Saturday, January 08, 2005

Thanks, but no thanks, buster

Sorry, I've been sitting on this one, b/c it made me so upset, but I know you really need this info...

More Pregnancies, and False Alarms, in Winter

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sales of pregnancy tests typically soar in the first months of the year, as more women than usual tend to become pregnant -- or just think they are, according to Inverness Medical, the makers of the Clearblue Easy pregnancy tests.

The guest expert here is Dr. Brad Imler, president of the American Pregnancy Association.

[M]ost births occur in August and September -- nine months after December and January. Furthermore, winter holiday months tend to be very stressful for women,and stress can cause women to miss their period -- often the first sign of pregnancy...

He explained that the best way to distinguish a true pregnancy from a false alarm is to focus on additional symptoms of pregnancy. These include tender or swollen breasts, fatigue, nausea, headaches, backaches and a change in appetite.
How kind. He's trying to diminish the sales potential of Clearblue Easy (an Educational Sponsor for American Pregnancy Association, while reeking of the truism about biting the hand that feeds you) and politely telling us that we're morons for being proactive in our quest for pregnancy confirmation.

I must gently point out, he's not a woman, so he has no real idea how breasts tingle, swell, and throb with huge variety from one month to the next. Same with all the other real symptoms of pregnancy which strangely mock the same symptoms as infertility, a decidely non-pregnant state!

It all ebbs and flows. We don't have control over symptoms, so we can't entirely determine their origin or impact each month. Just look at what an idiot the brilliant me is about such symptoms. Further, I was pregnant for a while w/my son w/o significant pregnancy symptoms, so seeking the grail of symptoms is as hopeless as, say, me getting pregnant again.

"The absence of other pregnancy symptoms is probably the best clue that it [a delayed period] is the stress of the holidays," he said.

In addition, many women start the New Year with a resolution to exercise more, and a big shift in activity -- such as going from no exercise to many workouts per week -- can cause periods to be delayed, missed or lightened, Imler noted.
In other words, we're all a bunch of ditzy fools, completely out of touch with our bodies, reading everything it tells us incorrectly. (Unless, of course, it is colon or breast or cervical cancer when you invaribly tell us we're pretty stupid for not listening to our bodies sooner. Hypocrites.)

Remember to watch out, ladies... Don't fall for the fitness blunder. Working out is evil! [I already knew that, thanks.] Don't stress! Relax! Give up your New Year's resolutions and social life now, b/c you're too fragile and easily mislead to handle them.

Puleeze.... Get with it, you pathetic sexist doctors. Come up with a different message. This one is boring, trite, dismissive, and condescending, but I guess that's what makes it so fucking effective. We're suckers for that, you know. I'm the (Da da da DAAAA!)(I need a uniform) biological feminist, so I should know.

On an even darker note, these are stats from APA's site...

16,438 women become pregnant
11,018 women give birth
4,780 women endure a pregnancy loss
8,219 women experience an unplanned pregnancy
1,172 women become pregnant while uninsured
5,479 couples begin to struggle with infertility issues

Although there's plenty of fodder, I'll focus on the last two stats.

Why, in this society where it is so PC to talk of an insurance crisis, are there 5 times as many couples each day dealing with new IF than newly pregnant uninsured women? Where's the press? I say we IFers are getting short changed yet again, this time in the media and in public perception. I'd like those potential drummed up exposure-related dollars to be earmarked for additional IF and SIF research as well as
I resent that ART access is a classist operation and I think mistaken perception and misappropriated funds fuel the lack.

Back to the American Pregnancy Association, b/c they're so fertile for commentary: another one of APA's sponsors is Conceive Magazine. Go there and see the intro page. That is appalling to me. Has anyone actually read this magazine?

1 comment:

chris said...

I'll admit, I've read it. It's not awful, believe it or not, but it's mainly information that most infertiles already know, so aiming it at this crowd is a little stupid.