Wrap it up! Yesterday, Pfizer announced a recall of one million packs of faulty birth control pills and warned everyone to use a backup method immediately. The recalled pill packs were a mix of packages in which some contained too many “active” pills, while others had too few. As we all learned in health class and/or Judy Blume novels, birth control pills work by tricking your body into pregnancy through regulation of your lady-hormones. If the balance in the hormones is off-set, then you are not protected from pregnancy. Affected birth control pills are sold under the name Lo/Ovral-28 and as generic Norgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol and a full list of recalled lot numbers is available on the Pfizer web site. The pills aren’t dangerous to your health, but should be returned to your pharmacy … unless you want to get knocked up. [Raw Story, The Atlantic Wire, Pfizer.com]
Most employers will be required to cover the full cost of contraception and other preventative services in their health plans under the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. This means that women’s preventative health care like birth control will be available without co-pays or deductibles when Obama’s health care reform law goes into effect in August 1, 2012.
This past August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that health insurers would be required to cover birth control without co-pays following the release of a report by the Institute of Medicine. That independent panel of doctors had cited coverage of preventative health care, such as STD screening and birth control, in its recommendation of best practices.
(And of course the talking boobs on Fox News wasted no time asking what Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be forced to cover next — manicures and pedicures?!?! Really. Someone said that. )
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The Frisky has kept you up-to-date on what Bill O’Reilly and other conservatives think about health insurers being told to cover women’s birth control without co-pays — i.e. will Blue Cross/Blue Shield cover mani/pedis next? Thankfully, Stephen Colbert has also weighed in and it’s a good thing, too. How else would we know that birth control is exactly what killed the dinosaurs? [The Colbert Report] Keep reading »
Pharmacists would be forbidden to refuse to dispense birth control based on their religious beliefs under a bill re-introduced to Congress last week. The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act would punish pharmacists who force women to either find another pharmacy to get their contraceptives — a problem if you live someplace like rural Idaho — or go without their Loestrin entirely. Keep reading »
For the past three years, I have not taken any birth control pills and instead solely relied on condoms for contraception. These past few years, I have been a full-time freelancer without health insurance and I have prioritized paying for my anti-depressant prescription — anywhere from $100 to $120 bucks a month, depending on the pharmacy — over BC.
But if the Obama administration gets its way after a thorough review from health experts, the costs of contraceptives and other family planning services will be covered by insurers under health care reform. Contraceptives would be considered “preventative services” because they prevent unwanted pregnancies and a host of other health issues that come along with the stork’s surprises. Wouldn’t that be the jam?
Don’t get too excited yet, though: some “family” organizations are already whining that pregnancy is “not a disease” and birth control should not be considered a preventative service. Keep reading »
Back in 1968, British researchers began following 46,000 women. They compared women who took birth control pills to those who didn’t and found that those who began taking birth control in the late ’60s lived longer than those who never took it. The researchers also found that the pill decreased the women’s chances of “dying from bowel cancer by 38 percent and from other diseases by 12 percent.” The experts know very little regarding how the pill prolongs life because the study only compared birth control pill takers to those who never took it, and other factors, such as a woman’s general health, could also play a role. They suspect the synthetic hormones that suppress ovulation may also prevent other diseases, including ovarian and endometrial cancer. Sadly, though, the pill still increases the risk of breast and cervical cancer for women who take it today. [AP] Keep reading »
Blogger Amanda Hess of The Sexist took her video camera around D.C. and asked a bunch of dudes to explain how different types of women-controlled birth control work, including the Pill, the patch, diaphragms, and Nuva-ring. Some guys get an A+ for looking adorable while trying … while others don’t know what the eff they’re talking about. (Like the guy who says the birth control pill is the same thing as emergency contraception. No sex for you until you straighten that one out, bucko!) And an A++ for the guy wearing flannel and glasses who uses the phrase “sexual congress” with a straight face. Whoever he’s schtupping is a lucky woman.
Hey, dudes who read The Frisky, can you do any better? (And no looking up the answers on other web sites and cheating.) [The Sexist] Keep reading »
We’ve all heard about emergency contraception — also called “the morning after pill” — which is most effective when a woman takes it up to 72 hours (five) after unprotected sex to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Chances are, you or someone you know has taken EC after the condom broke, a sexual assault, or some other emergency. Recently, medical experts have been talking about Ellaone, a morning after pill available in the UK, which also very effective up to five days after unprotected sex. In one study, Ellaone prevented two-thirds of pregnancies within three days of unprotected sex and 50 percent of pregnancies within five days.
Ellaone currently isn’t available in the United States, but it could be eventually. Problem is, though, anti-abortion activists both here and in the UK are railing against Ellaone, calling it an “abortion pill.” Keep reading »
Nothing has made us giggle as hard this morning as this “Colbert Report” clip about 17-year-old Freesia Jackson, who was nailed by her school officials for possession of a controlled substance: her birth control pills. Popping a baby-blocker in the cafeteria earned this little trollop a two-week suspension from school.
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