The Week in Women: endurance birthing, crowdfunded implants, and saying bye bye to bikini bods


The holiday season is over, thereby bringing an end to the culturally-sanctioned period of over-eating, over-drinking, and gleefully chucking most salutary wisdom out the window. Perhaps it is no coincidence, then, that the first full week of the New Year has been chock-full of important headlines that pertain to women’s health. Let’s take a look back:

A new study has found that giving birth can be as traumatic to the body as extreme endurance sports. A substantial portion of women surveyed suffered severe muscle strain, stress fractures similar to the ones exhibited by athletes, and pelvic muscle tears—with the muscle detaching fully or partially from the pelvic bone. (Ouch!) Researchers relied on an MRI technique that is typically used to diagnose sports injuries, but very rarely applied to women who have recently given birth. The study thus calls for doctors to take a more individualized approach to treating postpartum complaints—as opposed to simply prescribing Kegels and sending new mothers on their way. Gold medals and product endorsements are also in order.

Women’s Health magazine announced that it will no longer use the phrases “bikini body” and “drop two sizes” on its cover. “Since our goal is always to pump you up, and never to make you feel bad, here’s our pledge: They’re gone,” editor in chief Amy Keller Laird wrote in a letter to readers. If you were worried that the mag’s stringent new standards would exclude any mention of “butt selfies,” never fear.

While it pains us that female genital mutilation has become a topic associated with women’s health, we have some sort-of good news: Gambia, where approximately 80 percent of females undergo FGM, has passed a bill that criminalizes the practice. Those convicted of breaking the new law face steep fines (starting at $1,250) and may even be subjected to life imprisonment. Unfortunately, the government also followed up this landmark law with legislation that dictates women’s dress. Come on, Gambia, you were doing so well.

Doctors in the United Kingdom will be banned from performing cosmetic surgery on women who crowdfunded the costs of the procedure. The new rule comes in response to a trend that sees women use sites like the subtly-named “” to find men who will pay for their breast augmentation. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any worse, women often post naked photos and write erotic stories in order to encourage donors. Doctors will face penalties, including bans from practicing, if caught performing surgeries that were paid for with illicit boob money. Now let’s close our eyes and pray that “” never becomes a thing.

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