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Bloated idea of contraception, time to change

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By Sreyashi Mazumdar

Picture credit: somersetcsh.co.uk
Picture credit: somersetcsh.co.uk

Contraception is an extremely amorphous and misinterpreted medical phenomenon in a close knitted society like India’s. It turns out to be contentious especially when the person concerned is a teenager. Adhering to the scientific definition of contraception, the terminology encompasses the termination of pregnancy through variegated methods.

You need a contraceptive pill?’, ‘Will I gain weight if I gobble contraceptive pills?’, ‘Contraceptive pills might reduce my fertility,’ are some of the most talked of expressions when a woman weighs the chances of getting pregnant. This year’s Contraception Day aims at making people aware about the widely ‘accepted’ misnomers about contraception.

Wide opened eyes, strained brows and an awe struck expression are some of the unbefitting predispositions a woman- especially a teenage girl- might run into on demanding a contraceptive pill. The man standing behind the counter, despite being aware of her preconditions, wouldn’t fail to further discomfort her by reiterating the name of the contraceptive pill incessantly till a million eyebrows in the shop get raised.

Picture credit: asianetindia.com
Picture credit: asianetindia.com

Kya chahiye (He shouts) I-Pill?Bhaiya isko I-Pill chahiye…this is what the man at the counter had to say when I asked for contraceptive pills,” retorted 20-year-old Sheereen Ahmad, a Delhi University student, while recollecting her horrid experience at a medical shop.

A condom in itself is a cock-a-hoop tale that titillates and excites teenagers. The idea of contraception often wanes amid the exhilaration related to the use of condoms. Often, due to the tickling, breathtaking condom advertisements sported on television, people tend to get wooed and misbegotten without being apprised of the main purport of the same.

More than a tool of contraception, condoms have boiled down to a form of amusement for many in India. Wahi Sunny Leone wala ad na?” or “Dude have you ever seen a condom…let us buy one,” these are some of the most common expressions exemplifying the brouhaha over a poor condom.

Picture credit: cdn.bgr.com
Picture credit: cdn.bgr.com

The abortion laws in our country, further, shed light on the plight of contraception or adversities that a woman gets subjected to when they opt for an abortion. A teenager, who might have gotten pregnant, if opts for an abortion ends up getting subjected to a string of difficulties. First, rendering abortion services to a girl who hasn’t attained her adulthood depends upon the clinic she decides to take to; it is solely the discretion of the medical practitioner who might or might not let her terminate the fetus. Moreover, girls fearing societal ostracization, take to untoward sources in their attempt at terminating pregnancy.

The looming disarray regarding contraception needs to get obliterated. Sex education and spaces for open deliberation on the same are some of the most sought after requirements of the day. Mockery and over rated ideation of condoms or contraceptive pills might lead to disillusionment and subsequent escalation of untoward instances. Instead of blowing condoms and finding ourselves dumb struck; let’s just accept the fact that pregnancy isn’t an isolated condition best suited for a married woman. Let’s delve into the nuances of contraception and broaden our outlook regarding the same.

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Immunotherapy Drug Pembrolizumab May Treat Rare Pregnancy Cancer, Says Research

An immunotherapy drug - Pembrolizumab- has the potential to treat a rare pregnancy cancer belonging to a group of diseases called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), results of a clinical trial show

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Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy Drug May Treat Rare Pregnancy Cancer. Pixabay.

London, Nov 27: An immunotherapy drug has the potential to treat a rare pregnancy cancer belonging to a group of diseases called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), results of a clinical trial show.

Three out of four patients with the cancerous forms of GTD went into remission after receiving the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in a clinical trial carried out by researchers at London’s Imperial College.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet, suggest that immunotherapy could be used as a a safer alternative to conventional treatment for the disease.

Pembrolizumab is the trial drug/ immunotherapeutic agent:

The trial, which took place at Charing Cross Hospital, is the first to show that Pembrolizumab can be used to successfully treat women with GTD, according to the study

The researchers hope that this small early stage study could provide another treatment option for women who have drug-resistant GTD and lead to a 100 per cent cure rate.

“We have been able to show for the first time that immunotherapy may be used to cure patients of cancerous GTD,” said Professor Michael Seckl, lead author of the study.

