Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An Overview of Birth Control

Birth control consists of all the means that prevent pregnancy. Doctors also call it contraception. Most people are informed about oral pills and condoms, yet, few really know that there are more numerous options than that. Normally, you should talk to the family doctor to see what you can do about birth control. Decisions depend on your health condition, your desire to protect yourself against STD (sexually transmitted diseases), your personal beliefs and preferences. Any birth control method works if used consistently and correctly, this is the number one rule to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy.

Barrier methods of birth control

The diaphragm, the cervical cap, the contraceptive sponge and condoms are common barriers that prevent pregnancy. They block the sperm from entering the uterus, and they are used every time you have sex. The cervical cap or diaphragm needs to be custom-made according to doctor's specifications. Barriers like the sponge, the diaphragm and the cap may cause allergic reactions or increase the risk of urinary tract infections in some women.


From all pregnancy control methods, condoms are the only ones that can protect you against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. They can be used in parallel with another pregnancy control method, such as spermicides to reduce the risk of pregnancy.

Hormonal methods

Hormonal birth control involves the use of oral contraceptives, patches, hormonal shots, vaginal rings and a certain type of intrauterine device. They all release hormones into the blood stream, usually a combination of estrogen and progestin (or progestin alone).

Each birth control method has its ups and downs, and in order to use them correctly, and make a good treatment choice, you have to know the good and bad. Take condoms for instance, they can sometimes break or slip. Such incidents may or may not be prevented. Then, hormonal birth control methods are unsuitable for women who have certain health problems. They are not recommended to smokers or women over 35.

The intrauterine device can cause excessive bleeding during the period. It may also get detached and eliminated from the uterus during menstruation, without the woman noticing it. Such issues need to be brought to the woman's attention so that she knows how to properly use birth control and reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Although the Internet offers tons of information, it does not answer all of your questions, nor does it clarify all the dilemmas. Always talk to a doctor!

Is There Any Relationship With Antibiotics and Birth Control?

Antibiotics and birth control don't go well together if you are using oral contraceptives. Certain antibiotics reduce the efficiency of the hormonal pills, and increase the chance of you getting pregnant. The usage instructions of the pill you're using should contain information on the drugs it interacts with, which diminish its efficiency. Moreover, when the doctor prescribes any drug treatment, no matter the health problem, you need to inform him/her that you're using oral contraceptives.

In order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, while taking antibiotics and pregnancy control pills in parallel, you should use a supplementary contraceptive method: condoms, diaphragms or spermicides represent common alternatives. You should ask the doctor on how long you'll need to double the birth control method. Sometimes you may have to use an extra method up to a week after the discontinuation of the antibiotic, so as to make sure that the protection offered by the hormonal pill is at the optimal level.

Don't treat things lightly when it comes to antibiotics and birth control. Here is a list of the drugs known to interfere with the efficiency of oral contraceptives. However, this list is not by far exhaustive.

-amoxicilin, ampicillin, rifampin;
-tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim etc.

These drugs tend to act differently in combination with birth control. Sometimes, they interfere with the hormonal differences that prevent pregnancy from occurring. The estrogen levels are usually the most affected under such circumstances. Antibiotics increase the enzyme secretion at the level of the liver, and these enzymes attack the estrogen, lowering its level in the body system.

By following the correct procedures, antibiotics and birth control can be safely combined without any inconvenience. Talk to the doctor to identify the best ways to maintain the efficiency of birth control while taking antibiotics. Do not stop using the hormonal pill abruptly because that could have very serious negative effects on the body. In case the spouse is taking antibiotics, his treatment poses no risk for the efficiency of the birth control.

The entire subject of antibiotics and pregnancy control has fired a huge debate. There is much confusion about how to combine the two treatments, however, the woman should not over-analyze the situation and find problems where there are none. Body awareness allows you to determine whether something goes wrong inside, then, you can signal it to the doctor.

Otherwise you have to just make sure to use an extra barrier during intercourse. Nothing more!

What You Should Know About the Birth Control Shot

Progesterone represents the hormonal basis for the birth control shot. With this contraceptive method, an amount of progesterone is injected in the woman's upper arm or buttocks, for a three-month pregnancy prevention. Progesterone blocks the release of the eggs from the ovaries. According to statistics, the birth control shot is one of the most convenient and efficient of all contraceptive methods. Only 3 in 100 couples have an accidental pregnancy while using the shot.

The efficiency of the method depends on how correctly it is used, on existent health conditions and on the interaction with other medications. There are some side effects that you need to be aware of when it comes to the use of the pregnancy control shot:

-irregular periods or absence of periods;
-breast tenderness;
-weight gain.

Doctors warn users of the higher risks of using the pregnancy control shot on the long run. Studies have revealed that the administration of progesterone for contraceptive purposes could lead to loss of bone density. Normally, the bone density gets back to normal when you stop using the shot.

A way of fighting this inconvenience would be to use a calcium supplement on a daily basis. It is of paramount importance to stay in touch with your doctor, as well as to be honest about your health condition and lifestyle habits that might interfere with the use of hormonal birth control. For example smokers are more prone to developing side effects than non-smokers. Make sure you tell the doctor if you smoke.

The birth control shot does not work well for every individual. This is a number one issue to keep in mind when making a decision. Women who have difficulty remembering to take the pill or nursing mothers often go for the pregnancy control shot as an easy way to be safe from unwanted pregnancy. Yet, some medical or other special conditions make the birth control shot less effective or risky. This form of contraception is not recommended for women who have suffered or currently suffer from:

-various forms of cancer;
-migraine headaches;
-unexplained vaginal bleeding;
-blood clots etc.

You should talk to the doctor about whatever condition you might suffer from in order to prevent any dangerous situation that may compromise your health. There are various other contraceptive methods besides the birth control shot that can be a lot more suitable for your individual specificity. Don't ignore health matters for the sake of convenience.

Health and Fitness: Contraceptives Birth Control Article Category

Some contraceptive methods have more adverse reactions than others. Birth control side effects are thus a major issue with hormonal pills in particular, although some downsides have been reported for all kinds of birth control. It is of paramount importance for women to understand the risks they are exposing themselves to when choosing the pill. Hormonal birth control used for years on end in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies could have tremendous health implications.

In order to make your final decision, you should always weigh the pros against the cons. For the pill, there are normally two types of pregnancy control side effects you need to pay attention too.

