Sometimes, it takes millions to convince the world of something. Other times, it could all be pushed over the edge by just a single instance. The latter is the case when discussing the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to finally legally require pharmaceutical companies to issue warning labels on their birth control patches. While there have been patients and doctors who have tried to get this to happen over the years, all it took was one case of a very real risk of death to finally get the FDA to do what many feel it should have done from the very start.
The issue stems from the risk of some of the synthetic compounds that hormone-based birth control methods release into the body can cause blood clots. These blood clots, specifically known as venous thromboembolisms (VTEs), can be dangerous to people due to the damage they can do if they manage to travel to the lungs. These clots, an exceedingly rare side effect of birth control hormones, have been known to cause highly fatal pulmonary embolisms. As previously mentioned, VTEs are among the rarest if not the rarest of the possible side effects of the pill and the patch. For many years, the risk was considered to be so low and insignificant for the pill that it was largely ignored by the world. However, for those many years, the same believed to be a false assumption for the patch.
The old suspicion of the birth control patch releasing hormones more directly into the body, thereby increasing the risks of side effects, has only recently been confirmed. The blood clots in question, in particular, have been a cause of much concern over the years. Women’s groups and concerned medical professionals have noted the possible effects of the increased hormones and the higher risk of VTEs in the patches and have been trying to convince the FDA to issue orders so that an appropriate warning can be issued. However, the FDA has managed to uphold its initial ruling that the risks for the patch are as low as those for the pill, up until recently. Along with one prominent incident, a scientific study also served as the final confirmation needed for the FDA to finally take notice. Some of the more extreme elements applauded the FDA order, but believes it would be more prudent to have the birth control patches banned from the US market.
In their defense, pharmaceutical companies stated that the risks of using the patch are being drastically overplayed. They claim that the patches do not pose an increased risk for healthy females; at least, not any more than what the pill would. However, they did openly admit that certain lifestyle, genetic, and health factors could come into play to increase the risks of side effects, including the formation of VTEs. According to a number of pharmaceutical companies, these factors can include things such as smoking, alcoholism, a history of substance abuse, hormonal imbalances, and genetic abnormalities that affect the blood. They also mentioned that patients need not use the patches, and that there were plenty of birth control alternatives available to them.
People who use birth control can generally be categorized into two different types. There are the ones that are using because they don’t want a child at the moment for a variety of reasons, and the ones that don’t want children at all. Permanent birth control options are available for the latter group of people, but the former group has a significantly wider range of methods to choose from. Among these methods would be the ever-popular use of the birth control pill, though this poses a mild problem should the women ever want to actually have children.
In essence, the pill works by altering hormone levels in the woman’s body to make it believe that the woman is already pregnant. This has the effect of interrupting the typical menstrual cycle and preventing the ovaries from releasing the egg cell, which in turn prevents conception. There are a few side effects that can be linked to these hormonal alterations, but in general, the consensus is that they work fine. However, what exactly happens to the body once a woman stops using birth control pills? Most women are aware of what the pill does and have some vague notion of how it works, but generally lack any concrete idea of what happens when they stop taking it.
Even if a woman wants to have children and has quit from the pill, there are still a few things that need to be checked and kept in mind. First and foremost, using pills really changes a woman’s hormonal make-up. These hormonal changes delay the completion of the woman’s ovulation cycle. Each pill taken increases the duration of the delay, naturally. The body is basically forced to adjust by the effect of synthetic hormones that the pills trigger, putting off the risk of pregnancy by fooling the body into believing it already is pregnant. If a woman stops taking the pill, the body will need time to readjust to the situation and, basically, pick the ovulation cycle up where it left off. After pregnancy, hormone levels drop off and the body returns to normal, with the same principle applying when a woman stops using birth control.
Usually, it takes about three months for the body to get back to its natural rhythm and fully recover from the pills. However, there are some cases where this does not happen and the body remains, for lack of a better word, sterile. Some companies have developed hormonal treatments to correct this, which are meant to kick start the process of ovulation that contraceptive pills have stalled. In this case, it really boils down to little more than hormone levels and knowing which hormones to tweak (and how much) to achieve the desired effect in the body. It should be noted, though, that these hormone medications do not always work.
