- President Obama, ever the pacifist, is kowtowing to the demands of Catholic bishops who care more about their dogma than the health and livelihoods of women. (MSNBC)
- Planned Parenthood is OK with the president making the concession though — whatever it takes to ensure women have access to birth control, we’re on board! (ABC News)
- Speaking of birth control, you can credit the drop in teen pregnancy and abortions to it. (WebMD)
- The Arizona Legislature (with the help of the Center for Arizona Policy) is coming out with guns blazing against choice this year. Again. (Tucson Citizen)
- Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini notes the hypocrisy of our legislature’s seemingly immense care and concern for fetuses while lacking the same for actual born children. (AZ Central)
- Planned Parenthood: Prioritizing the health and safety of black women. (HuffPo)
- Rather than, say, creating jobs and passing legislation that will resuscitate the current economy, Congress seems to be solely focused on taking down reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. (The Hill)
- Just what we don’t need — the Old Boys’ Club dictating “wisdom” on contraceptive coverage. (RH Reality Check)
- Students at a Pennsylvania college can now access emergency contraception via a vending machine! (CNN)
Posted in Rundowns
Tagged Arizona, birth control, bishops, Catholic, Catholics, Center for Arizona Policy, contraception, contraceptives, health care, Planned Parenthood, religion, teen pregnancy, the Pill
Failure to take birth control pills properly can cause a lot of anxiety, and even lead to pregnancy. For best results, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Oral contraceptives (also known as birth control pills or BCPs) are used to prevent pregnancy. Taken properly, they are about 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. They are even more effective when used in combination with other birth-control methods, such as condoms.
There are many different brands of birth control pills. Most contain a combination of the two female hormones estrogen and progesterone, but there are some BCPs that only contain progesterone. These different brands may need to be taken in slightly different ways and may have different benefits and risks, but whichever type you use, it’s very important to take them properly to get the most benefit.
You cannot take a birth control pill only when you remember to or just after you’ve had a sexual encounter — they must be taken daily.
First of all, it’s important to know which oral contraceptive you are taking. These pills usually come in packs of 21, 28, or 91 tablets and need to be taken daily.
- Packs of 21: Take one pill each day until all 21 are gone, then don’t take a pill for seven days – this is when you should have your period. After seven days off, start a new pack of 21 pills.
- Packs of 28: Take one pill each day, and when you finish with the pack start a new pack the next day. Sometimes these packs have pills with different colors that contain different doses of the hormones or inactive ingredients, vitamins, or minerals. They must be taken in order.
- Packs of 91: The 91-tablet pack is larger and may contain three trays – take one pill each day until all 91 pills have been taken and then start the new pack of 91 pills the next day. Continue reading
Posted in Birth Control
Tagged antibiotics, birth control, condoms, contraception, contraceptives, drug interactions, estrogen, oral contraception, oral contraceptives, progesterone, side effects, smoking, the Pill
Condoms are the only contraceptive device that does double duty in preventing pregnancy and STI transmission. But will men’s birth-control options expand?
Many have wondered why there is not a male equivalent to the Pill. The short answer to this question is that the release of one egg is easier to prevent than the flow of millions of sperm. The longer answer to that question includes a litany of failures in the search for such technology. Currently, however, there are some interesting developments in male birth control.
The condom, of course, is the only birth-control method to do double duty in reducing risk for both pregnancy and STI transmission, but many heterosexually active males would like more options than the tried-and-true rubber, and their female partners, despite having expanded contraceptive options – including the Pill, the patch, and the IUD – might prefer for the men in their lives to help shoulder the birth-control burden.
One method under investigation is ultrasound, a technology that has been around for quite some time. Though scientists have been aware of its contraceptive potential since at least the 1970s, most studies have been conducted on nonhuman animals (though human trials could be on the horizon). Ultrasound involves the application of high-frequency sound waves to animal tissue, which can absorb the sound waves’ energy as heat. The possibility for ultrasound’s use for contraception operates on the idea that briefly heating the testes, which in mammals are normally kept a few degrees below core body temperature, can halt sperm production, leading to temporary infertility for about six months. Additionally, ultrasound could affect cells’ absorption rates of ions, which itself could create an environment unfavorable to spermatogenesis. Its extremely localized effects on animal tissues make ultrasound an attractive candidate for research.
