Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Contraceptive/Pregnancy Prevention Information

I personally believe education and information on pregnancy prevention is a key part of preventing the majority of unplanned pregnancies. Choosing the birth control that is right for you can be an empowering experience.  There are many different kinds of birth control options. They vary in price, difficulty to use, availability, side effects, and cost. What works well for one person may not be a good choice for another, so research your options and talk to your healthcare provider to make a birth control choice that works well for you.

However it's important to note that backing up your primary birth control with using a barrier method (such as a condom or contraceptive sponge for example) in addition to your regular birth control method will further provide protection from pregnancy & STDs.

Birth Control Comparisons
Feminist Women's Health Center's info on various methods of birth control. instructions for use, your health, advantages, disadvantages, preventing coercion, knowing your options.

E-Medicine Birth Control: Barrier Methods
Descriptions of the various methods, instructions for use, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. These methods include: male condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, and sponge

E-Medicine Birth Control: Behavioral Methods
(See More Links Below on Abstinence)
Descriptions of the various methods, instructions for use, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. These methods include: Continuous Abstinence, Coitus Interruptus, Natural Family Planning, Fertility Awareness Method, Other Methods of Periodic Abstinence, Breastfeeding, and Douching.

E-Medicine Birth Control: Hormonal Methods
Descriptions of the various methods, instructions for use, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. These methods include: Birth Control Pills, 91-Day Birth Control Pills, Progestin-Only Birth Control Pills, Birth Control Patch, Vaginal Ring, Implant, Injections and Combination Injections.

E-Medicine Birth Control: Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)
Descriptions of the various types, placement, removal, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. There are two types of IUDs, copper and hormonal.

E-Medicine Birth Control: Permanent Methods
Descriptions of the various types, placement, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. These methods include: female sterilization by tubal ligation, female sterilization implants, and vasectomy.

E-Medicine Birth Control: Spermicides
Descriptions of the various methods, instructions for use, side effects, advantages, and disadvantages. Vaginal spermicides are available in forms such as foam, cream, jelly, film, suppository, or tablet.

E-Medicine: Birth Control FAQs

The Emergency Birth Control Organization
Comprehensive information about the "morning after pill" and emergency contraception.

Emergency Contraception (Wikipedia)

The Emergancy Contraception Website
"Emergency contraceptives are methods of preventing pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse. They do not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Emergency contraception can be used when a condom breaks, after a sexual assault, or any time unprotected sexual intercourse occurs. Do not use emergency contraceptives as your only protection against pregnancy if you are sexually active or planning to be, because they are not as effective as any ongoing contraceptive method."

Epigee: Reproductive Health Guide
A large section divided into categories: "Why Is My Period Late?", "Sexually Transmitted Diseases", "Dangerous [Health] Conditions (PID, ectopic pregnancy, cervical cancer, TSS), "Responsible Choices and You: Let's Talk About Safe Sex", and "Infertility"

Family Health International
FHI works to improve reproductive health around the world by increasing the number of safe, effective, acceptable and affordable contraceptive methods to ensure that women and men achieve their desired number and spacing of children.

Health Information for Teens: Contraception/Birth Control
"As a teenage girl or young woman, you may be starting to think about what it means to be involved in a sexual relationship. There are many things that you need to think about before you decide to have sex, including whether this is the right person, the right time in your life, and how you will feel if the relationship breaks up. If you do decide to have sex, you definitely need to think about how to prevent getting pregnant and how to protect yourself from getting a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Keep reading to find out what type of contraception is best for you and your partner."

Scarleteen: Birth Control Bingo
Click through a series of detailed questions to narrow down your own best methods, become a pro on what method your partner is using, or windowshop in-depth info pages on each contraceptive option. With 25 integrated pages of teen and twentysomething-specific information, plenty of links, questions and answers, we've done our very best to help you protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility
"Welcome to all who are interested in learning more about the Fertility Awareness Method as a means of natural pregnancy avoidance as well as basic gynecological health."

