November 2015
EWSE Webinar Series 
Please join us on Wednesday, November 11th at 12:00pm EST for Advocating for Women's Health: How to Influence Policy as an Individual and on behalf of your Agency. Hear from agencies that are educating women and working for change on key issues in the South.

Did you miss one of our previous webinars? All of our archived webinars can be found on our website here.
The Good News 
about PMS   
The Good News about PMS
The Good News about PMS
Everybody knows that most women go a little crazy right before they get their period, that their reproductive hormones cause their emotions to fluctuate wildly. Except: There's very little scientific consensus about premenstrual syndrome. In this Ted Talk, Psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca explores what we know and don't know about it - and why the popular myth has persisted. 
Click here to view an infographic that describes the menstrual cycle for girls and women of all ages.

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual has grown to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. See its section on Menstrual Abnormalities for an overview of common menstrual disorders.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) was founded to support the world's best minds in investigating human development. Over time, NICHD has achieved an impressive array of scientific advances in its pursuit to enhance lives throughout all stages of life. Research supported and conducted by NICHD has helped to explain the unique health needs of many, including those with menstrual disorders. Their site has a number of reports related to menstruation and menstrual issues.

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary research organization that strives to be the source of guidance, expertise, and ethical considerations for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funding resources interested in the menstrual cycle. Visit their site for menstrual health-related resources. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published over 100 articles, Committee Opinions, and Frequently Asked Questions on a myriad of menstrual disorders, ranging from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) to Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB). Visit their site to learn more.

The Office on Women's Health (OWH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides national leadership and coordination to improve the health of women and girls. On their website you can find a wealth of resources related to PMS/PMDD, PCOS, and any of the other menstrual disorders plaguing American women.

HealthyWomen is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Their core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. Through their wide array of online and print publications, HealthyWomen provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research. See their website for information on different menstrual disorders.
EWSE Updates!
For the month of November we focus on a topic that impacts most women but is rarely discussed. So we are going to bring it up! 

But first, join us as we welcome our inaugural cohort of EWSE Preconception Fellows! This Fellowship is designed for Junior and Senior Office of Minority Health Preconception Peer Educators in the Southeast to support their current efforts as peer educators, build their capacity for future leadership in public health, and connect them to mentors and a community of colleagues from around the South. We want to give a shout out to our Fellows and their Mentors who helped us launch this program last month!

We'd also like to welcome Suzanne Yergensen, the new Communications Director for the National Preconception Health and Health Care Initiative. While Suzanne has a lot on her plate with the national work, she has offered to lend a hand to the Coalition to help us continue to grow our social media presence. Lots going on! Life is good!

And in addition to the webinar mentioned on the left, keep an eye out for another webinar in December focusing on the power and success of women's partnerships
Menstrual Health 
For some women, monthly periods come and go with few or no concerns. Their periods cause little more than a minor inconvenience. However, other women experience a host of physical or emotional symptoms just before and during menstruation that may disrupt a woman's life in major ways.   

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and 
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) describes the symptoms a woman may experience 1 to 2 weeks before the start of her menstrual period. While many women exhibit the normal premenstrual symptoms of tender breasts, bloating, and muscle aches, symptoms that disrupt a woman's daily life
can be considered PMS. Premenstrual dysphoric 
disorder (PMDD) is a severe, sometimes disabling extension of PMS. Although both disorders have physical and emotional symptoms, PMDD causes extreme mood shifts that can be severe enough to interfere with a woman's work, social activities, and relationships.

The causes of PMS and PMDD are unclear. Underlying depression and anxiety are common in both disorders, so it's possible that the hormonal changes that trigger a menstrual period actually worsen the symptoms of mood disorders. Notably, however, researchers, physicians, and psychologists fall on various sides of the debate over whether or not these disorders actually exist. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women, affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age
A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance
. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens, or male hormones, than normal.
High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation and can also lead to excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain.  
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, most experts think that several factors, including genetics, could play a role. Though symptoms vary from woman to woman, its early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
Menstruation is considered normal when uterine bleeding occurs every 21 to 35 days and is not excessive. The normal duration of menstrual bleeding is between 2 and 7 days. Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) occurs when either the frequency or quantity of uterine bleeding differs from that mentioned above or a woman has spotting or bleeding between her menstrual periods. AUB may be caused by a variety of factors, though the two most common causes are structural abnormalities of the reproductive system and ovulation disorders. 

While rarely life-threatening, AUB can exact a large emotional and physical toll on women. For women with heavy periods, excessive bleeding can substantially impair their quality of life, making it difficult to work or lead a normal lifestyle. Heavy periods can also cause pain and discomfort and increase the risk for iron-deficiency anemia.
The UNC Center for Women's Mood Disorders offers both clinical and research programs to address the needs of women with reproductive mood disorders. With the capacity to assess and treat a broad spectrum of reproductive psychiatric problems, including PMS, PMDD and Perimenopausal Depression, this Center is changing women's lives for the better.

The mission of the PCOS Foundation is to spread awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) through public and professional education programs. Through these efforts this organization hopes to establish programs that will improve diagnosis, decrease or eliminate the syndrome's lifetime risks, and ultimately help women and adolescents affected with PCOS obtain treatment through medical lifestyle management. 
Featured Blog!
In her blog, "In Pursuit of a Normal Period #PCOS4Ever," Nupoor Raval talks about her challenges with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and provides support for any woman dealing with this disorder.

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