Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oklahoma Criminalizes Procedure for Second-Trimester Abortions and Miscarriage Management

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a bill into law this week that criminalizes a medical procedure used during second-trimester abortions and for miscarriage management.


The laws ban the dilation and evacuation (D and E) procedure, which is commonly used in second trimester abortion care. The procedure is a method of abortion during which a physician will dilate a woman’s cervix and remove the fetus using forceps, clamps, or other instruments. During the procedure, the fetus is usually removed in parts. Prior to 14 weeks’ gestation, abortions are usually performed using suction aspiration, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.



This is yet another stitch in the rich tapestry of Oklahoma politicians undermining medical judgment. In the last several years, Oklahoma politicians have given protection to doctors that lie to pregnantpatients to prevent them from seeking abortions, required counseling withnon-medically accurate language for women seeking abortions, and restricted minor’saccess to contraception.

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma cares. No matter what. So we will be here to help you find the resources you need if Oklahoma’s dangerous and deeply biased abortion laws affect you. It is very unfortunate, however, that this law will threaten the health of women seeking second-trimester abortions, as well as women suffering miscarriages.



Who Can Contract an STI?

Getting tested annually for sexually transmitted infections is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy sex life. While it’s certainly possible to maintain a safe and healthy sex life (via consistent, proper condom use), STIs still happen. One in two sexually active people under 25 years of age will contract an STI. 




Q: Who can contract an STI? 


 A: Absolutely anyone! 



 Just like most things regarding sex there’s a lot of misinformation out there about STIs. You don’t have to be “dirty” or “promiscuous” to contract an STI, it happens to lots of people. So get tested regularly, wear condoms and talk openly with your partner about the last time you both got tested. Through April the Peace of Mind STI testing package is discounted so call Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma at (405) 528-2157 to set up an appointment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Gonorrhea, Ya'll!

There are 300,000 newscases of gonorrhea reported each year! Like chlamydia, gonorrhea can cause PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) in women and urethritis and epididymitis (causing pain and swelling in the testis) in men. An infant passing through the birth canal of an infected mother may contract gonococcal conjunctivitis, and infection in the eyes that can cause blindness if untreated.

Quite frequently this STI shows no symptoms at all, however when someone has gonorrhea they could experience several symptoms. In Males the first symptoms are due to urethritis, which causes urinary discomfort and a thick, yellowish white or yellowish green discharge from the penis. Up to half of males have very minor symptoms or none at all, which is why it is important to get tested regularly. Most females with gonorrhea often experience pain with urination, increase in vaginal discharge, and severe menstrual cramps. Gonorrhea can also infect the throat or rectum of people who engage in oral or anal sex.

Gonorrhea is treatablevia antibiotics, and preventable via consistent, proper condom use (so wrap it up, ya’ll!). Gonorrhea is detectable through samples of urine, cervical, urethral, throat, or rectal fluids may be collected, so the test is simply and fast.


If you are sexual active and are having any of the following symptoms come into any of our Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma locations to receive the Peace of Mind Package, which tests for 8 STD’s. Hurry and call (405)528-2157 to set up your appointment today before the end of April. #GetYourselfTested #GYT 

Monday, April 13, 2015

HIV and AIDS: Know Your Status

Talking about your HIV and AIDS risk can be scary if you don’t know the facts. Which condition is which and how do you know if you’re at risk? We recommend keeping it simple by always using protection and getting tested annually, but you may be at higher risk if you fall into any of the following categories:

·        
If you engage in unprotected (without a condom) anal, vaginal or oral sex. The HIV virus is spread through the exchange of body fluids so if you have engaged in sex (penetration or oral) without using barriers like condoms or dental dams you could be at risk.

·        
If you have used intravenous drugs. Again, HIV is spread through body fluid, so sharing needles with other individuals increases your risk for the virus.
·        
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, account for the majority of new infections despite making up only 2% of the population. Many different risk factors contribute to this high statistic.



 
Normally those infected with HIV show no symptoms for several years, which is why regular testing is so important. When symptoms do begin to show, they generally include slight fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and weight loss. HIV is only classified as an AIDS infection in its most severe stages. Ultimately the immune system is severely damaged, which has the most devastating impact on individuals‘ health.



Though there are no cures for HIV or AIDS, many treatment options are available for patients, as well as their partners including strict condom or oral barrieruse, antiretroviral therapy, and many different medications that help protect your immune system.

