Medical Monday: Breaking News from the World of Obstetrics and Gynecology 

Women in Latin American are more likely to get Zika than men. We presume they are exposed equally to Zika carrying mosquitos. This difference appears once girls become sexually active. How do you put it together ? Here is what doctors and researchers think. They believe sex may spread Zika more than was previously believed. Furthermore, getting Zika though sex is easier for a woman than for a man. Other sexually transmitted infections follow this pattern and in their case, it is because sex in women causes undetected micro abrasions which allow greater access to the bloodstream. 

President Obama has come out and said that Congress should not recess for summer until Zika funding is secured. With this funding, a vaccine will be produced sooner. Some speculate that the issue of Zika calls to mind issues of contraception and abortion, and that is why Congress is unable to deal effectively with it. Zika is bringing reproductive rights into focus. ACOG ( American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) representatives have noted that the southern states likely to have the most Zika are the same ones which have high unintended pregnancy rates and poor access to family planning resources. But Texas is taking a different angle anyway. They are trying to scratch up enough funds on its own to provide mosquito repellant to it’s poor women, budgeting 2 bottles per month per women.  

In other news, US maternal mortality rates have doubled in the last 25 years. Black women fare the worst, with mortality rates quadruple that of white women. 

The president of ACOG has come out stating that we should have a much more critical attitude toward chemicals in the environment which may cause birth defects. Project TENDR has been created from a variety of expert disciplines to advocate for greater government oversight on the chemicals. TENDR stands for Targeting Environmental Neurodevelopmental Risks. 

Newborns get about two months of flu protections from a shot given to mom during pregnancy. 

Despite the demonstrates efficacy of the HPV vaccine, it is still woefully underutilized. Moreover, HPV related cancers are on the rise. Between 2008 and 2012, they have increased about  17 %. HPV cancers are not just cervical cancer in women. They also include head and neck cancers in both men and women. 

Finally, in the good news department, an eight study meta-analysis out of Europe has shown that obese infertile women who have trouble ovulating do better with lifestyle intervention than fertility drugs. Six months of interventions resulting in weight loss were four times more likely to conceive than their counterparts who used fertility drugs alone.