Posts tagged with: birth control

Sex education versus abstinence only education

Photograph showing rolled up condom
Image via Wikipedia

I am a Christian woman.
I support waiting to have sex until a person is married.
HOWEVER, I know the majority of people do not believe the way that I do.
I fully believe in educating the majority – those who choose to have sex outside of marriage.

My long-term goal is to go into HIV/AID education prevention … internationally … in places where sex more often than not happens before, after, during and outside of marriage. I want to work in HIV/AIDS prevention with communities and cultures where condoms are taboo. I want to work with women who feel as though they have no say in their own sex life. I want to educate these women on the fact that they have a choice. They can fight.

I recently watched The Education of Shelby Knox on NetFlix (onDemand … oh how I love thee!) and connected so deeply to Shelby’s motivations and goals that I would like to meet her in person to speak with her, to hug her, to offer her my full support as a woman a decade older than her. This week’s goal is to find a way to reach her and let her know that I fully support the works she is involved in to see what else I can do to further the mission that we both share. One of the quotes, from the movie (that I stayed up until 1am to finish!) that clearly resonated was: “God cannot use blind followers.” My eyes are open wide, and I hope that yours will be, too.

Just because I am a Christian woman does not mean that I believe you can’t TEACH sexual education. Abstinence only education does not work – it has been proven time and time again. Abstinence education ALONG with condom and other forms of birth control use on the other on hand has been shown to reduce teen pregnancy, reduce the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs), but still, it is rarely taught within the public education system. This needs to change.

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Indonesian condom theives

Flickr crisis
Image by Bartek Kuzia via Flickr

I keep being linked to this hilarious, but still quite serious, article.

Indonesian robbers steal thousands of condoms, birth control pills from woman’s health office both makes me angry and makes me giggle.

I have a hard time imagining a bunch of people robbing a clinic for birth control pills and running out with thousands of condoms, but the seriousness behind it makes me almost angry. Birth control pills are expensive for Americans, I’m sure they’re equally, if not more expensive for Indonesian women. The article mentions that birth control is legal in Indonesia, but it’s still got to be expensive and could have gone to better use.

Unless the thieves were stealing the birth control pills to give away to low-income women, then I’m all for robbing the clinics! (Okay, not really, but still. You get the point!)

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You can’t get pregnant if …

Combined oral contraceptives. Introduced in 19...
Image via Wikipedia

share your pregnancy myths with me for a chance to be featured in an upcoming WEGO Health birth control newsletter!

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Have a pregnancy myth and want to be famous?

(FILE PHOTO)  In this handout photo, a model w...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I want your pregnancy myths.Share them here and be featured in the WEGO Health birth control newsletter!

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7 things Obama could do for women’s health

U.S. News headquarters at Washington, D.C.
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I don’t regularly blog about politics, but after reading a US News & World Report article (7 Things Obama’s Win Could Mean for Women’s Health), I had to join in on the virtual fist-bumping. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood has high hopes for this Democratic President-elect and hopes to see seven changes with regards to women’s health.

  1. No more federal funds for abstinence-only education. Did you know that schools that promise to only teach abstinence only education receive federal funding that other schools didn’t? This could change.
  2. No more global gag rule. US federally funded clinics in other countries are not allowed to perform abortions or even provide referrals for full family planning services. This could change.
  3. Better covereage for contraception and pregnancy. Many prescription drug plans still don’t cover contraceptives but hopefully with a new health plan proposal, coverage will be mandatory. Kotz writes “I’m also curious to see whether Obama reverses a Medicaid rule that last year stopped allowing discounted birth control pills to be dispensed on college campuses.” I am, too. This could change.
  4. Reversal of the “conscience” regulation that threatens women’s access to birth control. Medical providers will no longer be able to “opt out” of performing practices that they personally find “morally objectionable”. This could change.
  5. Increases in funding for reproductive health clinics serving [the] uninsured. “[Planned Parenthood is] currently meeting the needs of 3 million women, but an additional 14 million who need our services aren’t getting them.” This could change.
  6. Fixing gender disparities in health insurance premiums. The National Women’s Lawe Center recently discovered that women are charged 4 to 48 percent more than a man for insurance. This is absurd. This could change.
  7. Improved access to morning after pills and abortions for US military women serving overseas. I was stunned to read that “women who become pregnant while serving oversears are immediately shipped home.” Military hospitals are unable to provide the services many women want or need. This could change.
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Your birth control pill isn’t making you fat

Not pregnant
Image by blmurch via Flickr

Have you read? Hormonal birth control pills do not cause weight gain? It might be the fact that you’re getting older, you’re eating more or you’re exercising less, but your birth control pills are not the reason your pants feel too tight today.

