WHO have started making recommendations for 'women of reproductive age'

(83 Posts)

I don't expect many on this board to care about ecigs and this thread isn't about them but about the wording they have chosen to use in their report, due to be debated in October:

The evidence is sufficient to caution children and adolescents, pregnant women, and women of reproductive age about ENDS use because of the potential for fetal and adolescent nicotine exposure to have long-term consequences for brain development.

I'm used to seeing this pre-pregnant shit from right-wing US comentators but am shocked that the WHO are now making recommendations specifically for 'women of reproductive age'. The rot is setting in and it's pissing me right off. Anybody else?

Curwen Thu 28-Aug-14 21:21:11

Aren't they saying that the effects of nicotine for these groups are already understood to be dangerous for these groups, and that e-cigs are are a new way of delivering this toxic chemical. Ergo, these groups need to be made aware that e-cigs are not a safer way to smoke. It isn't a new poison, just a new delivery method.

WoTmania Thu 28-Aug-14 21:22:11

Oh FFS. Really WHO? Really really?

WoTmania Thu 28-Aug-14 21:24:58

Curwen - but 'women of reproductive age' - that's not pregnant or actively TTC women who will probably want to avoid things that may be harmful to the foetus it's any woman of child bearing age just in case they may become pregnant or be unknowingly pregnant

QueenStromba Thu 28-Aug-14 21:32:43

On top of that they also refer to outdated work and haven't bothered to proof read. I've lost a some respect for WHO.

The arguments about nicotine are neither here nor there (they're wrong but that's another thread), if it wasn't nicotine it could be alcohol or soft cheese or coffee or something else. The issue is that they are advising 'women of reproductive age' - i.e. any woman from the age of menarche to menopause to behave as if she might be pregnant.

I feel powerless. How do you challenge WHO on stuff like this? (not a rhetorical question - if anybody knows a route for complaint please let me know).

Blistory Thu 28-Aug-14 21:44:52

I'm a woman of reproductive age but given that I have no intention of ever having children, I'll happily ignore that caution.

Can I get a different category please or do I now have to wear a badge if I want to smoke, drink, screw around, change the kitty litter etc that states 'Don't panic, I won't be using my eggs'

Or do I have to accept that as a woman, it is theoretically possible for me to become pregnant and therefore I must live my life as if I will be pregnant one day. WHO's advice effectively treats all women of reproductive age as potential incubators.

Next step will be to give my eggs actual rights themselves. Which of course does not damage my liberty in any way.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 28-Aug-14 21:45:14

Fucking hell you expect better from groups like that.

So e.g. me, 2 kids and definitely no more thanks, needs to be cautioned to watch my behaviour simply because I have a womb. FFS.

This whole idea that all female between the age of about 10 and 50 must have their behaviour monitored and curtailed on the basis that at any given point well, they might be pregnant, is really fucking shit.

I suppose they might argue that many girls and women around the world don't have access to contraception, abortion, or full control over who has sex with them and when. In which case I'd say those particular girls and women have more pressing sodding concerns than a few ecigs.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 28-Aug-14 21:49:26

I don't think they're giving any recommendation or edict that women of reproductive age should do anything at all. They're saying that women of reproductive age should be informed of the risks. That's how I read the verb "to caution" anyway.

skinnylicious Thu 28-Aug-14 21:51:42

There are many drugs that are used with caution in women of reproductive age because of the risks involved. Many women are unaware of their pregnancy during the early stages and no contraceptive method is 100% effective. Modern clinical trials do not routinely include pregnant women, therefore the dangers to this cohort are largely unknown. Nicotine should not be an exception. The advice is therefore entirely sensible.

CaptChaos Thu 28-Aug-14 21:53:43

Ok Anything, in that case, why didn't they 'caution' men of optimum reproductive age? Or older men? Or, in fact, men?

It's fine to give a group the benefit of the doubt, but this is the latest in a timeline of what people with wombs should and shouldn't be doing, regardless of what they are planning to do with their wombs, iyswim?

Blistory Thu 28-Aug-14 21:54:52

Women of reproductive age do not need to be informed of the risks. Women who are actively trying to conceive or who have conceived should be informed of the risks.

Why the assumption that women will reproduce ? It's this assumption that is harmful . We don't proffer advice to men on how to live their lives to produce optimum sperm at all times. We don't treat all men as potential baby machines and yet their sperm plays a crucial role in it.

Blistory Thu 28-Aug-14 21:55:27

x post with Capt

LineRunner Thu 28-Aug-14 21:56:48

Yes, the Walking Incubators shit is truly amongst us.

AuntieStella Thu 28-Aug-14 21:58:04

"How do you challenge WHO on stuff like this? "

The paper using this wording emanates from the WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control). UK is a state party to this, and the next convention is coming up in October this year. I'll see if I can find who leads on UK representation on this, but it's probably somewhere in the Dept of Health.

But I don't know what might be a successful line to take. They want everyone who smokes/vapes to stop, and no-one else to take it up. NHS material also targets women (using actual or possible pregnancy as a lever) but also men for fatherhood and older generation in case the become grandparents. They cast the net wide in the anti-smoking campaign, and some NHS bits could be quoted to look as if they are targeting just one demographic, one just like quoting one of the many papers from FCTC could look as if they was more attention on one group than others.

FCTC papers do not look at anything other than smoking, so are unlikely to be relevant to other WHO work on pregnancy (though of course would inform any measures on smoking and maternal health).

CaptChaos Thu 28-Aug-14 22:04:15

Great minds Blistory grin

StillFrigginRexManningDay Thu 28-Aug-14 22:12:57

I am of reproductive age but can no longer reproduce confused .

AnythingNotEverything Thu 28-Aug-14 22:15:10

I think they don't caution men because men aren't likely to damage a foetus living and growing inside them.

CaptChaos Thu 28-Aug-14 22:18:20

But nicotine damages sperm, so they probably should caution them, if we're giving the benefit of the doubt still.

AuntieStella Thu 28-Aug-14 22:19:19

The other way to challenge it, might be via the report which that sentence was based (handily had a footnote): this I've no idea how the US system works though, so don't know if tackling that end would work.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 28-Aug-14 22:22:26

"I think they don't caution men because men aren't likely to damage a foetus living and growing inside them."

Ah.

But all women between the ages of about 10 and 50 who aren't pregnant or trying to conceive do need to be cautioned on the basis that they are likely to do that? Even if they are categorically not actually going to get pregnant?

I see.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 28-Aug-14 22:22:49

It may do, but they aren't saying about the damage to sperm and eggs, they're talking about damage to a foetus.

Blistory Thu 28-Aug-14 22:23:31

I'm just as unlikely to damage a foetus living and growing inside me. But we are increasingly heading towards a time where I am expected to act as a potential mother for most of my life regardless of the fact that I have rejected that role entirely.

But then society doesn't know what to do with women like me who are capable of reproducing but choose not to. Instead all women must act, not in their interests, but in the interests of a potential person, yet to be conceived never mind born.

SevenZarkSeven Thu 28-Aug-14 22:25:29

Huh?

Sub-par sperm can lead to foetal abnormalities and miscarriage. Research is still far newer in this area than on things around the woman and her behaviour, presumably because things are usually the fault of women. But still , there is plenty of research that sub-par sperm cause all sorts of problems.

All men and boys of reproductive age should be cautioned, should they not?

SevenZarkSeven Thu 28-Aug-14 22:26:29

I mean, you know, if we want to be on the safe side.

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