Temporary birth control side effects

During the first month of treatment, the body adjusts to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, and once the body gets used to these, the adverse reactions go away. Among the more common symptoms, let me mention:

-nausea (you can reduce it by taking the pill in the evening before going to bed);
-morning sickness;
-tender breast;
-bloating and loose stool;
-irregular period;
-spotting (dark-red vaginal discharges);
-hair and follicular changes;
-increased fluid retention etc.

Talk to your doctor to find out ways to reduce these pregnancy control side effects, and have your condition monitored until the symptoms go away.

Long term birth control side effects

Hormonal contraceptives have long term adverse reactions that may require a discontinuation of the pregnancy control method, and its replacement with a better tolerated one. The more common are:

-increased number of gallstones;
-susceptibility to developing cataract;
-lower immune function;
-higher risk of ectopic pregnancies when the woman tries to conceive;
-higher susceptibility towards cervical and endometrial cancers due to lack of hormonal balance.

Most birth control side effects cannot be really anticipated because it's difficult to determine the woman's response to treatment. Nobody can tell you how you're going to react during the use of hormonal pills. Condoms are the birth control methods with almost no side effects. Intolerance to latex has been the only health-related issue; however, these thin barriers could break, and that's what makes them risky for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

No matter what type of birth control you turn to, make sure you use it correctly and consistently for the optimal protection that you want. Sometimes a combination between more methods seems like the best idea. Talk to your family doctor and find out more.

What You Should Know About the Birth Control Pill

The birth control pill represents one of the most popular birth control methods, because it offers the highest protection against unwanted pregnancy. Yet, it does not protect the user against sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and it has a number of side effects.

How to use it?

You should not take any pregnancy control pill without talking to your gynecologist. The specialist will prescribe the pill that is most suitable for your health condition, age and period specificity.

The woman needs to take the birth control pill every day, preferably at the same hour, for 21 days in a row. For the last 7 days of the cycle, you won't take any pill, or you'll get an inactive one - that depends on the kind of product you are using. During the seven days off pill, you'll have your period.

Then, you need to start using the pill again after the seven-day pause, on the same day of the week as you did before.

Birth control pill side effects

This contraceptive method has quite a lot of side effects, some temporary, others long term. When you first begin using the pill, nausea, morning sickness, spotting and breasts tenderness might be an issue. But the symptoms wear off as the body gets used to the new level of hormones.

On the long run, the birth control pill may have serious side effects, which is why specialists recommend that it not be used for years on end. Among the health risks of long-term administration we ought to mention a higher risk of cervical and breast cancer, blood pressure problems, thrombosis, liver dysfunctions, benign cysts etc.

Who should NOT use the birth control pill?

Women who suffer from a chronic health condition or who have a family history of thrombosis, for instance, should not use hormonal pregnancy control methods.

The birth control pill is not recommended to women who have been treated for ovarian cysts, cancer or liver problems.

Smokers and women over 35 should not use hormonal pregnancy control either because of the higher risk of side effects.

The doctor will normally recommend blood tests and careful evaluation of your health condition to make sure that your body system is within optimal parameters. Oral contraceptives should not be prescribed otherwise because of the health hazards they pose particularly in some categories of users. In addition to the pregnancy control pill, you might want to explore your other birth control options.

Is it Safe to Use the Birth Control Ring?

The birth control ring looks like a 2-inch doughnut. It's soft and flexible so that the wearer does not even feel it when inserted in the vagina. The pregnancy control ring is a hormonal device that releases estrogen and progesterone slowly through the vagina wall into the bloodstream. The uterus and the ovaries react to these hormones in the sense that ovulation is inhibited and the lining of the uterus becomes unsuitable for the implantation of a fertilized egg.

The woman can insert the pregnancy control ring herself, and the mechanism behind it resembles that of the hormonal transdermal patch or the oral pill. This birth control method relies on the menstrual cycle. The birth control ring needs to be in place on the first day of the period or before day 5 of the menstrual cycle. And it remains inside the vagina for three weeks in a row. It will be removed on the same day of the week it was inserted, and approximately about the same time of day.

For seven days, after the third week, you don't have to use any pregnancy control, because in that interval the period will occur. At the end of seven days, a new birth control ring should be inserted, on the same day of the week and at the same hour. When you use this contraceptive method for the first time, you have to use supplementary birth control for seven days until the ring offers full protection against pregnancy.

The birth control ring is pretty comfortable to wear. It's inserted similarly to a tampon, and it does not feel inside. It does not have to be removed during intercourse, while swimming or bathing. In case you feel uncomfortable you can change the position inside the vagina or push it a bit further back. However, there are some downsides to the use of this form of birth control.

There might appear local irritation and even lesions in the wall of the vagina or in the cervix, mainly because the hormonal release changes the pH of the soft tissues allowing for harmful bacteria to proliferate. Women who use a pregnancy control ring are more exposed to yeast infections and to cervical precancerous formations. You should talk to the gynecologist to learn about the pros and cons of using this kind of contraceptive.

You might want to know what other options there are available to prevent pregnancy and stay safe from sexually transmitted diseases.

What Are the Available Male Birth Control Options

Traditionally, male birth control includes condoms and vasectomies. More recently the male contraceptive shot has been designed, and pharmaceutical companies are also studying a birth control pill for men that will hit the market in the near future. Vasectomies although reversible in theory have sometimes proved false friends. And remaining infertile for the rest of their lives seems like a risk few men would take.

This is why the shot or the pill seem a more appealing option for male pregnancy control than vasectomy. Developed by an Indian scientist, the male contraceptive injection reduces the number of sperm and disables the spermatozoa that travel through the sperm pathways. The injection contains a number of chemicals that form a gel against the pathway of the sperm. This gel can last between 10 to 15 years, and so far, in studies, this form of male birth control has proven to work 100%.

For several years now, the male pregnancy control shot has been in clinical trials in India. It is now being tested in the United States as well, as the Male Contraception Information Project in San Francisco bought the rights to the technique. The clinical trial process will be repeated in the United States until this form of male birth control will get ready for FDA approval. The sperm-stunting potential of the male birth control shot was initially considered a toxic side effect of a drug used for skin and inflammatory diseases. Taken from there, as part of lab tests and lots of experiments the medical formula sounds promising enough.

The problem with the male pregnancy control shot could be that it presents no financial potential for drug companies for the main reason that the contraceptive solution remains viable for years on end. This is probably the reason why so little progress has been made with male birth control in the Western world.

