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Feminization and Stigmatization of Infertility in Malawi

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ISBN: 9782940600168 DOI: 10.4000/books.iheid.7597 Language: English
Publisher: Graduate Institute Publications
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2020-09-09 12:19:30
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Abstract

The World Health Organization defines infertility as the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular and unprotected sex (WHO, 1975). Despite research that has shown that 50 per cent of infertility cases can be attributed to the male partner, in many societies the blame is cast on the woman, her voice silenced, and any action taken by the man deemed justifiable. Infertility affects millions of people across Sub-Saharan Africa, and in a socio-cultural context where children are valued as a source of wealth for the family, perceived infertility can result in neglect, abuse, marital instability, banishment, discrimination and social stigma (Barden-O’Fallon, 2005). The topic of infertility is often considered to be a taboo subject, with women being accused of witchcraft, prior abortions or prostitution. Malawi is a small country in Central-East Africa, bordered by Tanzania and Mozambique, with a population of 18 million, 85 percent of which resides in rural areas. Similarly to other countries in the region, fertility is highly desired and valued. Malawi’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined over the years, but still sits relatively high, at 5.49 children per woman as of 2017 (Index Mundi, 2018). In demographic discourse, this declining fertility rate is often celebrated as a sign of the country moving towards a more industrialized economic system. However, this rhetoric on demographic transition invisibilizes the social and psychological consequences of infertility, experienced in varying contexts. This thesis will examine the social stigmatization and feminization of infertility in Malawi, and specifically how stigma is understood and managed in the context of socio-cultural perceptions of infertility, within the local ecology of Malawi, as well as its effect on lived experiences and gender identities. Data was collected from four participant groups – infertile women, religious leaders, health workers, and community members through interviews, discussion groups, and informal conversation. The empirical findings demonstrate that infertility does not exist solely as a biological or physiological condition, requiring a biomedical approach, but rather encompasses emotional, social, cultural, religious and economic spheres. As such, the approach to infertility response must also include these spheres, focusing not only on preventive measures but also addressing stigma, patriarchal structures, gender inequality, poverty, and sexual and reproductive health knowledge. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Vahabzadeh Foundation for financially supporting the publication of best works by young researchers of the Graduate Institute, giving a priority to those who have been awarded academic prizes for their master’s dissertations.

Keywords

sociology --- women --- stigma --- discrimination --- infertility

Barren Women. Religion and Medicine in the Medieval Middle East

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Book Series: Islam – Thought, Culture, and Society ISSN: 2628-4286 ISBN: 9783110596588 Year: Volume: 2 Pages: 324 DOI: 10.1515/9783110596588 Language: English
Publisher: De Gruyter
Subject: Religion --- History --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2020-05-08 10:43:54
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This book explores the ramifications of being infertile in the medieval Arab-Islamic world by examining legal texts, medical treatises, and works of religious preaching. Sara Verskin illuminates how attitudes toward mixed-gender interactions legal theories pertaining to marriage, divorce, and inheritance and scientific theories of reproduction contoured the intellectual and social landscape infertile women had to navigate.

microRNA Regulation in Health and Disease

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ISBN: 9783039217144 9783039217151 Year: Pages: 154 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-715-1 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology --- Genetics
Added to DOAB on : 2020-04-07 23:07:08
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs that play a crucial role in posttranscriptional gene regulation. Over two thousand miRNAs have been identified in humans, and many of them are conserved in other species. miRNAs are implicated in fundamental cellular functions, including development and disease. In the last decade, there has been an overwhelming amount of data contributing to the understanding of miRNA biogenesis and their target genes. Moreover, a significant amount of work has been carried out in developing miRNA biomarkers and therapeutics for various disease conditions. RNA-based markers and therapeutics have been proven to have a clinical impact, and many of these miRNA-based therapies are at various stages of human clinical trials and clinical applications. Notably, miRNAs are also found in exosomes, and are considered to impart intercellular communication and function via several different modalities, including tunneling nanotubes. In spite of our understanding of miRNA biology and function, there are many challenges in effectively using miRNAs as biomarkers and therapeutic agents in clinical applications. In this Special Issue, we are inviting reviews, perspectives, and original research articles to address some of these challenges. Topics will include, but are not limited to, miRNA biogenesis, clinical applications, extracellular function, biomarkers, miRNA immune regulation, signaling pathways, and preclinical models.