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First-time birth control recommendation

Image of vaginal birth control device NuvaRing
Image via Wikipedia

Recently one of my health writing bosses approached me about her own daughter’s birth control options. I was honored to be asked for my advice, and I thought that I would share here what I shared in an email.

“As a first-time birth control user, I’d recommend she use condoms and a birth control pill. The pill was a “reminder” to me that I had to use another method to be safe from STIs, and it taught me to keep my own sexual health in mind every single day. If your daughter worries about remembering to take the pill, a few suggestions of mine are to set a cell phone alarm clock and carry your pills in your purse (so you can take one when the alarm goes off), take it when you brush your teeth (at night or in the morning) or leave it on the corner of your bed, and as you get into bed, take it then (that’s my method).

If she really is against remembering to take something, the NuvaRing or the Ortho-Evra patch are other “three-weeks in/on”-“one-week out/off” that are discrete and effective.

I’m not a fan of recommending the depo shot as a first method of birth control as it offers no STI protection and there are oftentimes some heavy side effects that come with it.”

Whatever methods of birth control you are looking at, I recommend you check out WEGOHealth’s birth control pages forthorough, unbiased information.

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Pregnancy Pact Prompts Pill Promotion

The facade of Glouce...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I read an interesting story about June’s news on the “pregnancy pacts that occurred at Gloucester High School. The whole story just boggles my mind; but that’s me. Do you remember the story? 17 teen girls from one high school ended up pregnant – so that they could be pregnant together. Anyway, the whole point of this blog was that ‘Pregnancy Pact’ Prompts High School to Hand out Birth Control. I am encouraged that a situation with such drastic results has ended up in a positive position.

Reading that story made me think about what I believe with regards to birth control and teenagers.

I believe that birth control should be offered in high schools. I also believe that education about birth control should be mandatory. Without the education part of that equation, I don’t think that condoms or birth control methods should be offered within a high school, but with the proper education, most teenagers can figure out the best method for their own sexual protection.

Expect a quick blog post here shortly about my own birth control recommendations for high schoolers.

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Paid Focus Group for Birth Control Users

A model wears clothes made...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Paid Focus Group for Birth Control Users

WEGO Health is a new consumer health website and we are running focus groups on Wednesday, October 8th, for women who are currently using birth control, or have in the past. Focus groups will be held at 12 Noon Eastern Time, 4pm ET, 6pm ET and 8pm ET.

Please note: These groups will take one hour and will require participants to be online and on the phone at the same time. Participants should also be able to view streaming video on their computers.

We are looking for women who:

1) Are between 24 and 35 years of age
2) Are currently on prescription birth control or have been in the past (prescription birth control includes pills, the patch, the ring, IUDs, and others)
3) Stay current on available birth control options through research
4) Are active contributors or frequent visitors to healthcare communities

If you are interested, please email and include the following information:

1) Your name
2) Your phone number (there will be a brief phone screen)
3) Where you do your health and/or birth control research (names of websites, online communities, books, etc)
4) Focus group time slots that will work for you (12 Noon Eastern Time, 4pm ET, 6pm ET, or 8pm ET) on Wednesday, October 8th (Please list your top two choices)
5) SarahLiz from WEGOHealth sent you

Compensation: $25 gift certificate.

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Blocking women’s healthcare access

Filmmaker Michael Moore...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

After reading an article about the government being able to block access to women’s health care that a friend pointed me to, I am honestly at a loss for words. I can’t get over what the Bush administration thinks they can get away with.

Why the outrage? A new possible law “… would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.”

Excuse me?

No. I read that right. If my doctor doesn’t want to prescribe birth control pills, insert an IUD, or even talk to me about sexual practices, she wouldn’t have to. I went to her for health advice, but since I’m not married and want to talk sex, she is legally protected in telling me “I can’t help you.” Speechless, I tell you.

What about the women who can’t afford to go find another doctor who is willing to talk to them? What about the doctors who are willing to talk to you and then have schedules so filled you can’t get in for three months? What about emergency contraception for rape victims. WHAT ABOUT THE PATIENTS? While I understand that doctors have consciences, they agreed to “do no harm” to a patient. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, not providing women with safe options, is harmful. Things don’t mesh.

I would love to wax eloquent with my anger towards the balls of the Bush administration, but I can’t; I’m that enraged. What are they thinking? Really? Seriously?

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