- Controlling Nature: contraception, menstrual supression & fertility in womens magazines, Ginger Bihn-Cross, Conference Paper, 2008
- Empowerment or embarrasment? Two views of menstruation, Joan C. Chrisler, 2008, Book Reviews
- Exposing longstanding taboos around menstruation: a casestudy of the women's hygiene product advertising, Jungwon Lee, Conference Paper, 2007
- Dreaming up diseases for women: PMS, Menopause, Osteoporosis and Female Sexual Dysfunction WHW Sept 2005
- Incorrect medical care for menstrual problems - WHW Sept 2001
- Tampons safe say manufacturers - WHW Feb 2000
- Equivocal findings on Vitamin B for PMT - WHW July 1999
- New advice on heavy menstrual bleeding - WHU July 1998
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)- from 'Feeling Fabulous at 40,50 and beyond' 1996
- WHIS Pamphlet: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding - online version
- WHIS Factsheet: Premenstrual Syndrom
- A Girl's Guide to Periods: Everything You Need to Know About Menstruation (1997 CWHN)
September 2005 Women's Health Watch
Leading health writer and reporter Ray Moynihan paid a brief visit to New Zealand in July. At a seminar on 'Evidence and Consumer Information' organised by the New Zealand Guidelines Group he spoke about the increasing medicalisation of ordinary life processes and described how drug companies turn us all into patients. Lynda Williams reports
It's tough being a woman these days, especially if you listen to what the pharmaceutical industry would have you believe about how our lives are either about to be ruined or are already ruined by premenstrual tension, menopause, osteoporosis and more recently female sexual dysfunction. Read Here
September 2001 Women's Health Watch
Many women may be receiving the wrong sort of care for menstrual problems, according to a new study carried out in Scotland.
Researchers set out to describe the menstrual experience of women referred for menstrual problems, especially heavy menstrual loss, and to look at the reasons why women were referred for hospital treatment.
They found that volume of bleeding was not a key symptom most women in the study but 76 percent of GPs gave it as a reason for referral to a hospital clinic. Only 38 percent of the 952 women studied reported excessive menstrual loss as a severe problem but doctors were unlikely to refer for pain or cycle changes.
The researchers say broad menstrual complaints tend to be reframed as excessive bleeding at referral and during management. This may result in women receiving inappropriate care, they say.
The authors believe many women are deterred from consulting by reticence about discussing menstrual problems, anxiety about investigations or lack of believe that medical help will be forthcoming.
Ref: BMJ 2001; 323: 24-28
February 2000 Women's Health Watch
New Zealand tampon manufacturers vehemently deny rumours about tampon safety which are being circulated on the Internet by an American manufacturer of cotton tampons. Over the last couple of months Women's Health Action has received a number of queries from women concerned by allegations that tampons contain dangerous traces of asbestos and dioxin.
Both Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturers of Carefree Tampons and Proctor and Gamble, which make Tampax say there is, and has never, been asbestos nor dioxin in their tampons. The methods used to analyse for dioxin are the most advanced government-approved testing methods available and can detect even minute amount of dioxin.
Tampons are made from a blend of cotton and rayon fibres. Rayon is formed from cellulose which comes from wood pulp. Although the wood pulp must under go a bleaching process in order to convert it into a soft, highly absorbent substance, molecular chlorine is not used in the process, therefore no dioxins are produced.
Marilyn Grant, consumer service manager for Johnson and Johnson, says there is no evidence to suggest that cotton tampons are safer than rayon tampons, as suggested by the net myths. 'Both cotton and rayon are pure cellulose fibre. One is spun by a plant and the other by a machine using cellulose from wood pulp. The advantage of rayon is its consistency, cleanliness and absence of impurities. Cotton during its growth can be exposed to pesticides and other environment contaminants.'
As Proctor and Gamble's Jaime Malder states, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that tampons lead to the development of endometriosis or cancer, as suggested by the net myths. Neither company have any plans to market an all cotton tampon and advise women concerned by the myths to visit the FDA's web page on tampons.
July 1999 Women's Health Watch
Taking vitamin B-6 may help PMT symptoms, including premenstrual depression, according to a British study.
Researchers at North Staffordshire Hospital carried out a systematic re-view of nine published trials of nearly 1000 women suffering from PMT and found the symptoms of women tak-ing vitamin B-6 improved.
'Results suggest that doses of vita-min B-6 up to 100mg a day, or even 50mg a day, are likely to be of ben-efit in treating pre-menstrual symp-toms and pre-menstrual depression.'
However the researchers warn there is still insufficient high-quality evi-dence to make a confident recom-mendation for using vitamin B-6 for treating PMT. They also point out the United Kingdom Department of Health and the Medical Control Agency have recently recommended doses of vitamin B-6 available gen-erally should be restricted to 10mg and the dose sold by a pharmacist restricted to less than 50mg.
The study calls for a high quality study to establish definitive recom-mendations for treatment.
Ref: BMJ 1999; 318:1381
July 1998 Women's Health Update
Women with heavy menstrual blood loss have a greater likelihood of becoming iron deficient and anaemic. Seven thousand women have hysterectomies each year in New Zealand and among premenopausal women, 80% of these are for heavy menstrual bleeding. The following is a summary of the findings... Read More
from 'Feeling Fabulous at 40,50 and beyond' S. Coney 1996
The emotional and physical problems that disturb some women in the days before menstruation begins can get worse in the years leading up to the menopause. In fact, it is easy to confuse this aggravation of premenstrual syndrome or PMS with menopause itself. PMS is not well understood and there is no one single way of treating it. For most women, it is more a question of learning to manage their PMS as, in general, drug treatments are not particularly effective...There is not room here to detail all the remedies available for women with PMS, but here are some that may be helpful... Read More
WHIS Pamphlet: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding - online version
WHIS Factsheet: Premenstrual Syndrome
A Girl's Guide to Periods: Everything You Need to Know About Menstruation
1997 Canadian Women's Health Network