However, we should also mention the fact that such an injection is usually an option for married or stable couples who already have children or don't plan to have a baby soon. Otherwise, it does not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are the only form of male birth control that prevents pregnancy and creates a protective barrier against various infections with sexual body entrance. Even so, the condom is not 100% safe for pregnancy or STD prevention. It has to be used correctly, consistently and carefully in order to do its purpose.

Natural Family Planning Tips

Natural family planning depends on methods that can determine when intercourse does not result in pregnancy. A woman can keep track of the changes that take place in her body during the menstrual cycle, and thus the couple can plan when to have or not have intercourse to avoid pregnancy. The same methods are used by families who are trying to conceive and need to identify the most fertile period. Natural family planning thus goes two ways.

The ovulation method

This type of natural family planning determines the fertile and infertile days by checking the cervical mucus. When the mucus is stretchy, slick and clear, chances are that the woman can get pregnant. The mucus looks like uncooked egg white during the fertile period.

The Symptothermal method

It involves taking the basal temperature every day. The temperature is written down in a chart. During ovulation, the woman's temperature will rise slightly with about 9 degrees Fahrenheit. The woman should also check the consistency of the cervical mucus. Other possible symptoms that accompany ovulation include breast tenderness, low backache, bloating and slight discomfort in the abdomen.

The period when you are most likely to get pregnant is right before and after the ovulation. This interval usually expands between the 9th and the 21st day of the menstrual cycle, for a woman with a 28-day period. Such information is relevant for natural family planning, yet it is not enough to make the above methods 100% reliable for the prevention of pregnancy.

There are natural family planning instructors who teach couples the most efficient ways to make the best out of the above methods. Talk to your family doctor to refer you to one such professional. However, in practice, this kind of birth control has proved less reliable than in theory. Most specialists recommend the use of a second means for birth control such as barrier methods. Condoms, for instance may successfully support natural family planning.

Keeping communication open with the life partner is of vital importance for the success of natural family planning. Unless your spouse is willing to cooperate and not have sex during the 12 days of the fertile period, you need to find other birth control means to prevent pregnancy. Natural family planning therefore requires mutual agreement and lots of support and understanding in the couple. It does not work for every family, because it cannot be considered a unilateral decision that only a member agrees to.

Health and Fitness: Contraceptives Birth Control Article Category

For over ninety years, Planned Parenthood (PP) has supported specific healthcare and preventive care services for women. The organization offers reproductive healthcare information and healthcare services, information for young people, men and women worldwide as well as sex education. This system helps people make responsible decisions about health, family planning and sex.

There are currently 83 locally governed affiliates of Planned Parenthood across the United States, operating nearly 800 health centers targeting the various needs in the communities they serve. The focus falls mainly on preventive primary care that reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Testing, treatment, planning and screening for various types of cancer are also available.

This system is also powers the reproductive health and rights movement. They advocate for policies that allow Americans to get access to sexual healthcare and reliable information. There is current support for the introduction of free birth control in health insurance policies, according to the federal legislation act that will kick in from August 2012. Four million activists, donors and supporters nationwide get involved in PP campaigns to protect women's rights and health.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America also includes an Action Fund that engages in educational and electoral activity. As part of the Fund's activity we ought to mention legislative advocacy efforts as well as public education campaigns. The Planned Parenthood is an independent and not-for-profit organization even if it functions as a political branch for the Planned Parenthood Federation.

Planned Parenthood is affiliated with numerous women's groups and family planning institutions and independent providers in developing countries. Poverty, the absence of basic services, war and oppressive politics block individuals' access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare information. Planned Parenthood has solid collaborations with organizations in Asia, Latin America or Africa to support education and healthcare.

This kind of contribution indirectly generates improvement in local communities worldwide, both in terms of health and social education programs. Fighting for more rights and access to basic healthcare represents an important part of the activity that Planned Parenthood takes part to in less privileged parts of the world.

Hopefully, things will gradually improve worldwide, for women's health and sexual education. And the benefits deriving from such improvements touch on the well being of entire communities. Reliable reproductive information leads not only to a control of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, but it also to helps reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that plague modern mankind.

Types of Birth Control Methods

People now have access to many types of birth control. If for casual sex, lots of people use condoms only, and the morning-after pill, when necessary, stable couples often want to explore their options more carefully. It is when people get involved in serious relationships that they search for information and talk to family planning specialists to find reliable methods that reflect their sexual needs.

Hormonal birth control

Numerous types of birth control means use hormones to prevent pregnancy. Here we ought to mention the patch, the hormonal shot, the oral pill, the vaginal ring and a certain variety of intrauterine devices. Hormonal contraceptives have a high efficiency rate, yet they have a higher risk of side effects, and they cannot be used by just anybody. The woman should be in perfect health, and should consult a specialist to have a hormonal contraceptive prescribed.

ITU devices

The intrauterine device is inserted in the woman's uterus, making the uterine lining unsuitable for the implantation of a fertilized egg. It can only be inserted by a gynecologist. The doctor will explain to you how the device works and whether you have to pay attention to special issues while you have it on. Sometimes the ITU can cause abnormal bleeding or very abundant menstrual bleeds.

Barrier methods

These types of birth control include condoms, female diaphragm, cervical cap and sponges. Condoms are the only ones that protect against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy at the same time. However, they have to be used correctly and consistently to offer optimal protection. The cervical cap and the diaphragm need to be custom-made so that they fit the woman's individual specificity.

Natural birth control

Some people use natural contraceptive methods in parallel with other types of birth control. Here we should mention the calendar method, that calculates the fertile period based on the changes specific to the woman's menstrual cycle. The fertile period can be determined either by observing the consistency of the cervical mucus, or by taking and recording basal temperature daily.

Natural birth control is also possible through abstinence or through withdrawal. It is important to talk to a family planning expert to evaluate your options and know for sure which methods are more suitable for you. Sometimes a combination of various types of birth control should be used in order to achieve the right kind of protection against pregnancy and STDs. Moreover, an open attitude in the couple with mutual respect and support helps a lot.

How To Get A Girl Pregnant Or Not

Have you ever thought that maybe you really did not know how to get a girl pregnant? It is probable that many others have thought the very same thing. In choosing to have a baby, for a couple in love, emotions and romantic notions are a part of the process. For infertile couples, it is normal for them to feel confused and frustrated when they do not conceive. Couples who are just married may take birth control to early in the marriage and find out that pregnancy is something they really want. The more they spend together, the more the desire to conceive becomes. This is the normal human instinct given to women. When a woman marries she often feels empty without a child of her own. She can not fully become whole without the experience. Even if the couple has a low income the need for children reigns supreme.

