Sunday, February 14, 2010

Birth Control Demonstration - Proper VCF Utilization

The Contraceptive Film is manually inserted high into the vagina by either partner.
First you fold the film in half.

Then you place the film over your fingertip.
The correct place for VCF is deep in the vagina on the cervix. Make sure you can locate the cervix. Several VCFs may be used in a day.

Then you place the film over your fingertip.
The correct place for VCF is deep in the vagina on the cervix. Make sure you can locate the cervix. Several VCFs may be used in a day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Birth Control Methods - From Dr. Joycelyn Elders

The two major methods of birth control are barrier (male and female condoms, cervical cap and diaphragm) and hormonal (birth control pill, patch, ring, shot, hormonal IUD). The best primary form of birth control is the male condom, because it protects you from pregnancy as well as certain sexually transmitted diseases. This is readily available, no prescription needed, has no side effects, no pre-planning necessary and it is very effective when used correctly every time. Hormonal methods are also very effective. However, they must be taken every day, require a prescription from a physician are associated with side effects in some people (weight gain, skin changes, hair growth in new places, menstrual changes, mood changes, increased risk of blood clots, stroke and heart attacks, and offer no protection against sexually transmitted disease). The weight gain with birth control pills can amount to thirteen pounds over four years.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Teen Pregnancy

Dr. Joycelyn Elders, MD (Retired Surgeon General) opinion on how to reduce teenage pregnancy.

Teenagers need two basic things to avoid pregnancy, 1) education and 2) contraceptive availability. This short answer doesn’t give the whole picture. Truly, we need to understand both our cultural values and human biology to make wise decisions about teenagers. Adults forget how it feels to be a teenager with raging hormones. And teenagers don’t know what their options are to deal with their developing bodies unless they have information and education.
Teenagers have a hormonal imperative to explore their sexuality. They do not "catch" sexuality from their friends, music, dance, or health education, rather teens have a perfectly natural biological drive that says, WOW! to them soon after the advent of puberty. Always has been and always will be this way. It cannot be avoided or evaded, because it is basic human biology.

Our children too often become casualties of the head-on collision of culture and nature because we are afraid to give them information about their bodies and sex. Meanwhile they are learning inappropriate behavior from other adolescents and the media. We confuse innocence and ignorance, and it puts our children's health at risk.

Children need accurate age-appropriate information about their bodies - what parts they have and the function of the parts and what they can expect as they grow and develop.

Before children enter puberty (usually between eight and 12 years of age) they need to know:
•that they are normal
•what menses is and what to expect.
•the nature of feelings their hormones will cause.
•the difference between sexual feelings and love.
•that they will require self-esteem and information to make good choices.

Just saying no is not enough information to give to our children to keep them safe. Teens need to know that they can get contraceptives if they think they might need them. They need to know all of the contraceptive options, how to use them, their effectiveness, and what can happen when having unprotected sex even one time.

Results of what happens when we do not give children and adolescents the information they need may be seen in these statistics:
•Nearly half (46.8%) of all 15-19 year-olds had sexual intercourse at least once.
•14.3% of high school students reported sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life.
•In 2005, 6.2% of adolescents under the age of 13 reported having sex prior to age 13, 13% by age 15, and 70% by age 19.
•In 2005, 9.2% of high school students were ever physically forced to have intercourse.
•Mean age of sex initiation is 17 years and mean age of marriage is 26 years.

Consequences of unprotected sex:
•Annually, 850,000 U.S. teens become pregnant; more than 450,000 give birth.
•A sexually active teen that does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.
•The birth rate for U.S. teenagers 15–19 years rose three % in 2006, the first increase reported since 1991 and four % for 18-19 year olds.
•During 2006, an estimated 5259 persons ages 13 - 24 were diagnosed with HIV.
•One in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and young people under age 25 experience about 9.1 million STIs annually.

Contraceptive Use:
•Majority of sexually experienced teens used contraceptives the first time they had sex (74% of females, 82% of males).
•The male condom is the most common contraceptive method used at first intercourse (66% females, 72% of males).
•98% of sexually active females have used at least one method of birth control at least once (condom, 94%; pill, 61%).
•25% of teens who used contraceptives the last time they had sex combined two methods, primarily the condom and a hormonal method.
•At most recent sex, 83% of teen females and 91% of teen males used contraceptives compared to 71% of females and 82% of males in 1995.

