Blog posts by Paula Cody, MD, MPH

Is There a ‘Virginity Test’? What Does it Mean to Have a Broken Hymen?

In a few words, no and nothing.

Last week, the rapper TI made headlines when he talked about taking his teenage daughter for yearly ‘hymen checks’ at the gynecologist’s office. After proudly announcing to his interviewers that his 18-year-old daughter’s hymen was still intact, he offered a short recap of the conversation with his daughter and her doctor on the subject, “Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem” and then, “just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.”

There’s a lot going on here – let’s break it down!

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I Beg You, Stop Vaping.

I know that there have been quite a few blogs about vaping recently (and you may be sick of reading about this in the news), but I’m writing this as a request from several parents and patients. Even as I write this, I’m sitting in a meeting getting briefed on the most recent cases of lung injuries related to vaping.  I am receiving multiple calls and patient questions daily about this. This is an ongoing thing, and each day it gets bigger and bigger.

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Vaping suspected of causing severe lung damage

Vaping is in the news… again… (i.e. you should quit vaping, and we’re here to help!)

There are endless options for what you might want to do with the end of your summer (End? How is it August already?!), but spending several weeks in the hospital with a severe lung disease probably isn’t high on your list. For some teenagers in Wisconsin, that was, unfortunately, the case in the last month. The cause? While it hasn’t been definitively determined, the Department of Health Services (DHS) says that the commonality amongst the teens was that they had all been vaping in the time leading up to their hospitalization. As of August 2, 2019, DHS is aware of 11 confirmed cases. Seven other cases are under further investigation. Their symptoms included fevers, chest pain that worsened with breathing, nausea, diarrhea, and diminished appetite, and some of them needed to be on breathing machines while they were sick. While all of them have recovered, we don’t know what the long-term effects could be from these incidents.

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Gun Violence Awareness

June is an important month for gun violence awareness, with communities designating a specific day, weekend, or even the whole month to the issue. Even though June is over, it doesn’t mean the campaign that aims to prevent senseless deaths caused by firearms will stop caring.

The Wear Orange Campaign and National Gun Violence Awareness Day was inspired by Chicago teens who refused to be silent in the face of gun violence after their 15-year-old friend, Hadiya Pendleton, was killed by a stray bullet days after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration. June 2 was her birthday; they selected orange because it is the color used by hunters to protect themselves.

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