The current treatments to tackle GTD cure most cases of the disease. However, there are a small number of women whose cancers are resistant to conventional therapies and as a result have a fatal outcome,” Seckl added.

“Immunotherapy may be a life-saving treatment and can be used as an alternative to the much more toxic high dose chemotherapy that is currently used,” Seckl said.

GTD is the term used to describe abnormal cells or tumors that start in the womb from cells that normally give rise to the placenta. They are extremely rare but can happen during or after pregnancy.

Globally, 18,000 women are diagnosed annually with cancerous forms of GTD, most of whom are cured with chemotherapy or surgery.

However, up to five per cent of these women’s outcomes are fatal due to factors such as chemotherapy resistance and rare forms of the cancer such as placental site trophoblastic tumours (PSTT) that develop four or more years after the causative pregnancy has ended. (IANS)

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Breastmilk Aids to Combat Food Allergies in Newborns, says Research

Breastmilk of nursing mothers can help in protecting the newborns from developing food allergies, suggests a new research

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Breastmilk
Breastmilk aids in combatting diseases in Newborns. Pixabay.

New York, Nov 23: Breastmilk of nursing mothers who eat foods that commonly cause allergy, such as milk, eggs, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish during pregnancy can help protect newborns from developing food allergies, suggests a new research.

The mouse study, led by the University of Michigan, showed that when a nursing or pregnant mother is exposed to a food protein, it combines with her antibodies, which are transferred to the offspring through breasmilk and breastfeeding.

The food protein-antibody complexes are then introduced to the offspring’s developing immune system, triggering the production of protective T immune cells that suppress allergic reactions to the food.

These protective cells also persist after antibodies from the mother are gone, promoting long-term tolerance to the food.

The findings support the recent allergy prevention guidelines, which reject prior advice urging mothers to avoid high allergic foods during pregnancy or while breastfeeding breastmilk.

“This controlled study shows that mothers should feel free to eat a healthy and diverse diet throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding,” said James R. Baker, Professor at the University of Michigan.

“Eating a range of nutritious foods during pregnancy and breastfeeding will not promote food allergies in developing babies, and may protect them from food allergy,” Baker said.

The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, showed that breast milk from mothers who consumed allergenic foods protected against food allergy, preventing anaphylaxis as well as production of immunoglobulin E and expansion of mast cells, both hallmarks of an allergic response.

Breast milk was found protective even when fed to unrelated offspring not exposed to food allergens in utero.

In other experiments, mothers who had never consumed allergenic foods were given food-specific antibodies from other mothers. This, too, protected their breastfed offspring.

Human breast milk, fed to mice with humanised immune systems (tailored to respond to human antibodies), was also protective, suggesting that the mouse findings may translate to human infants. (IANS)

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Wonder Woman Gal Gadot says second pregnancy was ‘part of the plan’

Gal Gadot was in the early stages of her pregnancy while filming "Justice League".

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Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot talks about her well-planned pregnancy. Wikimedia

Los Angeles, November 6, 2017 : Actress Gal Gadot had planned her second pregnancy well so that it caused minimal disruption to her work commitments.

The 32-year-old actress – who has daughters Alma, six, and Maya, seven months, with husband Yaron Versano – says she knew she wanted a second child, but wanted to plan it carefully, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

“I scheduled it so I wasn’t going to be too pregnant for ‘Justice League’ or when I promoted ‘Wonder Woman’. I had a lot of luck. It’s been difficult, but I had wanted to have a second child for a while,” Gadot told Glamour magazine.

She was in the early stages of her pregnancy while filming “Justice League”.

“It was challenging with morning sickness and migraines. But you adjust. You get used to feeling like s**t and having to perform,” she said, and added that working with the likes of Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill and Ezra Miller in the movie was fun”.

“Making the film with so many men, I’ve never felt so safe. Big men!”

The success of “Wonder Woman” led to several offers come her way, but Gal Gadot remains grounded.

“I’m super-appreciative because I know it’s all a big game and the rules are known in advance. When you’re successful, the phone will ring, if a film flops, there will be crickets. So I take everything with a grain of salt and enjoy it while it’s there,” she added. (IANS)