Molecular Research of Endometrial Pathophysiology

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ISBN: 9783039214952 9783039214969 Year: Pages: 378 DOI: 10.3390/books978-3-03921-496-9 Language: English
Publisher: MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Subject: Social Sciences --- Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-09 16:10:12
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The endometrium has been the subject of intense research in a variety of clinical settings, because of its importance in the reproductive process and its role in women’s health. In the past 15 years, significant efforts have been invested in defining the molecular phenotype of the receptive phase endometrium as well as of various endometrial pathologies. Although this has generated a wealth of information on the molecular landscape of human endometrium, there is a need to complement this information in light of the novel methodologies and innovative technical approaches. The focus of this International Journal of Molecular Sciences Special Issue is on molecular and cellular mechanisms of endometrium and endometrium-related disorders. The progress made in the molecular actions of steroids, in the metabolism of steroids and intracrinology, in endometrial intracellular pathways, in stem cells biology, as well as in the molecular alterations underlying endometrium-related pathologies has been the focus of the reviews and papers included.

Keywords

RANK --- endometrium --- endometrial cancer --- prognosis --- immunohistochemistry --- gene expression --- endometriosis --- developmental pathway --- pathogenomics --- mesenchymal stem cells --- endometrial cancer --- mtDNA mutations --- deficit of complex I --- antioxidant response --- mitochondrial biogenesis --- mitochondrial dynamics --- mitophagy --- miRNA --- lncRNAs --- endometrial cancer --- endometriosis --- chronic endometritis --- cell contacts --- tight junction --- adherens junction --- gap junction --- endometrium --- implantation --- decidualization --- endometriosis --- endometrial cancer --- liquid biopsy --- uterine aspirate --- circulating tumour cells (CTCs) --- circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) --- exosomes --- Vitamin D --- endometrium --- endometrial cancer --- endometrial cancer --- preclinical models --- translational research --- endometrial cancer --- type II endometrial carcinoma --- targeted therapy --- kinase inhibitor --- molecular marker --- protein kinase --- protein phosphatase --- PP2A --- PPP2R1A --- SMAP --- endometriosis --- infertility --- niche --- inflammation --- immunomodulation --- mesenchymal stem cell --- orthoxenograft --- uterine cancer --- avatar --- murine models --- personalized medicine --- targeted therapy --- preclinical studies --- translational research --- endometriosis --- TRP channels --- endometrial stromal cells --- eutopic and ectopic endometrium --- endometrial cell --- pathway --- proliferation --- decidualization --- migration --- angiogenesis --- regeneration --- breakdown --- implantation --- endometrial cancer --- orthotopic xenograft model --- estrogen dependent --- bioluminescence imaging --- contrast-enhanced CT scan --- endometrium --- adult stem cells --- endometrial regeneration --- stem cell markers --- endometriosis --- endometrial cancer --- decidualisation --- oestradiol --- aromatase --- testosterone --- dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) --- endometriosis --- endometrial cancer --- sulfatase --- endometriosis --- ectopic stroma --- microRNA --- small RNA sequencing --- EDN1 --- HOXA10 --- miR-139-5p --- miR-375 --- CTCF --- tumour suppressor gene --- haploinsufficiency --- zinc finger --- CRISPR/Cas9 --- cancer --- endometrial cancer --- gene editing --- phosphoinositide 3-kinase --- PIK3CA --- PIK3CB --- p110? --- p110? --- endometrial cancer --- LGR5 --- endometrium --- endometriosis --- menstrual cycle --- macrophages

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