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Bay Area Women’s Care News

Fearing rare side effects, many shun osteoporosis drugs

Millions of Americans are missing out on a chance to avoid debilitating fractures from weakened bones, researchers say, because they are terrified of exceedingly rare side effects from drugs that can help them.

Reports of the drugs' causing jawbones to rot and thighbones to snap in two have shaken many osteoporosis patients so much that they say they would rather take their chances with the disease. Use of the most commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs fell by 50 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to a recent paper, and doctors say the trend is continuing.

Last month, three professional groups — the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Bone Health Alliance — put out an urgent call for doctors to be more aggressive in treating patients at high risk, and for patients to be more aware of the need for treatment. It followed a flurry of recent articles in medical journals documenting and bemoaning patients' abandonment of traditional osteoporosis drugs. But osteoporosis experts are afraid their efforts will do little to change minds.

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Editorial: Positive results for HPV vaccine

A recent study proves that a vaccine designed to combat cervical cancer works and has reduced the cancer-causing virus in girls by nearly two-thirds. The study should provide doctors with all of the evidence they need to recommend the vaccine to parents and satisfy the concerns of hesitant parents. There is no excuse for leaving children susceptible to serious disease when a remedy is readily available.

A government study published in Pediatrics compared infection rates for the human papillomavirus in girls and women before the HPV vaccine's debut in 2006 with the rate of infections in the same age group from 2009 to 2012. Researchers found that the four strains of HPV covered by the early vaccine had decreased by 64 percent in girls 14-19, according to the New York Times. Women ages 20-24 saw declines of 34 percent. The rates of HPV in women 25 and older did not decrease.

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Beyond condoms, vasectomies: New male birth control options in the works

womanNearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that among women 19 and younger, four out of five pregnancies are unintended. In our country, where birth control options are readily available, roughly 62 percent of women of reproductive age use contraception, according to the CDC.

Currently, men have two birth control options: condoms and vasectomies. Condoms can have a success rate of 98 percent, but they often are used incorrectly. Further, a recent survey of high school students found that 41 percent of them did not use a condom the last time they had sex. Vasectomies have been used as a contraceptive since the 19th century. However, for many men, the idea of any cutting or snipping on or around their testicles brings tremendous anxiety and uneasiness.

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What you need to know about HPV and Cervical Cancer

HPV or Human papillomavirus is very common, in fact, 8 out of 10 women will have had HPV by the time they’re 50.  Some types of this virus are spread by sexual contact.

More than 100 different types have been indentified. A few types have been linked to cervical cancer.  A few other types cause external genital warts.  Warts often easily treated and are not linked to cancer.

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New Information on Hormone Therapy

Ten years have passed since publication of the first results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)

hormone therapy trials. The debate that followed gave women and their providers the impression that

the experts don’t agree on the topic of hormone therapy. Top women’s health organizations have now

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