In cases where it has taken more than three months for the body to get back to normal hormone production, it may be prudent to consult a medical professional. While considered unlikely, it is possible that long-term use of birth control pills can disrupt the natural hormone-production process for women, even after the drug is no longer used. As stated, there are hormonal pharmaceuticals that can help the body start correcting this problem, but these should only be taken if advised by a doctor.
When considering options to prevent pregnancy without sacrificing intercourse by abstaining, both men and women have a multitude of options. For men, the most commonly mentioned way to prevent conception would be the condom. While not always an accepted method of contraception in various territories (usually because of ridiculous cultural norms or even more ridiculous religions ones), it is among the most widely used in the world. For women, the most commonly used method would likely be birth control pills, which usually encounter the same religion-fueled objections that condoms do, but are less likely to earn a culture-inspired dislike. However, medically speaking, there might be some problems for women who regularly use birth control pills.
Birth control pills do exactly what the name implies, which is control certain aspects of the female physiology to prevent conception. For the most part, these pills are not dangerous and pose no side effects that can be seriously harmful, even if they aren’t always 100% effective. However, given the unpredictable and varying nature of human bodies and the unique biochemistry of every individual human being, there are bound to be problems at one point or another. Also, not all birth control pills work on the same base formula, even if they have the same effects. These different formulas may react to certain physiologies or blood chemistry states differently, which can lead to potentially harmful and unexpected results.
Irregular menstruation is frequently cited as one of the possible side effects of birth control pills. This is likely because some of these pills work by altering the flow of hormones in the female body. While these alterations normally should not have an effect on a woman’s menstrual cycle, some more sensitive bodies (or some more potent formulas) can disrupt the natural flow of the body. Usually, this is accompanied by swelling and sensitivity in the breasts, almost as if the subject was pregnant, as some observers have noted. Again, this is traceable to the effects some birth control pills have on the delicate hormonal balance of the female body.
Some types of birth control pills are also kept away from people who have or have had certain medical conditions. Some forms of birth control are not considered safe for people who have had liver tumors or liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, reproductive cancer, blood clotting, and high blood pressure. Various side effects can arise from prescribing certain types of pills to people who have had these problems, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and a loss of bone density. As with irregular menstruation, these have been traced back to hormonal imbalances, mainly from a sudden change in the levels of progesterone and oestrogen (not estrogen, which is a completely different hormone) in the body. It has not yet been determined why certain illnesses, combined with changes in hormone levels, bring about the above effects.
It should be noted that the above cases are considered to be rare, and birth control pills should be safe for most women to use as a contraceptive. As with any other medication, if anyone experiences sudden or unexpected effects after taking them, then a doctor should be consulted. If necessary, then different medication may be prescribed to avoid further side effects or damage.
As there are millions of sexually active men and women worldwide, there are also a comprehensive selections of birth control method available for them to wisely choose from and properly utilize. In fact, these contraceptive options, most popular are the barrier and hormonal methods, are not only known to effectively prevent unwanted pregnancies, but they are also efficient treatments to a number of health conditions and concerns.
However, there are still some people who believe in odd practices that promise the same protection that one can get from the conventional birth control methods. These myths are called as such for these are the methods that some individuals falsely believed to be as effective means to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Unlike the common types of contraceptive methods, birth control myths’ efficacy is not proven by any form of medical study or research.
Hence, if you do not wish to get pregnant or experience the hassle of worrying if you might actually become pregnant, never ever believe in methods and practices that are considered today as birth control myths.
The following are some of the most popular birth control myths or stories that some people, sadly, believe and practice today despite the absence of proven evidences that such methods and practices actually do work:
Myth 1: There is a safe time within the month for a woman to have unprotected sex or it is safe for a woman to have sex during her menstruation period.
None of the two statements is true. You can get pregnant anytime or any day within the month if you engage in unprotected sex. Remember that there is really no exact or definite way to predict ovulation, since this process is really not associated with a woman’s last menstruation period. Ovulation is based on the start of the menstruation cycle of the month. Unfortunately, this is something that is hard to determine or predict, thus, making it a very risky method of contraception, particularly for young females.
Myth 2: After the sexual intercourse, a woman can rinse out the sperm from her vagina to prevent or avoid conception.
