The Observer

Menstrual and contraceptive health panel comes to CWRU

Anna Giubileo, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Women want and need more information regarding vaginal health.” This is the main sentiment behind the “Breaking The Silence: A Menstrual and Contraceptive Health Panel” as shared by panelist Dr. Anthony Tizzano.

The panel was hosted by Period. @CWRU, a relatively new student-run organization on campus. It is an affiliate of the global organization, whose goal is to both get rid of stigma surrounding menstruation as well as host product drives and fundraisers.

The first speaker at the panel was Dr. Anthony Tizzano, a clinical professor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine for the past 25 years. His talk, titled “Contraception for a New Millenium” examined the stigmas, misconceptions and current literature surrounding the different types of birth control.

“The vagina kind of gets short shrifted in literature … At any given time there are 27 million current accounts of sex around the world. That is 30,000 ejaculations a second, 1.5 billion sperm trying to get to those eggs. Contraception is important,” Dr Tizzano said.

He focused his talk on looking at oral contraceptives as compared to both the vaginal ring and intrauterine devices (IUDs). In summary, oral contraceptives are not effective for the majority of women because they deliver inconsistent amounts of hormones over the course of a day, and it is extremely easy to miss doses. Vaginal rings and IUDs are both much more consistent in the levels of hormone delivery, but what puts IUDs a step above the vaginal ring is their efficacy: there is an error rate of 0.5 percent on average.

“To bleed or not to bleed—that is the question,” said Dr Tizzano to end his presentation. He explained that it is perfectly okay for some women to not have their periods every month, and that each person should evaluate for themselves whether or not taking contraceptives is a path they will follow.

The next presenter was Michelle Gotto, a graduate student studying public health and bioethics with an emphasis in reproductive health and ethics. Her presentation was “Periods in Pop Culture (Or, Menstruation in the Media).”

Gotto focused her talk on the stigmas women face, especially those in the United States.

“Around the world women and girls are stigmatized simply for having their periods.”

One of her examples was what happened to the poet Rupi Kaur, whose photograph of period blood-stained sheets was censored by Instagram.

She also raised awareness of the need for increased research into periods and period blood, an area that has been largely neglected by the scientific community.

The final speaker was Hannoud Al Moghrabi, professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at CWRU, with her presentation “Women’s Health Challenges.”

She discussed how feminism plays a role in women’s health, and how the medical field needs to work with women, not for women, and take a heterogeneous approach, since women’s bodies, symptoms and reactions differ from one to the next.

“A woman does have the right to control her own fertility and she needs access to information, service and psychological support for herself,” shared Al Moghrabi.

She pointed out in her talk that there is a great disparity in access to medical care faced by disadvantaged communities due to discriminatory practices and policies.

Al Morghrabi closed her section of the program by saying that “family planning and birth control supported by funding policies and research will help every child be a wanted child.”

The program ended with a question and answer session, when the audience could send in anonymous questions for the presenters to answer. These ranged from why women go on birth control to help with period cramps—because the birth control can alleviate the cramps by thinning the uterine lining or discontinuing the periods altogether—to why girls today have been getting their periods earlier than decades past—due in part to an increase in body mass index and fat in diets, as well as a correlation with the hormones found in milk products.

Overall, the event worked to create a space for discussion of periods, the stigma surrounding them and the transmittance of information about vaginal health. It was widely attended by students and faculty alike.

About the Writer
Anna Giubileo, Staff Reporter

Anna Giubileo is a first-year majoring psychology and neuroscience. She is from California, so she is severely underprepared for an Ohio winter, but still...

Leave a Comment

In an effort to promote dialogue and the sharing of ideas, The Observer encourages members of the university community to respectfully voice their comments below. Comments that fail to meet the standards of respect and mutual tolerance will be removed as necessary.




Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source
Menstrual and contraceptive health panel comes to CWRU