We also need to face the fact that most teenagers (80 percent) will experience intercourse before the age of 20, as will teens in other industrialized countries and have for decades. Perhaps then, we can finally understand that it is imperative to teach them how to protect themselves. Hiding from the truth can cost our children their lives.
Education helps children, teens and adults make better decisions. Ignorance is not bliss.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Birth Control Effectiveness and Misconceptions

"I'm protected if I just apply a spermicide after intercourse."
Spermicides must be inserted prior to intercourse to insure the cervix has a spermicidal barrier. Spermicides, like VCF Vaginal Contraceptive Film must be inserted 15 minutes prior, and reinserted every three hours.

"Vaseline is a great lubricant, and will kill sperm too."
Vaseline is not a good lubricant when used with condoms or diaphragms because the petroleum in Vaseline reacts with latex rubber, causing it to deteriorate. And, Vaseline is not a spermicide -- it cannot kill sperm.

"I only need to take a birth control pill whenever I have sex."
To be effective, the pill must be taken as directed -- that is one per day for 20 to 21 days, depending on the type of pill.

"Since I take my birth control pills as directed, there is no chance I'll get pregnant."
While the Pill can be close to 100% effective when used as directed, some antibiotics and antacids can reduce the Pill's effectiveness. In either case, you should use a "back up" form of contraception. Be sure your doctors know you are on the Pill.

"I have no worries, he always pulls out before he comes."
Ejaculation can occur in stages, so he may be unaware that it has actually commenced; Some of the penile lubricating fluid actually contains sperm that can be deposited in the vagina long before withdrawal. And, there is always the risk that he cannot mobilize the willpower to withdraw in time.

"As long as he doesn't ejaculate inside me, I won't get pregnant."
Whether there is full penetration or not really doesn't matter. Either way, sperm deposited in or even near the vagina (if enough moisture is present) can cause pregnancy. Sperm can travel 1 inch in 8 minutes, and can reach the fallopian tube in 1 to 1.5 hours.

"Ovulation is always 14 days after menstruation."
While ovulation may occur then, there is no real way of predicting the exact time of ovulation even the best estimates are often in error. To pinpoint ovulation with a reasonable degree of accuracy takes sufficient motivation, intelligence and awareness.

"I can't get pregnant as long as I continue to breast feed my baby."
Breast-feeding is an unreliable contraceptive. Although breast-feeding can suppress ovulation temporarily, a woman probably cannot recognize reliably when she returns to the state of being at risk. A vaginal barrier is a much safer contraceptive option for post-partum women.

"Once ejaculated, sperm can only live for an hour or so."
Sperm maintain their capacity to fertilize an egg for up to at least 48 hours after ejaculation

"You can only get pregnant one day a month - the day you ovulate."
Since an egg can be fertilized for approximately 12-24 hours (or longer) after ovulation, and sperm can fertilize an egg for up to 48 hours, there is an unsafe period of at least 3 days per month -- 2 days prior to ovulation, and 1 day after.

"Douching after sex is an effective birth control method."
Douching is not an effective method. Immediately after ejaculation sperm enter the cervix -- out of reach of any douching solution. Douching may even speed sperm on their way.

Sexual activity and birth control usage are responsibilities that should not be taken lightly. If a woman is sexually active and does not intend to have a child in the near future, she should protect herself by understanding her reproductive system, the different types of contraception available, identifying which is best for her, and following the directions exactly.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pill The Benefits

If you are able to maintain a routine and take your pill every day, you are in a committed relationship and STI's are less of a concern then the Pill may be good option for you.

There are no physical barriers to dull the feeling and you can have intercourse at any time while being protected.

If you frequently miss days taking the pill you may want to consider an alternate method such as VCF or if you have multiple partners you should consider a condom.

Missed Birth Control

Women who frequently miss pills should seek an alternate or backup method of contraception as it is a major cause in unintended pregnancies.There are many options available in this guide which can be used alone or in combination with hormone methods.

If you've missed one, then you should not be overly concerned but rather continue taking your daily pills.

If you've missed more than one then you should use an alternate method of contraception until you have taken the Pill for 7 days in a row.

Stopping Birth Control

Usually a period will return 4 to 6 weeks after stopping birth control using the Pill. The hormones you've been taking can slow down the natural production of certain hormones and in some cases may take some time to resume. This condition is known as post-pill amenorrhea and in most cases your period will resume within 3 months but could take longer.