This is a very ineffective way of preventing pregnancy, for you can never wash out the sperm once inside a woman’s vagina. Some claim that douching by means of Coca Cola can actually kill sperm. However, it is not recommended, for it is a very complicated process.
Myth 3: Pregnancy is not possible if you have sex for the first time or if you do it standing up.
These are wrong, for preventing pregnancy has nothing to do with any sexual position as well as the number of times one engages in sexual activities.
Myth 4: Pregnancy is prevented in withdrawal method.
This is a risky way of preventing conception since you can never really predict or time ejaculation. Take note that ejaculation is not really necessary in conception, for it only takes one sperm to unite with a woman’s fertilized egg. Also when a man ejaculates and pulls out from a woman’s vagina, few sperm are still likely to mix with vaginal moisture and move into the uterus.
For many couples, having a child is a source of
joy brought about by careful thought and conscious
choice. It is also a tough decision to make most
especially for women who have other things in mind
such as their career or further studies. For
millions of women and their partners who opt not
to get pregnant, contraception is always a viable
Christians have always condemned contraceptive
sex. Both forms mentioned in the Bible, coitus
interruptus and sterilization, are condemned
without exception. The early Fathers recognized
that the purpose of sexual intercourse in natural
law is procreation, hence contraceptive sex, which
deliberately blocks that purpose, is a violation
of natural law. However, in this day and age,
things are changing and contraception can not be
Birth control or contraception is a course of
therapy involving one or more actions, devices, or
medications that prevents pregnancy. In other
words, the mechanisms responsible for lessening
the possibility of the fertilization of an ovum by
a spermatozoon can be precisely referred to as
Stepping into the past, the oldest methods of
contraception included coitus interruptus,
certain barrier methods, and herbal methods.
Historic records say that Egyptian women used a
pessary made of various acidic substances and
lubricated with honey or oil, which was good at
killing sperm. In Asia, women took to oiled paper
as a cervical cap while the Europeans had
supposedly used bee wax.
It was not before the seventeenth century that the
condom came into being. The earliest forms of
condoms were actually made from animal intestine.
It was only with the advent of modern latex
condoms, that they became all the very effective
and accepted. It came to prominence as an
effective means of contraception and not to
mention giving hopes avoiding syphilis whatsoever.
There are other types of contraception, too many
to choose from, but if couples want to go for a
natural birth control method, Fertility Awareness
Method (FAM) can be a solution. Any method of
identifying the fertile and infertile time in the
menstrual cycle by self observations is a kind of
fertility awareness method. The term Fertility
Awareness Method, or FAM, however, has come to be
associated with the three over six way of
identifying ovulation and the infertile or fertile
time. This method, similarly described by both the
World Health Organization and Professor John
Marshall in the 1960s and geared largely for
couples wishing to avoid pregnancy, identifies
ovulation after three temperatures above the
previous six temperatures have been observed and
cervical fluid has dried up. A coverline is then
drawn slightly above the highest of the six
temperatures before the temperature rise.
FAM also refers to a natural birth control method
outside of a religious framework that supports the
use of barrier methods (such as condom, diaphragm,
and spermicide), emergency contraception, and
abortion. It allows a woman to identify days in
her menstrual cycle on which they are likely to be
fertile. Many women use this information to help
them get pregnant, but it can also be used to help
them avoid pregnancy.
FAM is often confused with the ineffective rhythm
method, which uses mathematical calculations based
on past cycle lengths to predict infertile days
for the present cycle. FAM relies only on daily
observation of fertility changes in the present
and is deemed more effective. It eliminates the
problems of hormones affecting the milk in
breastfeeding women and avoids the hassle of
staining which can occur with pills and IUDs.
FAM is a natural birth control method that is safe
and highly effective when used correctly and
Some people ask themselves if it’s okay to engage in premarital sex and in their minds try to weigh its pros and cons. There are couples who engage in premarital sex way before they even get into high school. At the onset of puberty, kids begin to be curious about their sexuality. And without proper guidance, these kids explore and venture into the realm of the senses without much thought of the dire consequence of their impulsive actions. Come to think of it, teens are not the only ones guilty of such wanton behavior but even adults as well. Indeed, the world has shaped a permissive attitude towards premarital sex.