The only sure ways to protect yourself and your partner from the HIV and AIDS viruses is to get tested every year and always use condoms or dental dams. Through the month of April, Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma is offering a discounted STI testing package, as well as Safer Sex Kits to those who get tested! So book an appointment by calling
(405) 528-2157 ASAP! 

Chlamydia: The “Silent Infection”

One of the most common and prevalent bacterial STD’s in the United States is Chlamydia. Both men and women are susceptible to Chlamydia, but as with most STD’s women carry a greater burden due to possible complications and consequences of the disease. If women go untreated, Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, increase the risk for infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Chlamydia can also lead to infertility in men although it is less common, along with inflammation of the urethra and epididymitis, which is inflammation of sperm-carrying ducts.
 

When infected with Chlamydia a person may experience a few symptoms or none at all. Men can experience symptoms such as painful urination, a slight watery discharge from the penis, and sometimes pain around the testicles. Women may notice increase in vaginal discharge, burning with urination, pain or bleeding with intercourse, and lower abdominal pain. It is important to note that the most common symptom of Chlamydia is no symptom at all, so just because you are not experiencing genital pain does not mean you do not have an STI.

Chlamydia is diagnosed through a laboratory test of a urine sample or a small amount of fluid from the urethra, cervix, rectum, or vagina. Chlamydia is completely treatable by antibiotics. It is never a good idea to go untested if you are sexually active and especially if you are having any of the symptoms above. Give yourself some peace of mind about being STD free by scheduling an appointment at any of our four Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma locations during the month a April to receive the “Peace of Mind Package,” which test for 8 STD’s, and provides a “safe sex kit” for better protection in the future.  Call (405) 528-2157 to set up your appointment today. #GetYourselfTested 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tell Senators to Stand with Oklahoma Women!

We first told you about two dangerous bills - HB 1409 and HB 1721 - in February. Despite the efforts of our supporters and friendly lawmakers, both bills moved through the house. We expect both bills to be heard on the Senate floor in coming weeks.

 


We want you to tell friendly Oklahoma Senators that you support a woman's right to make her own decision about a pregnancy! These senators are our best chance to defeat these bills in the Senate.

HB 1409 would impose a 72-hour waiting period and require physicians to provide biased information that is not based on science-both of which are intended to shame or coerce a woman into making a decision about her pregnancy.

HB 1721 would ban abortion after 14 weeks in Oklahoma. The reality is that nine in 10 abortions in the U.S. occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (Guttmacher). Abortion after 14 weeks in pregnancy is less common, but in all cases, a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.

Both of these bills are part of a broader effort to restrict or end access to safe, legal abortion in Oklahoma and are particularly cruel for women and families in heartbreaking situations-needing to end a pregnancy after careful consideration, but experiencing lengthy, unnecessary delays in accessing safe care.

Please email Oklahoma lawmakers who support women's health now and tell them their "NO" vote on these two bills is supported by thousands of women in men in Oklahoma who believe that politics should be kept out of personal medical decisions.

Thank you for your continued support.

Your friends at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

You’re invited to join us at the Oklahoma Capitol for Women's Health Day and Prevention First Lobby Day!



Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma is hosting the 7th annual 
Women’s Health Day
at the Capitol from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come meet health experts from several organizations, activists and law makers who are working to improve women's access to health care. In an effort to engage lawmakers and give voice to supporters, our sister affiliate Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is also hosting a ‘Prevention First Lobby Seminar’ the same morning. The seminar costs $10 and includes lobby training, a rundown on current legislative issues, a T-shirt and lunch. Those interested must RSVP ahead of time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Prevention First Lobby Seminar
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Women’s Health Day
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 North Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK

Over the years we have seen a stigma form over women’s health issues, and it has not done well for our state. Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. that saw life expectancy for women decline in the two decades and our state is consistently ranked among the bottom 10 states for health outcomes. Despite these poor indicators Oklahoma still has over 100,000 uninsured citizens. So please come out and stand up for women's health!

In the meantime help us gain support for this worthy cause by tweeting or posting #accessforus via social media to highlight the lack of access many Oklahoma women face in seeking quality, affordable health care. Together we can highlight the importance of women’s health in Oklahoma and show our lawmakers that we won’t stand for inaction or political grandstanding while women’s lives are on the line! 



Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you at the Capitol on April 9th!

For questions please contact Danielle Williams
danielle.williams@ppcok.org
(405) 528-0221 Ext. 321