How to get a girl pregnant does not just happen to a couple after having intercourse. There are things they will need to do in order to prepare. The woman will need to begin to eat healthier and exercise. This will allow her to carry the baby to term and ward off certain diseases and problems later in the pregnancy. Four moths before the couple try to get pregnant, lifestyle changes should be put into place. All natural options are needed for the mother and child to be healthy. Both parents should stop smoking to prevent birth defects at birth and to reduce second-hand smoke complications later. Alcohol consumptions should also stop as it causes low birth weight and other defects. Prenatal vitamins should be taken daily to boost the mother's body and strengthen it for childbirth.

Understanding how to get a girl pregnant is easier for those who take the time to learn about their body and what it does. Ovulation in women is a critical time to have intercourse and the best time to get pregnant. She will have to find out when her ovulation occurs and monitor it to be sure. The man should get himself checked to make sure his body is working properly and his sperm are right to get her pregnant. The correct time to have sex is also important. It is necessary for a couple trying to conceive during the woman ovulation, should have sex about every other day.

The natural approach is always the best thing for couples who want to have a baby. By researching what is available and trying these methods before considering surgery or medication is best. Most of the natural remedies and treatments for infertility have been tested and proven to work well. Instead of wondering how to get a girl pregnant, it is really essential to see what needs to change before the baby comes.

The Ring Birth Control As a Type of Contraception

The birth control ring is a thin, flexible ring about five centimetres in diameter that a woman inserts into her vagina herself. The contraceptive ring is prescribed by a doctor after the woman has undergone a medical examination including her blood pressure.

The contraceptive birth control ring contains a combination of two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, like the oral contraceptive pill. The ring slowly releases the hormones throughout the vaginal wall to the bloodstream to prevent ovulation. The vaginal ring hormones may also cause a thickening of the cervical mucus and a thinning of the uterine wall.

The woman inserts the contraceptive ring into the vagina on the first day of her menstrual cycle or before the fifth day, and the ring remains in place for three weeks in a row. In this way the ring is again comparable to the combined contraceptive pill, with a ring-free week after three weeks of using the ring.

At the end of the third week, at about the same time of day on the same day as first inserted, the woman should remove and dispose of the vaginal ring, and her withdrawal bleed should start within a few days.

At the end of the fourth week, the woman inserts a new contraceptive ring on the same day as the last one was inserted, even if she is still bleeding, and the process begins again.

Another form of contraception such as condoms should be used for the first seven days when a woman first starts using the birth control ring if she has not used any contraceptive previously, because the hormones do not take effect immediately.

The contraceptive ring is held in place by the vaginal muscles so is unlikely to fall out. However, should this occur, the vaginal ring should be rinsed in cool water and reinserted within three hours. The ring can be left in place while swimming or exercising and during sexual intercourse. When in place, the ring usually cannot be felt.

Possible side effects include irregular menstrual bleeding, nausea, dizziness, headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes and vaginal irritation or discharge.

The birth control ring does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Often the choice of using the birth control ring for contraception is a couple's decision. The woman should be comfortable with inserting the contraceptive ring into her vagina, and her partner should be comfortable with the device being there.

As the woman does not have to remember a daily commitment to contraception, the birth control ring may well suit shift workers or women who travel and cross various time zones. However, she must remember to remove the ring contraception after three weeks and to replace it a week later, or it loses its effectiveness.

In terms of returning to fertility, return of ovulation is likely to occur after 12 days of the ring being removed. The ring birth control is a very effective method if used correctly.

Abortion Pill: Important Information

The abortion pill is a safe and medically approved alternative to other options that can end an unwanted pregnancy in the early stages. Pregnant women and their families have many things to consider and options to discuss when contemplating ending a pregnancy in the early stages. There are a number benefits to this type of pregnancy termination that can make the process less painful and traumatic to the mother. Keep in mind that if you are under the age of 18, regulations in your state may require permission from one or both of your parents before you are able to access this form of medical treatment.

If you are anywhere less than 9 weeks pregnant, you can use the abortion pill to terminate the pregnancy. The medical name of this treatment is called mifepristone and it is 97% effective in ending pregnancies in the early stages. If you are farther along than 9 weeks, you will need to discuss other options with your doctor for obtaining pregnancy termination.

The most common steps involved in this type of pregnancy termination typically involve a thorough discussion with your physician about all of the available options and whether or not you want to take the medication. From there, you will talk about your medical history and have several laboratory tests to determine if this medication is right for you. A physical exam will be performed including an ultrasound of the fetus. There will be several papers to read and sign before you are given the medication and instructions for administration. You can take the medication home with you and call your doctor at any time if you have further questions or comments about the process.

The medication works by blocking your body's release of a hormone called progesterone. Without this hormone, the pregnancy cannot continue and the lining of the uterus starts to break down as with a normal period.

Make an appointment with your primary care physician or visit a local clinic for more information about the abortion pill. There are healthcare professionals available that can help review your situation and determine if this is the right course of action for you and your family. All of your questions and concerns will be discussed as well as any adverse side effects that may complicate the situation or change your decision. Take control of your pregnancy and your life with this safe and effective medical option for terminating a pregnancy in the early stages.

Birth Control Pills - Not Everything You've Heard Is True

It seems that the same tired old wife's tales surrounding birth control pills are still popular today. These myths have been handed down throughout generations, and nothing can seemingly shake them from the public's consciousness. And while some may carry a small grain of truth, most of them have been completely twisted out of proportion throughout the years.

One reason why young women still refuse to take birth control pills is because they're afraid that they'll get fat. They also may be afraid they'll break out in horrible acne, grow facial hair, or increase hip and breast size. None of these fears could be further from the truth. What the pill does do is regulate estrogen, which can initially cause some water retention and bloating (much like symptoms of a menstrual cycle). Switching doses or waiting until the body regulates itself, which may take a few months, will usually solve the problem. Generally, the pill has been known to decrease acne, or it may make no noticeable changes at all, but it would be unusual for it to suddenly cause it. Likewise, it does not produce facial hair or increase breast and hip size, although those areas may swell up slightly.