Abstinence: Non-Religious Articles and Websites

Epigee: Abstinence

Abstinence: A Guide for Teens

America Pure
Students speak, write, and draw about the value of abstinence until marriage.

Article: How To Know if You're Ready For Sex

Life Athletes
Life Atheletes are Professional and Olympic athletes who are committed to living lives of virtue, abstinence, and respect life. A Life Athlete tries to treat others honestly and fairly. They recently expanded their membership to include all those willing to make the Life Athletes Commitment.

Not Me Not Now
Increases awareness of the consequences of teenage pregnancy, promotes sexual abstinence as the solution to the problem of teenage pregnancy, and promotes improved parent-child communications.

A hard look at statistics on pre-marital sex, unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, STDs, and AIDS

Responsible Choices and You: Let's Talk About Safe(r) Sex
"I frequently receive e-mail and questions about birth control and sexuality, and I am glad to answer these questions whenever possible. However, I have noticed that a number of people are participating in what I would term "reckless sexuality" -- situations or patterns of behavior that will lead to unfortunate consequences. I attempt to respond to what I have noticed are the most common problems facing couples."

Sex and Single Women: No One's Invented a Contraceptive Against Hurt
Looking at reasons to wait until marriage

Straight Talk
To promote the benefits of chastity education and support youth in their decision to postpone sexual activity until marriage; and to help youth gain confidence in their decision making and to build self esteem

Subverse Virginity by Sarah E. Hinlicky
A look at abstinence and feminism, and why abstinence until marriage is cool.

Truth for Youth
Truth 4 Youth is an organization that seeks to provide an alternative to pop culture's views on teenage relationships and sexual intimacy.

Turris Eburnia
A website devoted to young people, particularly to young women, which deals with many aspects of relationships and sexuality. The information is available in English, Spanish, French, Polish, Russian, Italian, German and Portugese.

What is Healthy Love? - Highly Recommended!
36 questions and answers on relationships and practicing abstinence.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fwd: I've Arrived

This was forwarded to me in e-mail:

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules.So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack.The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: October 16, 2004

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fw: National Girlfriend and Sister's Week

Every once in a while, I'll post some of the entertaining or informative forwards I get in my e-mail:

Girlfriends and Sisters Unite!

National Girlfriend and Sister's Week

What would most of us do without our sisters, confidants and shopping, lunching, and traveling girls? Let's celebrate each other for each other's sake!

Food for Thought: I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use, and the friends I have

15 Reasons Why It's Good to be a Woman

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make, could ever rival the Speedo.

6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

13. We will never regret piercing our ears.

14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.

15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

Send this to all the bright women you know and make their day!!!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Birth Control Pills Linked to Depression

Last Update: Monday, February 28, 2005.
"New research shows women taking the oral contraceptive pill are almost twice as likely to be depressed as those who do not. The Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (Australia) studied 60 women, and found that those taking the pill containing both oestrogen and progesterone were almost twice as likely to be depressed as those who did not."

"Studies have shown that the contraceptive pill can lower the levels and metabolism of certain vitamins and minerals in the body, including zinc, copper, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12. These nutrients are essential to control emotions and moods, and deficiencies could account for the depression and increased risk of suicide amongst women taking the pill." J. NUTRIT. & ENVIRON. MED. 1998, 121-7

Please note that the first study was based on women without a history of mood disorders

"Patients becoming significantly depressed while taking oral contraceptives should stop the medication and use an alternate method of contraception in an attempt to determine whether the symptom is drug related. Women with a history of depression should be carefully observed and the drug discontinued if significant depression occurs." LO/OVRAL-28 Warnings and Precautions
(6) Emotional Disorders  

Note: this precaution is included in the prescribing information for most or all oral contraceptives. What prompted me to write on this is my own experience with oral contraceptives and depression. I'm not trying to discourage women from going on the Pill, but rather caution women with a history of depression of this potential side effect.