OB/GYN Q&A

Bindoo Rellan. MD, Ob/GYN

Bindoo Rellan. MD, Ob/GYN
Photo courtesy Permanente Medical Group

Bindoo Rellan, MD, is an obstetrician and gynecologist with Kaiser Permanente. She recently spoke with HerKansas, and told us about current concerns in women’s health.

Q: Why is women’s health an important field of medicine to you?

A: I believe  that a woman is the epicenter of the family. She may not know it, but she controls not only the daily functioning, but most health care choices of and for the family. To make a significant difference in universal health care, this is the way to go.

Q: What are some common misconceptions you hear about women’s health?

A: My health doesn’t matter, I don’t take the pill as it causes cancer, and heart disease is a disease afflicting men, so I should be fine.

Q: Are there any new trends in women’s health you could share?

A:  Cosmetic Vulvar surgery is the new trend in plastic surgery, and that it is frowned upon by the American College of Ob/Gyn.

Q: What are some women’s health issues that need to be further studied?

A: Genetic testing and it’s efficacy, preterm labor prevention – hasn’t changed in decades, prevention and treatment of vertical transmission of HIV, and menopausal health outside of hormones.

Q: What would you like all women to know about their health?

A: Their health is tantamount to the health of their existing family, as well as for the children yet to come. I would like to stress that it should not be taken lightly.

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National Flu Vaccination Week

Attention pregnant women, mothers of young children, and those over 65 years of age: you must get a flu vaccine, because you are at a higher risk of developing flu related complications.This coming week, Dec. 8-14, marks National Flu Vaccination Week. This is a crucial time of year to push the vaccine, as the holidays encourage gatherings of friends and families. The Kansas Department of Environment and Health has asked state residents to partake in flu vaccination at this time. It’s a necessity this year because: a) Two flu viruses are currently circulating the state. b) Flu activity peaks around January, so you must protect yourself before that time. c) Last year, 1,444 Kansans died as a direct result of the flu. d) The eigth leading cause of death in 2012 was the flu and pneumonia.

To find a vaccination clinic near you visit flu.gov. Below is some flu information from the website.

Courtesy flu.gov

Courtesy flu.gov

HCAC Holiday Wish List

Courtesy healthcareaccess.org

Courtesy healthcareaccess.org

Looking for a way to contribute this holiday season? The Health Care Access Clinic of Lawrence is looking for donors to provide items off their Amazon wish list. Items include essentials like copy paper, paper cutter, and toilet paper as well as medical supplies such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers, and stethoscopes.

HCAC encouraged community members to understand their mission before donating by reading patient stories to see who the donations benefit. For more ways to contribute visit HCAC’s “I want to give” page.

“We rely on the community to keep us running,” said Haley Harrington, wellness coordinator. “Come support our events, volunteer, sponsor a patient, or donate whatever you can.”

Commission on the Status of Women at KU

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This week HerKansas spoke with Amanda Schulze, President of the Commission on the Status of Women at KU. Schulze told us about the student organization’s goals, issues, and misconceptions. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events and meetings.

Goals: Promote gender equality, protect the health and safety of women by promoting pro-choice practices, and raise awareness for and prevent dating violence.

Issues they are passionate about: “One thing we are really getting into this year is the topic of consent, especially where alcohol is concerned,” Schulze said. “We’ve done multiple programs talking about why it is so important, and how we can get the message across. When the Al Jazeera ‘Scandal’ came out it was really a chance for us to take action because we saw how many people were affected by this issue.”

Misconceptions: “Our organization is not just for women,” Schulze said. “Our name came about back in the 50’s, so it is a little dated but it still holds great meaning to us even though we do not solely focus on women. Reproductive issues are important to everyone, dating violence happens to men and women, and there’s an outlet for anyone and everyone to get involved. We really emphasize that men can, and should be, feminists too. The patriarchy harms everyone.”

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Increase Cancer Risk

Soda glass 2-resized-600.jpgWomen who consume sugar-filled drinks are 78% more likely to develop endometrial cancer, according to a new study. The research project took post-menopausal women, tracked their dietary habits, and calculated cancer risks based on those habits. The results indicated that the women who consumed the most sugary drinks had the highest risk of cancer. Sugary food and fruit juices were also studied, but did not have the same cancer risk as sugar-sweetened drinks. The theory is that sugary drinks lead to obesity, obesity increases the amount of fat cells in the body, fat cells secrete estrogen, and estrogen causes endometrial cancer.