Why then do so many women insist they have experienced some of these side effects? The probable answer is inaccurate cause and relation. The hormones in your body are changing, which may alter your mood temporarily. This alone can cause an increased appetite or added stress, which can cause weight gain or acne. Another reason could be that they begin taking the pill at a young age when the body hasn't stopped fully developing, meaning larger breasts and wider hips. Our bodies are constantly changing in small ways throughout our lifetime, but by changing medications some people become hyperaware of any small differences.

Has anyone ever warned you that taking birth control pills can cause cancer? It seems just about everything today has the potential to kill you or cause some devastating disease, and again the problem usually stem from incorrect cause and effect. Do women taking birth control get cancer? Yes. Is it because of the pill? No. In fact, studies show just the opposite. It is estimated that by regularly taking the pill women are 1/3 less likely to suffer from uterine or ovarian cancer. There has been no conclusive evidence linking the pill with increased rates of breast cancer either. Additionally, using the pill is very unlikely to cause defects in babies once you are ready to conceive as long as you quit taking them in advance.

Not all truths about birth control are so rosy. There are possible side effects which commonly include nausea, headaches, mood swings, breast pain, and spotting. Many of these can be controlled by switching products and dosages, or by waiting for a few months until the body adjusts. In some rare cases more severe complications are possible, which is why it is important to consult with a doctor before starting.

Pros and Cons of The Pill

Before the accidental development of the birth control pill, women were trying everything from herbal douching to diaphragms to one of the oldest methods, the pull out method. But non of those methods would prove to be as effective as the pill. The pill became available to women in 1957 for treatment of gynecological disorders and in 1960 became FDA approved. Three years later approximately one million women were on it, and today there are about 11 million women who are taking birth control pills.

Even though it was introduced as a treatment for gynecological problems, today its initial purpose is to prevent pregnancy. In addition to that, it has also been prescribed for moderate cases of acne as well as treatment for symptoms of PMDD. In order to make the right choice regarding the pill, it's a good idea to know what's in them and how they work.

There are several types of birth control pills that are available today, with the majority consisting of synthetic estrogen and progestin, two female hormones. The amount and the type of estrogen and progestin that is put into the pill varies and is different for each type. These hormones work in several ways to prevent conception:

1. Primarily, they prevent the release of an egg from the ovary, which is called ovulation.

2. Secondly, they make the mucus of the cervical lining thicker which makes it more difficult for the sperm to swim through to reach the uterus.

3. Thirdly, the hormones make the lining of the womb un-attachable and un-inhabitable for the egg to grow.

It's a dependable method that works 99.9% of the time, as long as it is taken correctly and consistently. On the contrary, there is still that 1% of failure if it is not taken routinely.

As with any pharmaceuticals, possible side effects should be taken into consideration as well as the benefits. The most usual and common side effects are dizziness, breast tenderness, lowered sex drive, spotting, headaches, mood swings, and nausea. Although these side effects are common they usually go away after a few weeks.

The more serious side effects include blood clots, high blood pressure, depression, heart attack, stroke, liver damage, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.

Recent studies on progesterone found a link between the progestin hormone and the increased risk of blood clot formation and blood potassium levels. Not everyone that takes the birth control pill experiences side effects and most women actually do pretty well on it.

Now that you know the facts, you must consider one more factor, yourself. I mean your health history. Acknowledge any previous health conditions or problems and find out if they are contraindications to birth control pills. The pill is not recommended for women who have had kidney, liver, or heart problems, gall bladder disease, certain types of cancers, obesity, unmanageable diabetes, and smokers. It is also not recommended for women who have suffered from sickle cell, epilepsy, heart attack, stroke, and uterine bleeding.

The Dangers Of Birth Control Pills

Hundreds of million of women worldwide use birth control pills. Since its introduction over 50 years ago, these pills have influenced how societies, and women in particular, view the issues of sexual health and reproduction. The health risks of some birth control products have been well documented. Below are some of the dangers of birth control pills.

Many birth control pills (as well as the patch, vaginal ring and implant) contain high levels of synthetic estrogen that make your body think that you are pregnant. That's the reason you don't get your period. This is an unnatural an unhealthy cycle that has damaging effects on your body.

The use of the pill for non-contraceptive purposes is inadvisable. You may treat one problem but you'll be creating a bunch of new ones. Some women use birth control pills to fight acne, suppress menstruation or endometriosis. As inconvenient and tough as it may be on you, your body was meant to have regular cycles.

Menstruation actually has many health benefits like enhancing libido, getting rid of toxins and reduce bloating. It can also shed light on the overall health of the woman and help prevent disease. Menstrual suppression by taking birth control pills should be avoided as they interfere with the physiology of the body.

In fact, the Pill can disrupt testosterone levels, leading to sexual dysfunction, making it harder to climax and a decrease in desire and arousal.

That is the definition of cutting your nose to spite your face.

The pill can cause plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries, resulting in an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. There is also an increased risk of breast cancer. Many women report other side effects- which are due to the artificial hormones in a woman's body when taking the pills- such as migraines, weight gain, nausea, irregular bleeding or spotting, thinning bones, breast tenderness, mood swings, infertility, high blood pressure, yeast overgrowth, etc.

Now, I don't know about you, but those are some crazy side effects. I'd prefer my "side effects" to be non-life threatening like a sore throat or coughing. Any side effect that include decreased bone density and blood clots are not drugs you should be taking.

Please do not continue taking hormonal birth control (pills, patches, ring). If you are adamant about not getting pregnant then use male or female condoms. They are safer and they work.

Using VCF for Birth Control

Are you currently using birth control? There are tons of different types of birth control available, but you may not be familiar with all of them. The most common types known are the birth control pill, condoms, or maybe even vasectomy. These are all very effective, but might not be the best fit for everyone.

For example, a man may not feel comfortable getting a vasectomy. It may be for personal reasons, but if a vasectomy is not an option, then he and his partner need to consider other options. Condoms are a good next choice, but condoms are about 98 % effective. To be sure, there are no methods of preventing pregnancy that work 100% of the time except abstinence, but who wants that?

The birth control pill is probably the most common method of pregnancy prevention that women use. As long as you remember to take it, it definitely does the job. However, remembering to take the pill is only part of the process. Unfortunately, birth control pills have hormone ingredients that take a major toll on the female body. All kinds of side effects have been discovered from taking the pill - including headaches, mood swings, and even painful breasts.

Not only that, hormone-based contraception like the pill has been linked to an increased risk of some types of cancers. This makes taking the pill an even harder task to follow through with on a daily basis. When you're worrying about avoiding pregnancy, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not you're putting yourself at increased risk of cancer, too.

