fact, several doctors have signs in their offices outlining that they will not see patients about contraception, abortion, sterilisation or in-vitro fertilisation. Religious hospitals, too, can turn away patients with these needs. But that hasn’t stopped the government moving forward with its religious discrimination bill.

Kids Have Spent Weeks On End Indoors To Avoid Smoke During Australia's Bushfire Crisis

Freya Bundey, her partner and their six-month-old twins have spent the summer holidays dodging fire and smoke. “Life is challenging with twins and this summer made it really hard,” the 30-year-old told BuzzFeed News. “It was really difficult not being able to leave the house and being cooped up, and that is really hard for small babies that are just starting to explore the world.” Bundey spent the end of December helping her mother pack up her childhood home in Kangaroo Valley in the Shoalhave

Pregnant Women Are Asking For Inducements And Extra Ultrasounds Because Of The Bushfires

Kai Hodgkin is a midwife in Canberra, where the air has become some of the most polluted in the world during Australia’s ongoing catastrophic bushfire season. Staff at the hospital where she works have this week been wearing face masks indoors, to protect themselves against the smoke creeping into the wards and even into birthing suites. “We were giving masks to everyone who has left us and sending these brand new parents and babies out into the smoke,” Hodgkin told BuzzFeed News.

Babies Are Being Born In Smoky Delivery Rooms As Australia Burns

A couple of hours into the new decade, while many people were stumbling home to bed after celebrating New Year's Eve, Dr Steve Robson was driving through a "smoky hell" to a Canberra hospital to deliver a baby. "I had the little spotlight that you use to look at things and it went through the smoke and we all realised that in this birth suite, this baby was born into bushfire smoke," the obstetrician told BuzzFeed News.

These Signs Show Doctors Can Already Refuse To See Women Wanting The Pill Or An Abortion In Australia

The Australian government is pushing ahead with its proposed religious discrimination laws, and doctors and lawyers are concerned the legislation could allow practitioners to deny or delay medical care when it comes to reproductive health. But as signs in GP's offices provided to BuzzFeed News show, doctors are already refusing reproductive healthcare under the current guidelines, before a patient has even walked into an appointment. Laura — who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her privacy

The "Chew And Spit" Eating Disorder Behaviour Is More Common Among Teens Than Adults, Researchers Say

Sydney woman Elle — a pseudonym to protect her privacy — is in recovery for anorexia nervosa, but it took her years to talk to her doctor, friends or family about regularly chewing and spitting out food. "It is like some people just interpret it as coward's bulimia, or pointlessly wasting food for no good reason," the 32-year-old told BuzzFeed News. "There is such limited understanding about the true complexity and pain associated with it."

Hundreds Of Women Just Won A Landmark Case Against Johnson & Johnson Over Pelvic Mesh Implants

Hundreds of women living in pain after they were fitted with transvaginal mesh devices have won a landmark class action case against Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Seven years after a class action involving more than 1,350 women began, the Federal Court's Justice Anna Katzmann handed down a searing judgement in which she found Ethicon had acted negligently, and that patients should be compensated.

Pregnancy Is A Risk Factor For Violence. Midwives Have Known This For Years.

Hannah Dahlen will never forget when she was a student midwife and a woman came to the hospital, the imprint of a studded football boot on her pregnant belly. “We got him out of the room and we said [to her] ‘we need to report what he did to you and you need to find safety for yourself and we can help you with that, and think about the child coming into this’,” Dahlen, now a professor of midwifery and director of higher degree studies at Western Sydney University, told BuzzFeed News.

Indigenous Babies Are More Likely To Be Born Premature. These Researchers Say They Have The Solution

In 2013, the Birthing in Our Community Service was established in Brisbane by two Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and a tertiary maternity hospital. A study published last week in peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet found the service achieved a “significant’’ reduction in preterm birth compared to hospital-based tertiary maternity services. Birthing on country involves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, families and communities in its design, leadership and i

We Might Be Getting A National Abortion Hotline. This State Is Successfully Running Its Own

A woman with an unwanted pregnancy to a violent partner, who doesn’t have enough money to pay a private provider for a surgical abortion; a woman whose period is two weeks late; a woman who is over 12 weeks gestation with an unwanted pregnancy in a rural area who had to travel to Melbourne for an abortion; a single mother with mental health concerns and an unintended pregnancy at an early gestation; a woman looking for a doctor to insert a hormonal contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD).

This Is How Women's Health Could Be Affected By The Election

The biggest chunk of money in the government’s women’s health strategy released this month was $20 million for research into ovarian cancer which prioritises early detection and finding a cure. The government has promised $32.6 million to make breast cancer scans more affordable, saving patients up to $1,500 per scan. It has promised $47 million in Medicare subsidies for breast cancer MRIs, a $20 million investment in the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute for research into advanced br

Here’s What You Need To Know About Endometriosis And Fertility

More than 700,000 Australian women have endometriosis, in which cells similar to those that line the uterus grow outside of the uterus, leading to all sorts of symptoms including debilitating pain. Up to a quarter of women with endometriosis are asymptomatic, but most experience dysmenorrhea (painful periods), chronic pelvic pain and painful sexual intercourse, and between 30% and 50% of endometriosis patients struggle with infertility. Endometriosis and infertility “go hand in hand” says Melbou

A Contraception Method Endorsed By The Church Is Getting Reproductive Health Funding

Unlike Labor's $9.5 million sexual and reproductive health strategy announced last month, which promises cheaper and better access to long-acting reversible contraception and abortion, Hunt has announced cash for four Victoria-based organisations that mostly help couples conceive. "More than $4 million over four years will go to four family planning organisations: Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), the Ovulation Method Research and Reference Centre of Australia (Bill

The Partner Of A Pregnant Woman Who Died After Leaving Hospital With Only Paracetamol Says She Was “Begging For Help”

"I was the loving partner of Naomi Williams," Michael Lampe began his statement on the final day of the coronial inquest into his partner's death. "I had no idea anything like this would ever happen to me and I had no idea I would ever be sitting here in this courtroom today. It just doesn’t seem real. It’s just three years ago I was celebrating Christmas in 2015 with Naomi. Life was almost perfect."

If An Aboriginal Woman Had Been From Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, She Might Have Been Treated Better, Coroner Says

The New South Wales deputy state coroner said "as a middle class woman in the Eastern suburbs" of Sydney she herself would have been referred to a specialist had she presented to a hospital as frequently as a pregnant Indigenous woman did in 2015, before the woman died of sepsis. “Naomi Williams went to a doctor many many times and never got a specialist referral," coroner Harriet Grahame said on Thursday at the inquest into the Wiradjuri woman's death.

A Pregnant Woman Who Died Soon After Spending Half An Hour At A Hospital Should Have Been Seen By A Doctor, An Inquest Has Heard

Naomi Williams should have been seen by a doctor and asked to rate her pain when she turned up an emergency department in the Australian country town of Tumut, a coronial inquest into her death has heard. The pregnant Wiradjuri woman arrived at the hospital alone just after the new year had ticked by at midnight in 2016, where according to records, she stayed for 34 minutes, was given some Panadol, and then went home. Fifteen hours later while en route back to the hospital, the 27-year-old and
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