KDHE Reports Increase in Young Female Veterans

UnknownAccording to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment‘s 2013 Veterans Report, there are 7.8%  more females among young (18-64 year old) veterans as compared to seniors (64-years and older). This indicates that more women are choosing to serve in the military, although the majority of veterans are still males (90%). The younger veterans make more money, are more  racially diverse, are more likely to be college graduates, and less likely to claim disability. However, the younger veterans have double the divorce rate of their senior counterparts. Health wise the younger veterans have a high prevalence of depression at 20.4% compared to the seniors 16.6%. When compared to civilians, young vets were more obese, more likely to be smokers, and have higher blood pressures.

In a press release by KDHE  Robert Moser, M.D., Secretary and State Health Officer, made the following statement:

“This report shows that many veterans are using the health and mental health services available to them,” said Moser. “We encourage all veterans to use these services to maintain and improve their health.”

Active Minds at the University of Kansas

There’s a new organization in town, and they want to battle the stigma of mental illness. According to their Student Involvement and Leardership Page, Active Minds at KU “is the only organization working to utilize the student voice to change the conversation about mental health on college campuses. By developing and supporting chapters of a student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy group.”

Active Minds holds monthly meeting, and will be joined by the Commission on the Status of Women this month to discuss gender equality. They will also host events throughout the year such as Day Without Stigma. This took place last friday when members went out to Wescoe Beach, and asked students what mental health issues they want to talk about.

“I’d like to know more about things like anxiety,” Ayana Pergadia, a senior at KU said. “I think a lot of college students have problems with it, but don’t know who they should talk to.”

The gallery below features other student responses.

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KU Med Cancer Unit Wins National Nursing Award

The PRISM Award winning unit.

The PRISM Award winning unit.

A nursing unit at the University of Kansas Medical Center providing hematology, oncology, and blood marrow transplants has received the first ever PRISM Award. This award is given to the nurses who demonstrate “exceptional nursing practice, leadership, and outcomes in hospital medical-surgical units across the country” by the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses and the Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification Board.

In a press release sent out by the medical center, COO and Chief Nursing Officer, Tammy Peterman, said, “It is not only a validation of the remarkable work of our nurses and the entire patient care team, it confirms patients receive outstanding care when they choose The University of Kansas Hospital.”

Organizing for Action Petition Against Albuquerque Ban on Abortion

OFAOrganizing for Action, President Barack Obama’s action committee, has asked women across the nation to sign a petition against a New Mexico Anti-Abortion law. The message sent out today by Women’s Issues Coordinator, Kaili Lambe read:

“On November 19th, Albuquerque could become the first city in the country with its own local ban on abortion. There’s a measure on the ballot that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, with virtually no exceptions. These extreme (and extremely well-funded) anti-women groups are treating Albuquerque as a testing ground. If they succeed in New Mexico, you can be sure they’ll be taking this strategy across the country. OFA is joining up with partner organizations to fight back and get out the vote in Albuquerque — and we’ll be doing the same wherever women’s rights are under attack. Add your name to join this fight — and stand with women today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Stand-with-Albuquerque-Women-Today

The law is of major concern, because it does not allow abortion even if rape, incest, or phycological/emotional health of the mother are factors. It would also mark the first municipal ban on abortions.

PCC of Lawrence Offers Counseling, Resources for Unexpected Pregnancies

Last year Kansas passed the Woman’s-Right-to-Know Act,  which made pre-abortion counseling mandatory. In Lawrence, the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) is providing this information about abortion, adoption, and the choice to carry to term.

“We want to help women make thoughtful and informed choices for themselves and their babies,” Bridgit Smith, executive director of PCC, said.

If a woman does decide to carry to term, she is provided all sorts of resources through the center’s “Earn While You Learn” curriculum. These classes focus on what to expect each trimester, child birthing, infant care, first aid, and parenting. Attendees earn ‘baby bucks’, which are used to purchase essentials such as diapers, strollers, toys, and cribs from PCC’s baby boutique. The center also provides free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds until the 20th week of pregnancy.

PCC operates solely on donations, and hosts fundraising events throughout the year. If you would like to help out please visit http://www.pcclawrence.org  or their Facebook page for more information.

"Zumbathon" is on of PCC's upcoming fundraising events.

“Zumbathon” is one of PCC’s upcoming fundraising events.