News

It’s #WomensHealthWeek

Did you know that it’s Women’s Health Week?

This year they are encouraging women from all walks of life to share a selfie on social media to show that they’re going to start putting their health first. If you join in, remember to use the hashtags #MyHealthFirst and #WomensHealthWeek.

Womens health - Dr Boyland
Photo by Sarah Cervantes on Unsplash

To further encourage your involvement they also have four $200 gift cards up for grabs. However, to be in with a chance, you will need to host or attend an event and send them your photos. For more information please click here.

The Not for profit organisation behind Women’s Health Week (Jean Hailes for Women’s Health) surveyed more than 15,000 women across Australia this year. They describe the Women’s Health Survey as “an insight into the state of women across the country as they juggle busy home lives with work, family demands and the increasing pressures of the digital world”.

The results identified some concerning trends, including:

  • 50.8% of surveyed women describe themselves as overweight or obese
  • 9.5% of women drink daily
  • 46.1% of surveyed women have been diagnosed with depression of anxiety by a doctor or psychologist
  • 66.9% of women reported feeling nervous, anxious or on edge nearly every day or on more than seven days in the past few weeks.

To draw attention to the cause there will be pink light installations on the following buildings: Flinders Street Station, AAMI Park, Bolte Bridge, Transurban’s Sound Tube and St Kilda Sea Baths (Melbourne); the Sydney Town Hall (Sydney); the Royal Australian Mint (Canberra); SkyCity Adelaide Casino (Adelaide); Trafalgar Bridge (Perth); and Mount Coot-tha Tropical Dome and the Wickham Street Car Park Architectural Wall (Brisbane).

QLD Health have also developed a health checklist for women depending on which age group they are in. These are a great reminder of the sorts of health issues women should be thinking about and actively addressing. To help keep the awareness going all week I will be sharing one of these each day on my social media, so be on the lookout!
(Edit: These are now located below)

For more information on Women’s Health Week, including the full results of the survey mentioned above, please visit womenshealthweek.com.au.

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First IVF baby turned 40 this week

In a day and age where we take so many things for granted it’s hard to believe that the first IVF (in vitro fertilisation) baby was born just 40 years ago.

On the 25th of July 1978 Louise Joy Brown was born. Since then millions of women around the world have been able to fall pregnant where they otherwise would not have been able to; resulting in 10’s of millions of births and enabling people from all walks of life to fulfil their wish of starting or growing their families. Perhaps even more heart warming is that Louise Brown herself is now a mother of two boys aged 12 and 4 years.

This ABC article covers the history of IVF in some detail as well as shows pictures of what she looks like now. I highly recommend reading it. It details everything from the pioneers of IVF; the nurse whose IVF processes are still used today (yet history and the Nobel Prize committee seemed to forget, until now); the backlash by churches and feminist groups; banning of certain elements of the technology by Australian governments; IVF becoming big business and the advances in IVF technology, some of which is helpful, others somewhat controversial.

At the end of the day I think we can all agree that, on balance, IVF has done more good than harm.

#IVF #Baby #Pregnancy #Pioneers #40Years

Women with undiagnosed coeliac disease are at a 57% increased risk of stillbirth and a 12% increased risk of miscarriage: Study finds

A nation wide study conducted in Denmark has indicated that women with undiagnosed coeliac disease are at a 57% increased risk of stillbirth and a 12% increased risk of miscarriage.

The study followed 6,319 women diagnosed with Coeliac Disease (CD) and compared them to control population of 63,166 women. The study found that prior to being diagnosed, women with CD had 11 extra miscarriages per 1,000 pregnancies and an extra 1.62 stillbirths per 1,000 pregnancies. They also found that women with undiagnosed CD had 25 fewer pregnancies per 1,000 pregnancies.

What this study shows is that early diagnosis is particularly important for those women who have undiagnosed CD and are having difficulty conceiving. Thankfully, if you have diagnosed CD and follow a strict gluten free diet then you are at no increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.

How do I know if I have Coeliac disease?

Given the content of this blog, it is a timely reminder that if you have symptoms such as diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal distension, bloating or fatigue (to name just a few) or have a family history of coeliac disease, then I strongly suggest that you visit your doctor to discuss testing.

What are the chances of having coeliac disease?

You may find it surprising to know that 1 in 70 people have coeliac disease but only 20% of these people know they have it. By my math, this means that roughly 354,000 Australian’s have coeliac disease, yet only 70,800 are formally diagnosed. This leaves 283,000 of my fellow Australian’s undiagnosed.

I’m male or not planning on falling pregnant. I’m safe, right?

Untreated coeliac disease can lead to other serious conditions such as osteoporosis, anaemia and cancer. So remember, although this article is focused on female reproduction, the symptoms for coeliac disease are the same for both males and females. Unlike wage disparity, coeliac disease does not discriminate!

#Coeliac #Celiac #Disease #GlutenFree #Pregnancy #Miscarriage #StillBirth #Fertility #Women

For more information on this article I encourage you to visit the following links:

Danish study – https://academic.oup.com/humrep/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/humrep/dey214/5038411?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Coeliac Australia (Recommended – lots of useful information) – https://www.coeliac.org.au

Another article about this study – https://www.pharmacynews.com.au/news/why-coeliac-disease-might-explain-womens-fertility-problems-0

PTSD is common following a difficult childbirth – Birth Trauma Awareness Week 2018 #YourStoryMatters #ABTA2018

According to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA), 1 in 3 Australian women identify their births as traumatic and 1 in 4 first-time mothers suffer major physical damage. These experiences often leave a long-lasting impact on a woman’s physical and mental health, their ability to bond with their baby and their relationships with their partners, family and friends.

This claim is backed up by a recent study conducted by the Sydney University Medical School which revealed that 1 in 3 Australian mothers show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a difficult childbirth.

For Birth Trauma Awareness Week, the ABTA is asking women or their partners to get in touch and send in their stories of birth trauma and the impact it has had on them, and their families.

They are also encouraging people to share their birth trauma stories on Twitter using the hashtags #ABTA2018 and #YourStoryMatters. FYI, their twitter handle is @AusBirthTrauma.

To kick things off the ABTA has produced this video which features several brave women who share their stories about their personal birth trauma experience.

Please like and share this post to help raise awareness, particularly if you or a loved one have been impacted by birth trauma.

Warning – This video may be distressing to viewers who have experienced a traumatic birth

For more information about birth trauma and the 2018 awareness week please visit the ABTA website at birthtrauma.org.au.

The ABTA also have a private Facebook support group for those women who have experienced a difficult childbirth.

If this topic has caused you emotional distress, please speak to your doctor or call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 for immediate support.