Okay, so it seems from your questions and emails that lots of you are interested in IUDs. Many you all have shared your IUD stories:
This makes me happy that there is so much interest about IUDs - which, by the way, are one of the most effective of all available contraceptives. For those of you who use IUDs, my question to you is... how do you know your IUD is still in place? Read More...
In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we should all pledge to do to our part to help protect the Earth. Perhaps you may want to live a "greener" lifestyle. Could that include your choice of birth control? You bet it does! I, am also a huge proponent of recycling - yet what should you do with condoms? In the most literal sense, both male condoms and female condoms CANNOT be recycled... meaning, they can ONLY be used ONE time (some women believe that they can wash out the female condom and use it again - this is not true or recommended).
Okay, well now that I have established that condom use shouldn't be recycled, how about the condom itself? Unfortunately, there are no recycling programs for condoms. This begs the question, where do our used condoms go? Read More...
I remember one Easter Sunday a few years ago when I was attending my brother-in-law's Easter dinner. Overall, it was a lovely evening full of family, friends, food and fun. All of the children had a blast... after dinner (where they had their own table to play with their food and make fun of the adults), they first embarked on a super wild Easter egg hunt (I don't think there was one pillow left unturned or one drawer that was not opened!). Then, they had fun hiding their Easter baskets for one another as each took pleasure in searching for their assigned basket. Finally, a lavish dessert came. Needless to say, after being in charge of their own table, a separate egg and basket excavation, and scrumptious, sugary desserts, it was almost as if a hurricane had blown through my brother-in-law's house.
Once the majority of guest had left, he and I were talking and he jokingly asked, "What happened to my house?" In my oh-so-clever wisdom, I answered... "Birth control showed up!" Read More...
Did you know that condoms that don't fit properly are more likely to slip off, break and (hold your breath here) decrease the pleasure of both partners during sex? Yep, these are some of the reasons keeping people away from using condoms -- and not using condoms greatly undermines all the public health benefits they could provide. Trying to help the poor condom out, Crosby et al. conducted research (the first of its kind I might add) using an event-specific analysis to examine the effect of ill-fitting condoms on several aspects of sexual functioning. Hmm? Sound interesting?
This was a pretty intriguing study. Read More...
At sundown tonight, the week of Passover begins. This is probably one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays. Passover commemorates the biblical story of Exodus, when Hebrew slaves were released from bondage in Egypt. Jewish people everywhere will sit down at there dinner tables and retell the ancient-old Passover story at their Seder. One of the hallmarks of this holiday is highlighting how Jewish people do things differently during Passover. In fact, the youngest member at the Seder asks "the four questions" in hopes to have them answered ... basically, there is only one main question that seeks to find out why this night is different from all other nights? As the Seder continues, each of the four answers will explain why something is done differently during Passover.
To give you an idea of some actions that may be stopped during Passover... on all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza (so, no bread-eating or chametz is allowed). On all other nights, we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining (yes, we are relaxing at this dinner table!). Passover is a story about freedom. The Jewish people take time to reflect upon their days as slaves and then rejoice that they are now free. Part of this reflection is realizing that we are no longer prisoners... that we are free to make choices about how to live our lives. Passover also recognizes that spring is here. A time when many people feel renewed and restored. This got me thinking (I know, a scary thought)... Read More...
For many high school students across the nation, its finally time for Prom! A time to get a pretty dress, buy corsages, rent limos, and try to convince mom and dad to stay out all night long. This is also a time that many teens may be considering having sex for the first time. Thinking about having sex may be stressful and scary for many teens because it may mean having to think about how to prevent an unintended pregnancy. You may already know about birth control, or you many not have a clue about your contraceptive options. Although talking about birth control may be embarrassing, if you can't talk to your partner about this, then maybe you aren't ready to have sex.
Did you know that 1 in 5 girls become pregnant in the US before the age of 20? Read More...
Given that menstruation and wanting to prevent pregnancy are not diseases and since the birth control pill is not a dangerous medicine, do women really need to obtain a prescription to purchase the pill? When you think about it, there is no real risk of drug abuse... if you take too many pills, you're more likely to being throwing-up -- not getting high.
Is the FDA taking the best stance on this issue, or is prescription-status of the pill making it more difficult for women to use and pay for it? Read More...
IUDs are flexible devices that are inserted into the uterus. This contraceptive method is long-lasting, reversible and safe. There are two types of IUDS for you to choose between: the ParaGard (a nonhormonal option - good for 10 years) or Mirena (a low-dose progestin option - good for 5 years).
IUD popularity is on the rise - probably due to the fact that outside of permanent sterilization, IUDs are arguably the most effective contraceptives around. Although this is great news for many women, it is important to point out that IUDs are not foolproof. Read More...
So, do you think you know everything you need to know about condoms? Believe it or not, people hold onto some pretty crazy notions about this easily accessible, over-the-counter birth control option. Bill Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, cautions that even though,
"Technology has greatly expanded the number of contraception options available, let's not forget that condoms, one of the original contraceptive methods, still offer the most effective and varied protection."
What does Mr. Smith mean by this statement?
Well, the point he is emphasizing is that not only are condoms effective as a means of contraception, they are also the ONLY birth control option that also offers protection against sexually transmitted infections. This is an important piece of condom information to understand as there are still many misconceptions about condoms and STI prevention.
For example, I recently received the following email from Ariana:
"Dawn, please help me! My friend and I have been debating this issue and we need your help to settle it. I am trying to convince her that it is important that she uses condoms even though she is on the pill. She often has multiple, casual partners and I am concerned that she may get a STD. She told me that she has looked into it and though condoms may help protect against HIV, they don't really offer protection from the more common STDs like those that are spread through skin-to-skin contact or the bacterial ones. This doesn't seem right to me. What does the research say?"
With some many women traveling and vacationing due to Spring Break, it is important to keep in mind that differences in time zones may compromise the effectiveness of your birth control pill.
Typically, most birth control pills have about a 1-2 hour window period where effectiveness is not compromised. Yet, the the most important point to remember is that you will have maximum protection as long as you take the pill at about the same time everyday.
- If Traveling Between Time Zones, When Should I Take the Pill?
- Birth Control Travel Tips
- How To Use Birth Control Pills
- Ways to Prevent Oral Contraceptive Failure
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Travel Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Office