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Analysis and Comment (16)

Hormones are one of many factors that can trigger or perpetuate mental ill health. Hormones are one of many factors that can trigger or perpetuate mental ill health. Sascha Kohlmann/Flickr

There’s no ‘rushing women’s syndrome’ but hormones affect mental health

Political controversies often use the suffix “gate“ to embellish their significance. In pop psychology, the equivalent is the made-up “syndrome”, which involves a combination of symptoms and circumstances…
Women’s ability to conceive and give birth to healthy babies starts to decline before the age of 30. Women’s ability to conceive and give birth to healthy babies starts to decline before the age of 30. Image from shutterstock.com

Health Check: when does fertility decline?

It’s said that “40 is the new 30” and “50 is the new 40”. But, when it comes to female fertility, 40 is still 40, and the likelihood of successful pregnancy and childbirth has notably decreased from age…
Increased longevity often comes with multiple health conditions and disability. Increased longevity often comes with multiple health conditions and disability. Image from shutterstock.com

Australian women outlive men then struggle with disadvantage

Women live longer and healthier lives than men but face lower rates of pay, are less likely to participate in paid work and accumulate less superannuation to retire on, which leads to disadvantage later…
The cellular and molecular generators of pain are fundamentally different between males and females. The cellular and molecular generators of pain are fundamentally different between males and females. Image from shutterstock.com

Women experience more chronic pain than men – now we know why

It’s long been a household debate: who really is the stronger sex, men or women? It’s no secret that physically, men often outperform women. But women have long argued that the gruelling experiences of…
Emotional fallout: undervalued, paid less and under pressure to look good. Emotional fallout: undervalued, paid less and under pressure to look good. Christine Cassis

Women suffer more from mental illness but it suits us to ignore it

Martin Baggaley pulled no punches last week in his assessment of the dire state of mental health. The Medical Director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust said the system was in crisis, inefficient…
Only a handful of mammals aside from us – primates, some bat species and the elephant shrew – get their period. Only a handful of mammals aside from us – primates, some bat species and the elephant shrew – get their period. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: why do women menstruate?

For half the population, it comes three to five days each month, 12 months each year, for 40 years of our lives. Menstruation can be debilitating, relieving, disappointing, or simply an inconvenient fact…
One suggestion is that menopause enables women to provide for their grandchildren. One suggestion is that menopause enables women to provide for their grandchildren. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: why do women go through menopause?

Menstruation is a reproductive quirk that humans share with only a few other mammals. But even stranger is the fact that women stop menstruating when they have a whole third of their lives left to live…
We now put women in chemical straitjackets and prescribe psychotropic medication instead of locking them up for unfeminine behaviour or marital discontent. We now put women in chemical straitjackets and prescribe psychotropic medication instead of locking them up for unfeminine behaviour or marital discontent. Vineus/Flickr

DSM-5 helps perpetuate the myth of women’s madness

The newly released edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) may be heralded as the “bible of psychiatry”, but it is not an objective scientific document outlining the…
The UK has a strict policy of gender segregation on psychiatric wards, and so should Australia. The UK has a strict policy of gender segregation on psychiatric wards, and so should Australia. Image from shutterstock.com

Sexual assaults in psych wards show urgent need for reform

Women admitted to psychiatry wards experience high levels of violence and sexual assaults, according to a report released this week by the Victorian Mental Illness Alliance Council. Across the nine different…
What are the real aims of the pro-life movement? What are the real aims of the pro-life movement? AAP

Ideology masquerading as evidence: pro-life opposition to contraception

An American blog by a relatively unknown author about the goals of the pro-life movement went viral recently, racking up around 100,000 hits in a mere two days. The blog questioned the selective and inconsistent…
Paying up to $5,000 in a carefully regulated market would recognise the inconveniences associated with donation. Paying up to $5,000 in a carefully regulated market would recognise the inconveniences associated with donation. misterbenben

Women who donate their eggs deserve compensation – here’s why

Women are generally born with about a million eggs. Yet, women with reproductive problems or “older” women (over the age of 40) often cannot conceive with their own eggs. The solution is to use donor eggs…
A much wider group of Australian women will be able to choose a medical rather than surgical procedure. A much wider group of Australian women will be able to choose a medical rather than surgical procedure. spaceodissey/Flickr

Politics v women’s health: RU486 and the TGA saga

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) finally included the abortifacient Mifepristone (also referred to as RU486) on the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in August 2012 – after nearly…
Germaine Greer is right: female genital mutilation and female genital cosmetic surgery are both “cultural” issues. Germaine Greer is right: female genital mutilation and female genital cosmetic surgery are both “cultural” issues. bombhead

Female genital cosmetic surgery: a labial obsession

On last night’s Q&A, feminist campaigner Germaine Greer suggested a comparison between practices of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) in Western nations…
Understanding the mechanics of breast movement feeds into better design for sports bras. Understanding the mechanics of breast movement feeds into better design for sports bras. mikebaird

Bouncing breasts: the science of the sports bra

If you’re female and exercise, a certain amount of breast movement is inevitable. But bosom movement extends beyond bouncing up and down – it also involves moving side to side, which impacts on breast…
Vagina dialogues: is it so revolutionary to use the word “vagina” in a TV ad? Vagina dialogues: is it so revolutionary to use the word “vagina” in a TV ad? Carefree

Carefree discharges the v-bomb – but who’s afraid of the word ‘vagina’?

There’s an anecdote in Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants where Mother Fey hands her daughter two booklets to prepare her for her first period. On the (not-so) auspicious occasion of Fey’s menarche, the limitations…
Maternal depression has a significant impact on a child’s emotional well being. Maternal depression has a significant impact on a child’s emotional well being. footloosiety/Flickr

Like mother, like child: good maternal mental health means happier babies

The idea that pregnancy protects against mental illness is now discredited and there’s increasing evidence of the negative impact of poor maternal mental health on the mother, child and the rest of the…

Research and News (3)

Research Briefs (21)

Aspirin may lower stroke risk

The risk of stroke associated with high trans fat intake is lower among women taking aspirin, a study shows. The risk of…

Weight and age affect childbirth pain

First-time mothers, obese women and those who have longer labours experience greater pain in childbirth than other women…

Link between sleep disorders and dementia

Older women suffering from sleep-relating breathing problems could be more susceptible to problems with mental function and…