There is another method of birth control that works amazingly well, without all the negative side effects associated with the pill. It's called VCF, which is an abbreviation for Vaginal Contraceptive Film.

VCF is a tiny, clear square of film that a woman places inside her vagina. It contains the same spermicide that you'd find in condoms. It has almost no side effects of any kind, other than an occasional irritation. However, even the irritation is only reported less than 3 percent of the time. That means you're highly unlikely to experience any problems with VCF if you decide to use it. And, it's been shown to be 94% effective in preventing pregnancy.

VCF shouldn't be used if you aren't supposed to get pregnant for health reasons, because it's not 100% effective. But if you're looking for a way to be intimate with your partner with all the benefits of a condom without the barrier, VCF is worth looking into.

Health and Fitness: Contraceptives Birth Control Article Category

When a woman has determined that she has had all the children she wishes to have and that she does not want any additional children in the future, a surgical procedure called tubal ligation surgery is usually recommended. Most women have heard of this procedure and commonly refer to it as " getting your tubes tied".

Tubal ligation surgery is a procedure in which a woman's fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or blocked to prevent future fertilization and implantation during sexual intercourse. There are many approaches to this surgery, and with today's more minimally invasive techniques, it is no longer considered major abdominal surgery. In many cases, it can be done as an outpatient procedure. Depending on the type of tubal ligation procedure that is performed, the surgery can take up to about thirty minutes. Some women may choose to have the procedure done while they are delivering their children via C-section since the abdomen is already open.

According to the Women's Specialists of Plano, Texas, tubal ligation is considered female sterilization, and only your doctor will know which procedure is most suitable for your body and lifestyle. A few of the tubal ligation approaches are:

  • Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation: During this procedure your gynecologist will insert a small camera and surgical instruments through a very small incision made in the abdomen. The tubal ligation will take place via this method which is considered a more minimally invasive approach.
  • Mini-Laparotomy: During this procedure your gynecologist will perform the surgery by making an incision in the abdomen about 2 inches in length.
  • Post-Partum Tubal Ligation: This procedure is very similar to the mini-lap, except that the incision will be made just below the belly button because the fallopian tubes are higher in body after childbirth. Many women will choose to have the procedure done at this time because it eliminates having to have two separate recovery periods.
  • Trans-Uterine Tubal Occlusion: This procedure is performed with anesthesia. The cervix is dilated and a hysterscope is placed in the uterine cavity. The opening of the tube into the uterus is identified and a "plug" is placed into the fallopian tube as it passes through the uterine wall.
  • Open Tubal Ligation: This procedure is performed when a woman desires a tubal after delivering via caesarean section, because the abdomen is already open. This procedure is also performed when a woman has pelvic inflammatory disease, or is already receiving a surgery which requires the opening of the abdomen.

The recovery period after most tubal ligations is about a week although you will most likely leave the hospital within a few hours after surgery. Because the procedure is immediately effective, you can maintain sexual activity as soon as you feel well enough.

If you change your mind after receiving a tubal ligation surgery and decide that you may want to have children in the future, there is a reversal procedure. It is important to note that tubal ligation reversals are very expensive and in many cases are not effective. The statistics are somewhat low regarding women having children after a reversal has taken place.

Because tubal ligation is considered permanent, it is vital that a woman understand all of her options and evaluate all of the pros and cons:


  • Female sterilization that is effective immediately
  • It can be done at the same time as other surgeries like C-section during following the immediate birth of a child or during the removal of ovarian cysts
  • It is a very reliable form of permanent birth control
  • Requires no daily attention (such as with the birth control pills, condoms, etc.)
  • More cost effective in the long run then a daily procedure
  • Allows for sexual spontaneity


  • It is a surgery and with every surgery, there are risks to consider
  • The procedure is not 100% reversible in the event of regret
  • Does not protect against STD's (only the proper use of condoms can do this)
  • Is more expensive than the male form of permanent contraception (vasectomy)

If you are researching permanent birth control for women, it is suggested that you do proper research and reflection to be sure that you will not regret the decision in the future. If you are sure about your decision to receive permanent birth control (female sterilization), join your doctor so that the two of you can discuss which procedure will be most fitting to your life.

Ultrasound Safety and Technology

A reader recently asked an interesting question:

"Can ultrasound cause hearing problems for babies? My doctor told me that it could. I had an ultrasound each month during my first four months of pregnancy when I lived in South America, but I have not had an ultrasound since I moved to the United States. Also, every pregnant woman in South America has a three-dimensional ultrasound. I haven't heard about that in the United States."

There is no confirmed evidence that ultrasound causes hearing problems or has any adverse affect on the developing fetus. One poorly designed study done a few years ago suggested there was a risk of the babies experiencing hearing loss due to ultrasound, but the way the research was performed made many scientists think the conclusions were incorrect. Since then, no other scientist has been able to find the same results. Replication is one of the hallmarks of scientific research.

Most of my practice consists of performing ultrasounds, and I believe in the value of well-performed ultrasound in pregnancy. On the other hand, no research has proven that there is a benefit to having monthly ultrasounds either. I realize parents-to-be like to see their baby by ultrasound, but I can't fault your doctor for not doing monthly ultrasounds in a healthy pregnancy.

For "low-risk" pregnancies, I recommend one really thorough ultrasound at 16 to 20 weeks gestation (as measured from the last menstrual period) to look at the baby's anatomy and check for any problems with the heart or other major organs. I also recommend looking for the most experienced team with the best equipment in your area to perform the scan. The "team" may consist of a sonographer, or technician, who obtains the images and a sonologist, the physician, who interprets them. Many studies have shown that experience pays off in terms of the detection rate of problems; those who see a lot of problems day in and day out are more familiar with how things should or shouldn't appear.

Many insurance companies now cover one ultrasound in uncomplicated pregnancies. Some insurance companies in our area require that the ultrasound be performed only in places accredited by independent groups s. Don't be afraid to ask if the practice examining your baby is accredited.

As for 3-D ultrasound, it is an exciting development in technology, but not standard at the present time. I am one of a number of doctors who specialize in ultrasound who are working with 3-D ultrasound to determine its proper role. Three-dimensional ultrasound uses computer technology to reconstruct the ultrasound image beyond the usual thin slices we obtain with a standard prenatal ultrasound. The pictures can look like sculptures rather than two-dimensional paintings. Right now we consider 3-D something that may be useful in addition to standard imaging, but it is not a requirement for standard care.

