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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Obgyn

In Elemental. More on Medium.

A call to protect the health care workers birthing babies across America

A doctor examines the belly of an expectant mother in the hospital room.
A doctor examines the belly of an expectant mother in the hospital room.
Photo: staticnak1983/E+/Getty Images

In late March at Columbia Hospital in New York City, and in dispatches from maternal-fetal experts in Italy, we learned that labor and delivery is a vulnerable place in the hospital where Covid-19 patients present for care with a visitor, and also where full personal protective equipment (PPE) is not universally being provided to health care workers. In multiple instances these days, pregnant patients and their partners are passing screening protocols (via questionnaire)…


Turns out there’s a better way to assess women’s reproductive health than an annual exam with a cold speculum

Illustration: Haleigh Mun

The gynecological examination — compromising position, cold speculum, occasional cringey swab — has been an integral and infamous part of women’s health care in some form since around the 19th century. Traditionally performed in healthy women as a screening tool for several conditions, like gynecologic cancer, infections, and pelvic inflammatory disease — the gynecological exam is undergoing an overhaul, based on new data on its effectiveness and women’s comfort.

The annual rite was finally questioned in 2012, when new guidelines from the American Cancer Society and other health associations suggested that a part of the exam called the Pap smear…

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