1-in-3 women/girls

3 women, faces coveredThe setting:  The Annual Clinical Meeting (#ACM13) of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), New Orleans, LA, USA.  May 4-8, 2013.

The talk:  “Sex, Ideology, and Religion: How Family Planning Frees Women and Changes the World”, Malcolm Potts, MD.  (University of California at Berkeley)

Who is Malcolm Potts, MD?  He is a Cambridge-trained obstetrician and reproductive scientist who is highly and rightly acclaimed as an author, researcher, advocate and speaker on issues of sex, gender, biology, reproductive health and human rights. 

Who is Malcolm Potts, MD, indeed…and why the heck has he not yet given a TED talk?  He is the only person I have ever heard respond to the much lauded goal of the Gates Foundation and worldwide maternal health community to cut unintended pregnancies by 50% worldwide by 2020 with an unimpressed, “That’s not enough.  Why only 50%?”  Our world leaders would do well to listen to him.  Perhaps a new cabinet position:  Chief Obstetric Strategy Officer…or something like that. 

When the #ACM13 dust settles, I intend to watch the recording of his talk, as a full digestion of it and it’s citations was impossible on the first go ’round.  But I couldn’t sit on my hands in the meantime.  There was one recurring theme in his talk that compelled me to write today:  1-in-3.

Already known to me and not addressed in his talk:

1-in-3 US women have at least ‘light’ urinary incontinence

1-in-3 women are delivering by C-section

1-in-3 women have persistent Diastasis Recti at 5-7 weeks postpartum (a weakening of the linea alba, a vertical line of abdominal connective tissue that is the attachment site for the abdominal muscles)  

1-in-3 women have damage (avulsion) of the pelvic floor muscles after vaginal delivery 

Known to me in part or in full, but key in Dr. Potts’ talk:

1-in-3 women worldwide is raped, beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime

1-in-3 women will have an induced abortion in her lifetime

1-in-3 girls in the developing world are married before the age of 18

1-in-3 is a lot.  It means that without a doubt, one or more of these stats touches your life.  Which means that it is more than just a dry, lifeless statistic.  1 in 3 is why there is a need for Share MayFlowers.

What does “1-in-3” mean to you?  Please let us know in the comments section, via email (info@sharemayflowers.org), on our Facebook page, or via Twitter. Want to show you’re in to help make a difference? Buy a #PelvicMafia T-shirt or Share MayFlowers flower accessory!

-Jessica McKinney, PT, MS, Founder Share MayFlowers, Executive Director of Women’s ACTION Initiative


2 thoughts on “1-in-3 women/girls

  1. Jessica- This is a great post, and so true! I am often surprised by how shocked my patients are that there are other women experiencing the same things they are! Definitely sharing this post on our blog!

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