This week we caught up with Lauren Kendall Graham, a junior majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. Lauren and her mentor, Dr. Sarah Maness, received a SURF 2021 grant to co-author and conduct the “Do You Want a Period?” campaign. This project was created to gather data concerning women’s knowledge concerning contraceptives.
“So many women are unaware that the withdrawal bleeding that happens at the end of the birth control pill cycle is unnecessary. Contraceptives can change a woman’s period or can sometimes prevent her from having one at all. This study consisted of an interview that determined the extent of the interviewee’s familiarity with contraceptives as well as what would appeal best to them in a campaign. My main role was to recruit and interview participants, as well as co-author sections of the manuscript. This research is important to me as I plan on pursuing a career in women’s health,” Lauren told us.
This opportunity was important to Lauren because she hopes “to attend medical school and, after [her] residency, practice within the field of women’s health.”
“I am extremely interested in the current issues that are relevant to women’s health in the United States and further globally. I feel that my research with the Women’s Health Research Team is helping me to prepare for issues and phenomena that I will definitely encounter throughout my career,” Lauren shared with us.
Lauren felt that this project in particular is important because “I feel that there is a stigma surrounding women’s health issues. People my age feel uncomfortable when I bring up issues or current legislation that concern women’s health or reproductive rights. I feel that my work on these projects helps me to communicate better with my peers, most of whom are women, that our health issues and complications are normal topics and that we should not be embarrassed to discuss them. The more I study women’s health, the more work I find that needs to be done. Most women do not understand contraceptives or know about the multitude of options that are available regarding their reproductive health. I want my generation to become informed and empowered about their freedom and options concerning their sexual health.”
Thank you to Lauren for sharing your SURF 2021 experience for conducting this important work! Attached is a photo from Lauren’s project.