One small study conducted on five dogs applied ultrasound to the canine testicles three times over a period of a few days. The researchers compared sperm count before the procedure to two weeks after the procedure. After the ultrasound treatments none of the canine sperm samples contained sperm. Side effects included tender testicles that had been reduced in volume. Continue reading
Posted in Birth Control
Tagged acrosome, baking soda, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, birth control, clinical trial, clinical trials, condoms, contraception, contraceptive devices, copolymer, dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO, ductus deferens, Katharine McCormick, Margaret Sanger, ovum, Parsemus, polymer, Reversible Inhibition of Sperm under Guidance, RISUG, scrotum, SMA, sodium bicarbonate, sperm, sperm count, spermatogenesis, styrene maleic anhydride, Sujoy Guha, testes, testicles, the Pill, ultrasound, urethra, vas deferens, Vasalgel, vasectomy
- Woman Sues Over Ex-Boyfriend’s Heinous Miscarriage Billboard. Ugh. (Jezebel)
- Apparently, Americans are sick and freaking tired of Congress’s obsession with restricting abortion. Nice sentiment but they should have thought about that before electing these clowns into office. (Politico)
- Abortion “showdown” could cost Indiana $4.3 billion. And it’s a “showdown” they ain’t gonna win anyway. So move on already Hoosier State. (AP)
- Ohio Lawmakers Vote to Ban Abortions at Publicly Funded Clinics, Hospitals. No word yet on whether there will be exceptions based on the life and health of the mother but if you remember the debacle at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix a while back, it’s probably safe to assume there won’t be any exceptions. (RH Reality Check)
- Ovarian cancer screening doesn’t actually save lives? Someone should probably alert the medical field about that. (MSNBC)
- Remember those anti-choice billboards targeting blacks stating “The Most Dangerous Place For an African American Is The Womb”? Well, now Latinos are the target. Wonder if white women will be next? Something tells me no. (The Daily Caller)
- The Pill does not cause weight gain. However, food, in large quantities without adequate exercise, does. (EurekAlert)
- The CDC estimates that 20% of people infected with HIV don’t know it and one-third are diagnosed so late in the course of their infection that they develop AIDS within one year. This is why it’s so important to be tested regularly! (USA Today)
- When in Doubt About Sexual Health, Teens Turn to Google. Not their parents, Google! (Huff Po)
Posted in Rundowns
Tagged abortion, AIDS, anti choice, birth control, congress, contraception, HIV, Indiana, ovarian cancer, sexually transmitted disease, the Pill, women, women's health
- Craptastic Kansas “Mega Bill” Would Deny Non-Profit Status to Abortion Providers (Feministing)
- Newsflash America- Planned Parenthood Isn’t Making Your Daughter Promiscuous! (The Stir)
- Check out this informative piece on the fight for federal funding of Title X (MSNBC)
- Even though it’s been deemed “The Morning After Pill”, EC works the day before too! (Time)
- Texas teens stormed their State Capitol this past Tuesday demanding medically accurate, fully comprehensive Sex Ed (Reuters)
- Canadian magazine wonders “After decades of research, why is there still no contraceptive pill for men?” (This Magazine)
- Texas lawmakers approve bills requiring ultrasound before abortion (CNN)
- The mom whose young daughters face ended up on a race-bating anti-choice billboard in NYC wants an apology from the group responsible for the ad (and rightfully so!). But for some reason, I have a hunch that no apology cometh. (WSJ)
- Prepare to be stunned: A new report found “solid evidence that anti-abortion legislation has an impact on the childbearing decisions of women.” Who would have ever guessed that??? (US News)
Posted in Rundowns
Tagged abortion, anti choice, birth control, contraception, emergency contraception, legislature, Planned Parenthood, politics, pro-choice, reproductive rights, the Pill, Title X, women's health
How could we discuss Women’s History Month on a Planned Parenthood blog and not bring up the history of The Pill?
Oral contraception was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1960. The FDA approval of the birth control pill enabled a radical shift in the United States – the proof being that over 12 million women currently use The Pill as their preferred method of birth control. The New York Times has advocated that birth control should be available for over-the-counter distribution. Loretta Lynn even wrote a song about how awesome The Pill is. All of this is for the pure and simple reason that birth control gives women control over their reproductive destiny. It enables them to determine when, and if, they become pregnant. And it has increased women’s access to both higher education and the paid labor force. Continue reading
- British OB/GYN’s say women should be told the truth about abortion- It’s actually safer than childbirth. (Jezebel)
- Read up on how defunding Planned Parenthood will hurt women (Learn Vest)
- By the way, Pence’s attack on Planned Parenthood? #DumbestThingEver (USA Today)
- Oh my. They’re letting a “fetus” tesify in support of an Ohio anti-abortion bill, cause you know, they can TALK now. In related news, no women and girls get to testify because their voices, opinions, rights, and body autonomy pale in comparison to the rights of the fetus inside THEIR body. (Care2.com)
- Check out these powerful reader letters to the New York Times on the suffering in store if Congress cuts funding for family planning (NYT)
- Here’s a novel idea: To Slash the Abortion Rate, Dole Out Birth-Control Pills a Year at a Time! (Preferably at no cost!) (Time)
- Republican says Republicans wrong about Planned Parenthood (Trib Live News)
- Honesty wins for a change in the war on choice: The New York City Council approved legislation that will regulate the deceptive practices of “crisis pregnancy centers” in the city! (CRR)
Posted in Rundowns
Tagged abortion, anti choice, birth control, contraception, legislature, Planned Parenthood, politics, pro-choice, the Pill, women, women's health
- Comprehensive sex education gets an infusion of much needed funding from the Obama Administration (Guttmacher)
- A new bill in PA would block abortion coverage for rape victims who don’t report and name assailant within 72 hours. (Post Gazette)
- More young adults are using condoms according to a new survey on sexual behavior from the Journal of Sexual Medicine (NYT)
- Five anti-choice candidates to fear this election season (Women’s Rights)
- Teen birth rate drops in U.S., but not for Hispanics (MedPage Today)
- Comprehensive Sex Ed: Teaching the Teachers (RH Reality Check)
- FDA approves oral contraceptive containing folate (MedPage Today)
At least since the days of the Wild West, Tucson has seen some of history’s most infamous characters. These days, the city celebrates this past with events such as Dillinger Days, which commemorates John Dillinger’s apprehension and arrest in downtown Tucson. Some controversial figures didn’t merely pass through town but instead made Tucson their home, including the namesake of the Margaret Sanger Health Center and inductee into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame: Margaret Sanger.
