Despite enormous progress in the last half century, medicine tends to be a glass half empty type of profession. We focus on what is wrong and shrug off what is good. This is not to say that all is perfect or that we cannot aim to do better, but this is not mutually exclusive with pausing to acknowledge what has been achieved.


Women’s health is an area where significant progress has been made. A cursory glance at the survival rates from breast cancer and cervical cancer tell a tale of vastly improved treatments coupled with better detection.

Dr Joe Kosterich, Clinical Editor

Women have lower rates of smoking and alcohol addiction than men. Life expectancy is longer for women.

All this does not mean we sit on our laurels. It is a foundation for further improvements.

This month we have articles on differing aspects of women’s health. Pelvic congestion is a diagnosis many may not be that familiar with but can significantly impact quality of life. Pelvic floor exercises are generally recommended after rather than during pregnancy – we may need to think again.

Better ways of preventing preterm birth, especially in remote areas, have been the subject of research and this is covered, as are simple lifestyle measures that can improve fertility, and use of telehealth in antenatal care. Heavy menstrual bleeding remains a common problem and is examined. Genomics is a Pandora’s box which has been opened before we quite know how to manage it. For a change of pace, sinus issues are also looked at.

The impact of lockdowns and school closure will have disproportionately affected women. For unknown reasons this has not been talked about.


Women still tend to do more child-rearing and the number of single mothers dwarfs that of single fathers. The impact of lockdowns and school closure will have disproportionately affected women. For unknown reasons this has not been talked about. Hopefully the impacts will be studied, and lessons learned.

One matter to ponder. When asked the question “can you define what a woman is” neither the Federal Health Department secretary or US Supreme court judge Kentaji Brown-Jackson would or could answer. The latter used the excuse that she wasn’t a biologist. I am not a mechanic but can define what a car is. Yes, the question was asked for political reasons, but nevertheless, if we can no longer define a woman, how can we further improve women’s health?