From the Editor
Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologic Problems Continue During the COVID-19 PandemicGreetings, dear readers, from shelter-in-place COVID-19 land, a very different place from where we all were (literally, and figuratively) when I wrote my last editorial on Pediatric and adolescent gynecology (PAG) in the time of a pandemic. Most of us are still reeling from the many changes that COVID-19 infections have necessitated.
Pronouns and PAGI confess that I really enjoy grammar, and have a passion for the English language and its words, phrases, clauses, sentences and parts of speech. I attribute this to my mother's similar enthusiasm, no doubt inculcated in me at a young age. When I started to learn to speak French in elementary school, I remember being puzzled that French nouns had grammatical gender. Why are some French nouns feminine (the table, la table) and others masculine (a book, un livre)? It doesn't make sense to me, and to this day I struggle in my attempts to learn the grammatical gender of nouns in other languages.
Vulnerable AdolescentsReading the titles of the articles in this issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (JPAG), the concept of adolescent vulnerability comes to mind. I am far from an expert on this topic that includes various models of health and risk behavior, but my colleagues in adolescent medicine and psychology have taught me several things: that there is a relationship between adolescent development and the development of poor health outcomes; that there are subpopulations of adolescents who might be particularly vulnerable to morbidities and mortality; and that behavioral risk factors contribute to those vulnerabilities.
Dilators for the VajayjayI have long been on a campaign to use anatomically correct names for body parts. My daughter will attest that she knew about her vagina from a young age; when we were teaching her the names of other body parts, I made sure to also talk about her vagina. I can say that she was as proud of her vagina as her younger brothers were about their penises. But those of us who see young girls for gynecologic concerns may need to ask moms about the colloquial words that are used in their family to describe the female genitals.
A Research Agenda for Adolescent Menstrual CyclesYes, I'm talking about menstrual cycles—again. I'm back on my soapbox, addressing the importance of the menstrual cycle. This time, it's prompted by an excellent review in this issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (JPAG) from Carlson and Shaw, “Development of ovulatory menstrual cycles in adolescent girls,” that deserves your attention.1 The authors summarize what we know about the anovulatory cycles that occur during the early gynecologic years—the first few years after menarche.
Conflicts of Interest and Trust in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent GynecologyI state at the outset: there is no scandal brewing at the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (JPAG). Yet my editorial is prompted by an article in the Sunday New York Times (Times), titled, “‘Broken’ system lets doctors omit industry ties in journals.”1 This piece raises concerns about the influence of pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech companies on medical research. In the article on the front page of the Times, a number of prominent physicians are called out for having failed to disclose financial relationships when their studies were published in medical journals as prominent as the New England Journal of Medicine.
Menstrual Cycles: Who Cares? We All ShouldThe first and most obvious answer to the question, “Who cares about menstrual cycles?” is that at least half of the world's population cares. In keeping with my penchant for true facts, as opposed to alternative ones, I fact-checked that percentage and found that according to data from the United Nations Population Division, reported by the World Bank, in 2017, women made up 49.558% of the world's population—basically close enough to half.1 Menstruation is a defining event for women, and its onset signals the beginning of the potential for reproduction.
Fired Up, Ready to Go-- Pediatric and Adolescent GynecologyIn my editorials for this journal, I get the opportunity to address the universe of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (PAG) specialists—you, dear Readers. As I write my editorial today, I am returning from the Annual Clinical and Research Meeting (ACRM) of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG). I have attended this meeting almost every year since 1988, and invariably, when I return to my home institution, I am “fired up, ready to go”.
What You Need to Know about Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology: Clinically Relevant Reviews Published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent GynecologyThe Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (JPAG) is the premier journal of the specialty of pediatric and adolescent gynecology. It is the official journal of the North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and of the International Federation of Infant and Juvenile Gynecology. The journal publishes articles on topics related to prepubertal and adolescent girls. Clinicians who care for these girls also frequently care for young adult women as well. We are now talking more about issues that affect adolescents and young adults.
Adolescent Reproductive Health Without Planned ParenthoodHow would the health of adolescents in the United States be affected if Planned Parenthood (PP) were to be “defunded”? I know that in writing about this possible eventuality and the problems it would cause for adolescents and young adults that we care for and care about, I risk angering some of my colleagues who firmly believe that this “defunding” would be a very positive thing. And honestly, I hesitated briefly before writing this editorial for that reason. There are also people who believe that there would be little effect on girls' and women's health if PP were to go away—that that other publicly-funded clinics would be able to provide care.
Adolescents and Contraception: The Updated US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive UseThe Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology marks and celebrates the release of the latest update to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, often referred to as the US MEC, and its companion, the US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use, the US SPR. The North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology has endorsed these documents. This issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology includes an excellent, timely, and thorough mini-review by Drs Andrea Hoopes, Katharine Simmons, Emily Godfrey, and Gina Sucato,1 which highlights the recommendations contained in these documents as they pertain to our adolescent patients.
Greetings from the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent GynecologyGreetings, esteemed friends and colleagues. In the last issue of the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (JPAG) in 2016, after serving nearly 30 years as the journal's Editor-in-Chief, Dr Joe Sanfilippo published his last editorial as Editor-in-Chief of JPAG. He graciously thanked the many others who have contributed to the journal's growth and success. He described the vision of the founding fathers and mothers of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (aka NASPAG) that the society needed a journal.