On the positive side of the scale, there is peer acceptance and the gratification of sexual desires. After all, the kind of message we receive in the media today, be it on TV or in the movies, is that everyone is doing it. But its downside carries the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and the heavy weight of moral consequence such as guilt. Thus, morality plays a vital role in dealing with the issues about premarital sex. But for those couples who have learned to wait, the prospect of married life and eventually, raising their own family becomes a satisfying experience.
Parenthood is one of the noblest tasks a married couple has to take as they carry on with their relationship. Some who are not blessed to have their own children would even go to the extent of adopting someone elses child just so they can experience parenthood.
In most countries, there is no limit as to the number of children couples can have as long as he can provide for their needs and welfare. However, due to economic considerations, many couples have decided to put a limit to the number of kids they want to raise, much to the consternation of the church. We all know that the church advocates procreation and is totally against family planning or birth control. Thus, we are faced with the dilemma of choosing between having a big and happy brood than a small but a well-planned family.
Family planning is not just to limit the number of kids a family but is also a means to improve the quality of life of each family member. Its not just about birth control but laying a solid foundation for a better future.
The type of birth control you choose depends on your needs. Some people only need to prevent pregnancy. Modern couples try not to have babies in the first two years of marriage in order for them to enjoy each other as husband and wife. This will enable them to have strong bonding and prepares them for the coming of their future children. If and when they decide to have kids, they try to plan or limit the number and succession of their offspring. By doing so, they are able to manage and monitor the needs of their children in terms of their financial, emotional, and physical capabilities.
Other couples may also resort to contraceptives to protect themselves or their partners from diseases that can be passed on by having sex. These diseases are called sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): AIDS, chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Statistics released by Planned Parenthood shows that birth control paved the way for improved family life: The maternal death rate has fallen more than 60 percent. The infant death rate has declined by more than 70 percent. Birth control not only saves lives it helps women and their families prevent poverty, plan their futures, and take charge of their destinies.
To decide which method to use at this point in your life, talk with your family doctor about the pros and cons of each birth control option. Better yet, think before you do.
While a certain study on birth control pills suggests a long-lasting negative effect on women’s sexual function, it does not, however, prove that it can cause sexual dysfunction on women who are not on the pill. But it does add to previous research findings that some birth control pills can lower a woman’s free-testosterone level. Women with low testosterone are prone to a number of health problems that includes sexual health.
According to Dr. Claudia Panzer and Dr. Irwin Godstein of Boston University Medical Center, they found significantly lower scores in the Full Scale (female sexual function test) and in the domain of sexual desire for women on oral contraceptives compared with those who had never used oral contraceptives.
There was significantly more sexual pain in the women who were taking oral contraceptives, added Panzer, who practices her profession in Denver, and Goldstein, who is editor in chief of the Journal of Sexual Medicine where the study appeared.
One finding that is considered very alarming is that when these women stopped taking birth control pills they had long-lasting increases in a protein that sucks up testosterone.
Further research is needed to identify whether SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) changes induced by oral contraceptives may or may not be completely reversible after discontinuation of oral contraceptives, and whether this leads to long-term sexual, metabolic, and mental-health changes in some women, wrote Panzer.
The study looked at 124 women, all of whom had sexual health complaints. Half of these women were using different kinds of birth control pills. Another 39 women had used the pill for at least six months but stopped at the beginning of the study, while 23 women had never used the pill. These 23 women who had never used the pill were slightly older (average age 36) than those still on the pill (average age 32) and those who stopped using the pill (average age 32).
The study suggested that women who had used birth control pills reported greater sexual dysfunction, less sexual desire, and greater pain during sex than those who never used the pill. Those who had used oral contraceptives had four times higher SHBG levels than those who had never used this birth control method. It is believed that SHBG lasts in the body for only about two weeks. Sure enough, the women who stopped using the pill saw about a 2.5-fold drop in their SHBG levels after 106 days. However, higher-than-normal SHBG levels persisted.
Panzer and her colleagues followed 11 of these women for a year or more. Their SHBG levels remained much higher than normal. That could be a problem, observed the researchers, as women with high SHBG levels might have lower testosterone levels.
SHBG values may remain elevated to values significantly higher than ‘never users’ for a prolonged period of time despite discontinuation of oral contraceptives, warned Panzer. This is an early observation, which needs to be evaluated further, she said.