Chances of Getting Pregnant

Could the position of my uterus affect my chances of getting pregnant?

Your uterus lies in the midline of your pelvis. It may be angled slightly toward your abdominal wall (anteverted) or toward your rectum (retroverted). The body of the uterus may also be angled from the plane of the cervix in either an anterior or posterior manner (anteflexion or retroflexion). Picture your forearm and hand as representing the body of your uterus and your cervix. The two parts can be aligned and tilted in a straight line, or you can bend your wrist, creating an angle between "the uterus" and "the cervix." If the uterus is mobile, there are generally no symptoms associated with the position of the uterus.

Most positional differences are anatomic variations that occur from woman to woman. Normally, the uterus is in a position of anteversion. Retroversion of the uterus may be present at birth, may be a consequence of childbirth (due to relaxation of the pelvic ligaments), or may be the result of a disease process in the pelvis.

The orientation of a woman's uterus, as determined at birth, has no relation to fertility in and of itself. In some cases, a sharp backward tilt (retroflexion) of the uterus can cause the cervix to be positioned against the anterior vaginal wall. For some couples, this prevents the cervix from being able to "bathe" in the pool of semen that naturally collects in the posterior vaginal vault after intercourse. This may prevent the sperm from swimming into the cervical canal to reach a released ovum for fertilization.

Additionally, there are certain conditions that may cause a sharp retroflexion of the uterus. These include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and uterine fibroids. Endometriosis can lead to scarring of the utero-sacral ligaments that may pull the uterus into a fixed retroverted position. As endometriosis can affect fertility, I think you should discuss this with your healthcare provider. Since you have been trying to conceive for the past year, it would be reasonable to undergo additional testing to help evaluate your fertility status. Then you may be able to determine whether or not the position of your uterus is related to a delay in conception.

Pregnancy can occur without penetration into the vagina. Pregnancy can also occur at various times during your cycle, particularly for women who have irregular periods. And yes, some women do experience bleeding at the time of their expected menstruation even though they are pregnant.

Intimacy of this nature can have serious consequences, including pregnancy and the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases (AIDS, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, etc.). While it is unlikely that you conceived, it is possible. A pregnancy test may be reassuring.

Health and Fitness: Contraceptives Birth Control Article Category

Did you know that your teenage daughter can get a birth control implant without your consent? This might sound scary to some of us but the NHS seems to think that it is preferable to unplanned teenage pregnancy. Of course it is not just pregnancy that is the issue but also the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. Initially the rate of teenage pregnancies did not appear to be on the decrease despite numerous campaigns and it seemed that trying to convince teenagers not to have sex or have safer sex was not working that well and that encouraging contraception was a more viable alternative.

Contraceptives like the pill and condoms are only effective when used correctly but condoms need to be on hand at the appropriate time and pills may be forgotten. According to the UK Office for National Statistics 'The number of conceptions to girls aged under 16 was 7,158 in 2009, compared with 7,586 in 2008 (a decrease of 5.6 per cent). Three-fifths (59.8 per cent) of conceptions to girls aged under 16 in 2009 led to a legal abortion.' If this trend continues downwards can we then thank contraceptives for the change? Should we then be encouraging increased uptake?

It appears that some teenagers still operate under the assumption that 'it won't happen to me' despite sex education so if you can't stop your teenagers from having sex when they have chosen to how can we protect them from the unintended consequences? In the past parents would argue that it's physically, emotionally and psychologically beneficial to keep sexual activity within the bounds of a lifelong mutually faithful relationship but does this thinking still resonate with our teenagers today?

So what is the birth control implant anyway? Implanon is the brand name for the small, rod-shaped subdermal implant containing etonogestrel which is a synthetic form of the female sex hormone, progesterone produced by the ovary to prevent the release of eggs. The hormones released by the implant prevent pregnancy for up to three years after which they must be replaced. It can be inserted below the skin on the inner part of the upper arm by a trained clinician in a few minutes.

The benefits to using the implant are that once it is properly inserted it requires no follow-up action and is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is also discrete because it is not visible under the skin although it can be felt when touching the skin over the implant. There is no need for teenagers to be reminded to take the contraceptive regularly. Although the implant is safe to use possible side-effects include irregular bleeding, spotting, heavy periods or no period at all. It is also critical to remember that the implant offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.

So what would you think if your teenage daughter went behind your back and got the implant? Alternatively, what would you think of a parent that insists that their teenage daughter gets an implant? Ultimately, it is her body so should it be her choice?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birth Control and the Importance of Choice

In weighing birth control options, "How much is plan B?" is a vital question to ask. Each birth control method differs from the other, and these differences aren't manifested only in terms of cost. They differ in the way they are administered, in how often they need to be used, in how long they stay effective, in their possible side effects, and others. Also, each birth control method needs to fit the needs of the person who wants to use it, so it's mostly on a case-by-case basis. However, before even beginning to weigh these options, people first need to understand exactly what this is all about.

Birth control or contraception is an important aspect of family planning. All living beings are precious, and the quality of life is something we need to guard conscientiously. When babies are born in this world, it should be because they are wanted. It should be because their parents are excited to see them and give them full, quality lives. Raising a child is an enormous responsibility, and only those who are ready to take that responsibility should do it. This is precisely one of the reasons why contraceptives exist. Contraceptives are there to prevent any unwanted pregnancies, thereby ensuring the quality of life - not only for the babies that do get born, but for the children who are already here. Various methods of birth control have been used to plan the spacing between children, and families are all the better for it. Timing is a very important part of family planning, because not only should they ask themselves if they are responsible enough to raise a child, they should also ask themselves if NOW is a good time to do so. This proactive stance parents take is admirable, because it shows that they are really giving a lot of thought into planning their family life.

Of course, this isn't just about family planning. It is also useful for a lot of health reasons. Some contraceptives have been used to prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases, which continue to affect so many people everywhere in the world. We live in different times, and people are free to make their own choices, but to be responsible about those choices is another thing. No sexually active adult in the right mind would risk contracting a sexually transmitted disease if properly educated about it and the ways to prevent it. This is another reason why contraceptives exist.