In the 1930s, when Sanger first came to Tucson, the town was known for its healthful climate – a reputation that drew Sanger here early in the decade when her son, Stuart, was suffering from an ear infection. “Arizona was so unlike any place I had been before; you either had to be enthralled by it or hate and dread it,” Sanger wrote in her autobiography. “But I knew there was a delight in the cool nights and the translucent, sunny days with a lovely tang in the air.” The following spring, her son in better health, “we packed our bags once more in the little car and drove away, looking back regretfully at the indescribable Catalinas, on which light and clouds played in never-ending change of pattern.”
This first stay left a favorable impression in Sanger’s mind, and in 1935 she returned with Stuart, who this time was suffering from an eye infection. His doctor wanted to operate but Sanger thought he could be cured by a fasting regimen, in which she joined him. The alternative treatment wasn’t successful – but during this time Sanger decided she liked Tucson so much that she and her husband, J. Noah Slee, thought about making it their permanent home. Continue reading
Posted in History
Tagged Arizona Inn, birth control, birth control pill, Catalina Mountains, Clinica Para Las Madres, Hermosillo, J. Noah Slee, Margaret Sanger, Margaret Sanger Slee, Mexico, Nogales, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, population growth, Stuart Sanger, the Pill, Tucson, Tucson Medical Center, Tucson Mother's Health Clinic, Tucson Watercolor Guild, watercolor
Hormonal birth control has an incredible history that stretches back almost a century, when Margaret Sanger wrote of her dream of a “magic pill” in 1912. In the ensuing decades, scientists were busy piecing together the complex system of the body’s “chemical messengers,” hormones, and when they learned how to synthesize them in the ’40s, Sanger’s dream was but a few steps away from being fulfilled. Three engaging accounts of the Pill’s development – The Pill: A Biography of the Drug That Changed the World by Bernard Asbell (1995), America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril, and Liberation by Elaine Tyler May (2010), and Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill by Gabriela Soto Laveaga (2009) – contain some overlap, while offering different perspectives.
Each author tells the inspiring story of Russell Marker, the chemist who first finagled progesterone from a wild-growing Mexican yam. Despite a near lack of support from pharmaceutical companies and the scientific community, he traveled to rural Mexico on a hunch – and ended up co-founding a laboratory that became the world’s top hormone supplier for the next few decades. Before Marker formulated a way to synthesize hormones in abundance, they were derived from slaughterhouse byproducts and were prohibitively expensive. Marker’s experiments enabled further medical research in hormones, and progesterone was soon used not only in oral contraceptives, but as a precursor for other medications such as cortisone.
While Carl Djerassi is often credited as the “father of the Pill,” both Asbell and May tip their hats to Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormick, the Pill’s “mothers.” These two women also have fascinating biographies. As a nurse in the early twentieth century, Sanger was acquainted with the horrors that arose when women did not have control over their fertility. Many of her patients became infected or even died as the result of illegal or self-induced abortions, which motivated Sanger to become an activist for contraception’s legalization – an avocation that saw her illegally smuggling diaphragms into the country and serving time in jail after opening a family-planning clinic in Brooklyn. Continue reading
Posted in Birth Control, Book Reviews
Tagged Bernard Absell, book review, Carl Djerassi, clinical trials, contraceptives, Elaine Tyler May, Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Gregory Pincus, hormonal birth control, hormones, John Rock, Katharine McCormick, Luis Miramontes, Margaret Sanger, Mexico, norethindrone, oral contraceptives, progesterone, Russell Marker, the Pill, yam