We are ignoring the sex lives of women in rural Australia and they are paying the price

SMH, 11 March 2018 — 2:59 pm

Every day rural women, particularly adolescent girls, face considerable barriers to seeking family planning services like contraception and safe abortions, STD treatment, and gynaecology appointments.

The consequences of inaccessibility are evident in the numbers: teenage pregnancy is declining in Australia overall, but is still disproportionately high in regional towns.

Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy Care (2018 Edition)

Australian Government Department of Health, February 2018

Modules 1 and 2 of the Antenatal Care Guidelines have now been combined and updated to form a single set of consolidated guidelines that were renamed Pregnancy Care Guidelines and publicly released in February 2018. 

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines are designed to support Australian maternity services to provide high-quality, evidence-based antenatal care to healthy pregnant women. They are intended for all health professionals who contribute to antenatal care including midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and allied health professionals. They are implemented at national, state, territory and local levels to provide consistency of antenatal care in Australia and ensure maternity services provide high-quality, evidence-based maternity care. The Pregnancy Care Guidelines cover a wide range of topics including routine physical examinations, screening tests and social and lifestyle advice for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Guidelines:

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care (PDF 5747 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care (Word 3615 KB)

Accompanying documents:

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Short-form guidelines (PDF 1979 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Short-form guidelines (Word 1330 KB)

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Administrative Report (PDF 1758 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Administrative Report (Word 1150 KB)

Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Linking evidence to recommendations (PDF 2183 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Linking evidence to recommendations (Word 1259 KB)
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Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Economic analyses (PDF 1804 KB)
Clinical Practice Guidelines – Pregnancy Care – Economic analyses (Word 1298 KB)

Serving up inequality: How sex and gender impact women’s relationship with food

Women’s Health Victoria, September 2017

This issues paper explores various aspects of women’s health relating to food. These include the impacts of nutritional deficiency, the links between nutrition and chronic disease and women’s food-related behaviours.

Gender itself is a key structural determinant of women’s health and inequality, playing out in women’s roles in relation to food, in psychosocial health and the socio-economic factors that impact on access to nutritious food.

Controversy exists in public health and health promotion about the approach and key messages that should be adopted in relation to food-related behaviours and body size to promote ‘health’ and prevent illness for women. This paper outlines various perspectives in this discourse and highlights principles and recommendations for designing health promotion programs and managing the risks of public health messages.

Broader definition of polycystic ovary syndrome is harming women: Australian experts

The Age, 

In an opinion article in the latest British Medical Journal, Australian researchers argue that an expanded definition had inadvertently led to overdiagnosis, and therefore too much treatment and even harm.

The widening of the definition (to include the sonographic presence of polycystic ovaries) in 2003 led to a dramatic increase in cases, from 5 to 21 per cent.

 

Unplanned pregnancy resources for patients & health professionals

Women’s Health Victoria Clearinghouse Connector,  June 2017

This Clearinghouse Connector focuses on the experience of unplanned pregnancy in Australia and the resources available for women and health professionals to help navigate the decision making process.

Although there is surprisingly little information available about the prevalence of unintended pregnancy in Australia, it has been estimated that half of all pregnancies per year in Australia are unplanned. Outcomes for unplanned pregnancies include parenting, miscarriage, abortion and adoption, with parenting being the most likely outcome and adoption the least likely.

Factors influencing women’s decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy include the level of support they are likely to receive, the financial resources they have access to, and their own emotional readiness to become parents. Regardless of whether a woman decides to continue or terminate her pregnancy she will need access to appropriate, sensitive and non-judgmental supports and services.

New Study Finds Abortion Restrictions Like Mandatory Waiting Periods, Counseling Don’t Work as Intended

rewire news, May 2, 2017

In a new study, researchers discovered that abortion restrictions like mandatory waiting periods and forced counseling often don’t affect a patient’s certainty about having an abortion. In some cases, such sessions even increase their confidence in their decision to have an abortion.

  • Read more here
  • Access full text of journal paper here