At the end of the day, this is about the choices we make. Choosing to practice birth control is actually about taking responsibility for your sexual life. But the choice does not end there. Birth control is not a bag of jelly beans that people pick randomly from. You know your individual needs, so the next step is to fit those needs with the various options available. The bottom line is that it's important to make an informed choice when it comes to birth control, and because information is now readily available, this shouldn't be too hard to do.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Considering the Contraceptive IUD

The contraceptive IUD is a relatively no fuss, insert and forget form of birth control. It can provide an extremely high level of protection and when it works well with your body can be left for years at a time with minimal check ups.

Available in a hormonal and a copper IUD, both are small devices that are fitted inside a woman's uterus to prevent pregnancy. They work by changing the lining of the uterus making it inhospitable for pregnancy and preventing sperm from being able to travel through the uterus and fertilize eggs. The hormonal IUD also thickens mucus and stops sperm from entering the cervix.

The contraceptive IUD is perfect for busy women who don't want the concern of taking a daily pill or the fuss of other more cumbersome female contraceptives. Best suited to women in stable relationships who are at minimal risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, when the IUD works, it really is a peace of mind contraception.

The main advantages of the contraceptive IUD are that firstly it is very long lasting, the with hormonal IUD lasting up to five years and the copper IUD a staggering 10 years. Both IUD's are also relatively inexpensive.

The disadvantages vary depending on the type of IUD. For example the copper IUD can result in heavier more painful periods, where the hormonal IUD usually results in lighter periods or no bleeding at all. Both can cause abdominal pain and cramping and have a risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease.

Although the contraceptive IUD does have some disadvantages and like all other forms of female contraception, possible side effects, one of the biggest adjustments when using the IUD is not necessarily physical but rather mental.

It can take quite a bit of getting used to not having to worry about falling pregnant or fretting about whether or not it's really working. Once of the contraceptive IUD's main advantages is that it cannot be felt by either the woman or her partner during intercourse, which at first can cause a little uncertainty when it is first being used. It can also take a while for some women to come to terms with having a permanent plastic or copper device sitting inside their uterus.

To offer piece of mind, most coils have a piece of string or fine nylon threads attached to the lower end that curtail through the cervix and into the upper vagina. Their purpose is to make for easy insertion and removal of the IUD (both of which can only by performed by a doctor) but they are also there so the woman can reach inside and ensure that the contraceptive IUD is still in place, sitting where it is supposed to be.

Doing this can also take a bit of getting used to and it can be rather unnerving if you can't locate the threads. In some instances, the threads can be pushed partially or completely out of the uterus. Or in rare cases, the device can slip through the wall of uterus and in to the pelvic area. This is called uterine perforation and in this event the IUD can only be removed during surgery.

However, for the majority of women who choose to use the IUD contraceptive, once their body has adjusted to the device enjoy the benefits that it provides. The main benefit being that once inside it is left to do the job it is meant to do.

All in all the side effects of intrauterine contraception are no more than other forms of contraception. If it works well with your lifestyle and you are in a monogamous relationship, the IUD can be very advantageous. Another huge benefit is that once removed, there is generally a very quick turnaround back to fertility.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Birth Control Options That You Should Know

Many people don't really know what birth control options they have. They are usually familiar with the hormonal pill or with the condom, but not more. With sexual education now being taught in schools, it is only expected to have an increase in sexual awareness and birth control options in the younger generations. However, not all communities and families approve of pregnancy control education in early school years, particularly since children are too immature, and because any attempt to introduce them to birth control becomes a way to speed up their sexually active life.

From all birth control options, condoms only offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STD or STI), including AIDS. However, for optimal protection, condoms like all other birth control options should be used consistently and correctly. In terms of statistics, condoms are considered 75% to 85% efficient in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Due to incorrect use, or to low quality, condoms may break, tear or slip, thus exposing both sex partners to disease and the eventuality of pregnancy.

It is a good idea for people who want to become sexually involved to know what pregnancy control options they have at hand. The choice varies greatly depending on personal preferences, beliefs, health condition or on whether the two are committed to a serious relationship or they have sex with more partners. Although some issues tend to be considered taboos, you should not shy out when it comes to talking to the doctor. Discussing all the details, weighing the pros and cons and getting all the questions answered represents the best way to figure out the optimal birth control method for you.

It's quite rewarding for doctors and family planning specialists to see couples come together for an appointment in order to discuss openly about the various birth control options available. However, reading various online materials may not always prove enough for the education of youngsters. This is just a first step towards getting educated and establishing solid, healthy relationships. Knowing what birth control options there are available, makes choices easier. However, individual specificity remains the decisive factor, and only a specialist can help you figure out the right approach.

In families where parents take the time to talk to their children about sexuality and the responsibilities of active sexual life, the risks of unwanted pregnancies, abortion or sexually transmitted diseases are lower. Parents therefore ought to guide their siblings with advice or take them to a specialist to get more answers if they themselves can't offer them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All About the Birth Control Patch

The birth control patch is a contraceptive method consisting of a 4.5-centimeter patch that releases hormones through the skin into the blood stream.

How does the birth control patch work?

The patch contains a combination of progesterone and estrogen, which are hormones with a function in controlling ovulation. This pregnancy control method actually prevents the release of an egg from the ovary, and without ovulation, there is no possibility to get pregnant.

Similarly to other hormone-based birth control means, the patch also thickens the cervical mucus, making it difficult for the sperm to travel in the uterus to reach the eggs that might have been released.

Last but not least, the patch also works on the lining of the uterus making it unfavorable for the implantation of a fertilized egg.

How to use the birth control patch?

Just like with any other pregnancy control method, the use of the patch depends on the menstrual cycle. You put the patch on the skin on the first day of the period, and you will then change it once a week, for three weeks in a row. You may apply the patch on the abdomen, the upper torso, the buttocks or the upper arms, but not on the breasts. No patch is worn during the fourth week, and this is the time when the period starts.

For efficiency, the birth control patch has to be applied on the skin on the same day of the week, so that it continues to give you protection. You should not apply the new patch exactly on the same spot as the other one, so that you avoid local skin irritation.

What if the patch falls off?

In case the patch gets detached by accident or you forget to apply it on the right day, you should talk to the doctor and carefully read the usage instructions in the package. Protection goes away within 24 hours of not wearing the patch. You should use an alternative birth control method, or not have sex in order to prevent pregnancy.

Special mentions

You can shower, bathe or go swimming while wearing a patch.

Don't take it off to change the location because it might lose its stickiness and fall more easily.

Don't use the birth control patch on makeup, powder, body lotion or any other skincare product.

Don't use tape to attach it on the skin and don't trim it!