KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Researchers Credit Contraception Use As Unintended Pregnancy Rates Drop Across The Board

“Whereas in the past we saw decreases among advantaged groups but increases among disadvantaged groups, now we’re seeing decreases across the board. Something broad-based is going on here," the lead author of the report says. In other news, the first uterus transplant in the U.S. could offer hope to women across the country.

The New York Times: Unplanned Pregnancies Hit Lowest Level In 30 Years
The rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States has declined to its lowest level in the last three decades. The level in 2008 was 54 per 1,000 women and girls aged 15 to 44. By 2011, it was 45 per 1,000. Of the 6.1 million pregnancies in 2011, 2.8 million were unintended. A recent analysis in The New England Journal of Medicine found variations in rates of unintended pregnancy by income, race, ethnicity, education and age. But there were declines, some quite large, in almost every demographic group. (Bakalar, 3/7)

The New York Times: Hopeful Start For First Uterus Transplant Surgery In U.S.
Just minutes after the patient’s name was placed on the waiting list for a transplant, details about a matching donor popped up. “I was shocked,” said Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis, the director of solid organ transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic’s hospital in Weston, Fla. “I really considered it an act of God.” Less than 24 hours later, on Feb. 24, the patient, a 26-year-old woman from Texas, became the first in the United States to receive a uterus transplant, in a nine-hour operation here at the Cleveland Clinic. Born without a uterus, she hopes the transplant will enable her to become pregnant and give birth. (Grady, 3/7)

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts women can now compare the quality of mammograms offered, and Connecticut lawmakers discuss a bill to end a tax on tampons —

WBUR: Eva Gets A Mammogram: A Primer On Finding Quality In Mammography
Most women assume a mammogram’s a mammogram — you just get through it. But in fact the quality — as with most things in medicine — does vary. Here, for the first time, you can compare the quality of a mammogram at some of the larger hospitals and medical practices in Greater Boston and Worcester. (Bebinger, 3/7)

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