Navy Aims to Anchor Unplanned Pregnancy

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) is the United States Navy peer-mentoring program. Throughout the month of January, CSADD will be hosting information sessions on family planning on topics such as: parental leave, the best forms of birth Imagecontrol, and operational deferment.  In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national average of unplanned pregnancies was 49 percent. While unplanned pregnancies are an apparent problem across the nation, it is an even worse across the military services-65 percent. However, the U.S. Navy has an astonishing 74 percent of unattended pregnancies. Nearly three-fourths of reported pregnancies are unplanned. To delve into the statistics even deeper, we will find that of those that reported unplanned pregnancies, only 31 percent were using birth control, and on the reports involving enlisted women, 70 percent entailed fathers who were also in the military.

So what? Why is unplanned pregnancy such a bad thing in this case? As part of their campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancies, the Navy highlights the impact that unplanned pregnancy can have on any servicemember’s career. Amongst the list of negative impacts includes: disqualification from a sea duty position needed to advance one’s career, jeopardizing operational readiness, and the financial and personal investment needed.

All women in the military have access to contraceptive counseling. However, birth control can be hard to come by considering the nature of their assignments. Not all combat areas or bases stock certain birth control tools like patches, injections, or contraceptive rings. Sometimes, women are even expected to bring a whole year supply of pills with them on their assignments.

Clearly, the historical lack of support and attention to unplanned pregnancies has jeopardized women’s careers and futures in the military-specifically on active duty. There is a serious need to investigate the causes behind these unplanned pregnancies, whether it is a lack of education, reduced access to contraception,  or even an unhealthy work environment. More specifically, how the lack of attention to this issues has  impacted women in the military.

– Brandi S.

Be Aware

December 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

October is gone and the New Year is upon us, but that doesn’t mean that we ladies can forget something very important: breast cancer. Throughout the month of October I see ribbons and advertisements about breast cancer prevention, symptoms, and the like. And though yes I still may see the occasional commercial or campaign they are too few and far between. We as women need to make sure that we are always aware. Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in American women. I find that as a cause to be sure and go see a doctor at least once a year.

There have been many studies that help with prevention of breast cancer. Some risk factors that women should look out for are:

  • Estrogen levels
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol
  • Inherited risk

Please remember that these are only risk factors. I realize as you probably did that some of these risk factors is out of your hands. Inherited risk means that it may run in the family. Ask some of your relatives to see if there is a history of it in the family. For the estrogen levels there is also not much that you can do about it. Women are born with estrogen. It’s part of our make-up as a female. However for both these cases, you can be aware. It is very important to know what’s going on with your body. Even when we’re full grown women we still have to go through changes. It’s the way life. Nonetheless we can be prepared for our future. Just remember to take caution.

There are also some preventive measures that you can take. For one, you can exercise. When you exercise you are not just taking care of your physique. You are taking care of every component of your body. Exercise is very important. In addition, women who are 40 and over should get a mammogram at least every one to two years.

As I researched this topic I stumbled across a very interesting article about how breast cancer is different in younger women than it is in older women. Particularly women 35 and younger have a biologically different form of breast cancer than women who get the disease at an older age.

But no matter what age you are it can develop, so I implore you to be aware. Do your own research on breast cancer. You can ask your doctor, look online (but be sure it’s a credible site), and ask your family.

“Breast Cancer ‘Different’ in Younger Women”

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/SABCS/36324

“Breast Cancer Prevention”

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/breast/Patient

– Erika K.

Saying No To Holiday Stress and Weight

December 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

As the holidays roll in, we are overcome with several emotions, such as joy and laughter. We are able to connect with family and friends. And we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Finally after a hard year of school and work, you are able to go home and get a home cooked meal. It’s time for some rest and relaxation. But how can you even get the chance to relax. There are parties to go to and people to see. And if you are a procrastinator like me, then it’s also time to get some shopping done. The holiday season can be a stressful one, especially for the women.

Not only is there gift shopping to do, but there is also grocery shopping that has to get done. Then there’s all the cooking that has to be done. It can be very stressful especially if your family is coming to town AND they’re staying with you. It doesn’t matter whether you are the laid back type or if you are a perfectionist, trying to accommodate everyone gets to be very frustrating. In addition, you may have children in the house (which can be even more exasperating if you don’t have any of your own) screaming and yelling. Your elder family members, the older women especially, might always be looking over your shoulder the entire time telling you what to do and how to do it. The holiday season doesn’t only bring good will and tidings; it can also bring stress.

Studies have shown that women on average get more stressed out than men. Several surveys taken have shown that women get stressed more easily than men, married women are more stressed than single women, and that stress for women seems to have increased over the past few years. Symptoms from stress can include headaches, fatigue, and indigestion.

Then we have everyone’s favorite activity. And no I am not talking about receiving presents from good ole Saint Nick. I’m talking about eating. Sometimes it feels like that all you do during the holiday season is eat. Family members come into town wanting you to try their new recipes. Friends who want you to come over to their house and eat. And throughout this time of year, you may make several appearances at different gathering, possibly saying that you’re only going to stay for a minute, but then you end up staying and having a bite to eat anyway. And what’s more are all the deserts. From pies to cobblers and cookies to cakes, there is no shortage of sweets during the holidays.

So you may be wondering “where she is going with all of this?” Well this is just a reminder to be careful. When surrounded by the family and all the craziness that comes with it, remember to relax. This is your holiday, too. As women we need to remember that we need some tender loving care too. Don’t let the stress ruin your season of joy and laughter.

Also be careful where that delicious food is concerned. Try not to overeat/stuff yourself to the max. In addition, don’t stay cooped up inside all day. Go out with the family. Play a sport, walk around the neighborhood (and maybe sing some carols), and remember to stay active!

Some tips to stay in shape can be found at:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/holiday-weight-loss

And some tips to stay stress free can be found at:

http://health.tcpalm.com/healthfeature/1357/Stay%20stressfree%20this%20holiday%20season.aspx

– Erika K.

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