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Gyne Ecology:  Women in Charge of Their Reproductive HealthState of the Art of Reproductive Health

Gyn-Ecology was a term coined by Mary Daly, a feminist writer of the 70's and 80's. Daly was interested in the history and the evolution of women's involvement in their own health issues and care.  She drew attention to the medical industry's involvement in "medicalization" of women's reproductive functions.  An example she held up to scrutiny was the medical industry's efficient campaign to question credibility of midwives and others that assited women in giving birth "at home".  Within only a few decades hospital births were the norm.  The act of controlling girls' and womens' reproductive health became a simple matter at a time when few women were in medical school or working as gynecologists, pharmacists or physicians.  Thankfully the status quo has changed; but women today are still far from having achieved a complete awareness, control and/or involvement in our own care, especially when it comes to reproductive health.  And it is sad to note that our infant mortality rates are higher than many third world countries who have never used hospitals as birthing centers.  Perhaps today the term GYN-ECOLOGY should stand for an ecological minded movement of women taking charge of their own reproductive health and illness care.

Education and Care: Prescription for  Prevention

Being educated and informed is THE KEY to taking charge of your reproductive health.  The Internet makes it so easy to stay on top of the latest information regarding STDs, fertility aids, reproductive health risks, sexual concerns, pregnancies and everything related to reproductive health.  In addition, women's magazines and websites stay on top of new gynecology health concerns, treatments, and medicines so that they can offer you the most relevant information for your life. There is no excuse for a woman to not be in charge of her reproductive health.

Every woman should have a gynecology expert, a doctor or a nurse practitioner with whom she is comfortable talking.  Communication between patient and doctor is a must in today's world.  A woman who is proactive is one who recognizes changes in her body or health needs and who does research if needed before visiting her doctor.  She comes prepared.

If you read about a procedure or a test that you think would be good for you, talk to your doctor about it.  It is not safe to assume that your doctor knows about everything going on in the medical world, nor is it safe to wait for her to tell you about a potential test.  Women fare best who are able to take responsibility for their reproductive health and create a balance in the exchange between you and your doctor.

The annual visit to the doctor's office for a breast and gynecological exam shouldn't be a visit where you lay on the table for a while and when it's over with you leave.  How can you bring balance to your medical visit?  Perhaps you need to ask the doctor questions about medical issues that you have seen on the news or read about, that you have concerns about or that may pertain to you.  If your doctor is unaware of the issue, she will do research and get back to you with an answer.   Most doctors appreciate the patients that take an active role in their own health.

On your quest to gather information for your reproductive health, you may come across some things that don't quite make sense to you.  Then you should give your doctor or your nursing helpline a call and ask them to explain it to you.  Your only contact with the medical world shouldn't be your yearly gynecological exam.

Women need to step up and take responsibility for their own reproductive health.  They need to be able to make knowledgeable and informed gynecological medical decisions instead of always relying on a specialist's or other doctor's opinion.  A woman knows her own body better than anyone else, so why not shift the balance in favor of self responsibility and take an active role in your own healthcare.

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