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

Womens Health

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The real reason women should drink less than men

Woman holding a wine glass filled with red wine.
Woman holding a wine glass filled with red wine.
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

It’s no surprise to anyone that drinking has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic. As a pattern, drinking increases with any extreme stressor, and recent market research shows that alcohol sales went up by 55% during the pandemic’s peak.


Observations from an integrative medicine physician

Photo: Volodymyr Zakharov/Getty Images

“Sex was painful,” she said. Three years post-menopause, my patient had no other bothersome symptoms. No hot flashes, no night sweats, no moodiness, nor many of the other complaints menopausal women sometimes have. “But I don’t want to take hormones, because my mom had breast cancer.”


Answers to every question you have about a new U.S. service that ships abortion-inducing drugs

Photo by James Worrell/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Women in the U.S. who have trouble accessing an abortion—because of cost, geography, waiting periods, or other reasons—now have another option: the mail. Aid Access, an online organization that allows women to order abortion-inducing medications shipped directly to their home, has been discreetly operating in the United States for the last six months, according to the Atlantic, serving an estimated 600 women so far.


How the medical establishment undermines, misdiagnoses, and gaslights women

Illustration of “A Clinical Lesson at the Salpetreire” by Pierre Andre Brouillet. Photo by Bettmann/Getty.

In the mid-1980s, when I was in my late twenties, I jumped over a tennis net to congratulate my opponent, which is what tennis players did back then. My sneaker got caught, and I went sprawling. Hip aching, right leg strangely wooden, I made an appointment with an orthopedist. The doctor asked me to walk around in my johnnie, presumably so he could observe my gait.


What you should know if you’re considering this kind of contraception

Credit: mikroman6/Getty

In 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for the first time, approved an app for use as a contraceptive method. The app, called Natural Cycles, uses an algorithm that aims to predict the days of the month a woman is likely to be fertile based on daily basal body temperature readings and menstrual cycle information (and optionally, results from a home test kit measuring luteinizing hormone in urine). The approval sparked conversation around how people are using fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) to prevent pregnancy today, and what options are available to them.


Don’t try this at home

Credit: primulakat/Getty Images

This story was updated on Oct. 7, 2019 to reflect new study data.


Photography by Caroline Tompkins

Amid growing abortion restrictions, the relationship between phone advocates and clients is a mix of customer service and counseling

On a nondescript street in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, sits a squat one-story building, the kind found in suburban office parks around the country. Past its doors is a maze of rooms with walls painted in welcoming shades of pink, purple, and yellow. In the heart of the operation, a group of workers sit in their cubicles, taking phone calls from clients around the country — and, on occasion, around the globe.


Devotees of cycle syncing argue that tracking their physical and mental fluctuations helps them to plan better for everything from workouts to social time

Credit: Ekaterina79/Getty Images

For the past five months, 27-year-old Sara Robbert has been tracking her menstrual cycle — in a graph-ruled notebook, scribbling down a sentence each day about how she feels. Every 28 days or so, she has a new set of data points, which she mentally adds to an ever-expanding portrait of her own emotional and physiological patterns.


Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is an endocrine condition that affects up to one in 10 womenbut doctors have been struggling for years to know how to diagnose it

Illustration by Haleigh Mun

Tara Teschke knew something was wrong even before she went to the doctor. After years of regular menstrual cycles, her periods had become painful and sporadic. Around the same time, she was hoping to lose weight before her upcoming wedding but was having trouble, even after implementing an intense regimen of running 10Ks and weight lifting several times a week.


My quest for a painless insertion

Credit: Lalocracio/iStock/Getty Images Plus

I contemplated getting an intrauterine device (IUD) for over seven years. Every time I asked a friend who had one about her experience, she would say the same two things: It hurts like hell to get one inserted, and I should definitely do it.

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