Exciting things are happening in my lady parts: I’ve gone back on the birth control pill. After a few years of being single and not getting enough sex to justify a Yaz prescription, I’m once again getting boned on the regular. My guy is definitely thrilled the condoms can finally come off—but trust me; he can’t be more thrilled than me. I hate condoms. Keep reading »
No one can deny Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a longtime, committed supporter of the rights of women and girls globally—especially the right for women to plan their pregnancies. Clinton spoke this afternoon at the International Conference on Population and Development on the 15th anniversary of its historic Cairo summit, when 179 governments adopted a program to level out population and development by addressing gender equity and reproductive rights.
I listened to Secretary of State Clinton’s speech live on C-SPAN (watch the video here) and teared up. Here’s a (rough) transcript for some of the points she made. Keep reading »
A new study has found that British women under the age of 50 choose condoms for birth control as often as they choose the Pill. This is the first time the two contraceptives have been used equally (each is used by 25 percent of women under 50) since statistics have been collected. Campaigns to get women to carry condoms and protect themselves against STDs have been credited for the increased condom use, though over half of sexually active single people said publicity about STDs had not made them use condoms. Hmm … I wonder if maybe all those crazy side effects of the Pill — not to mention expense — has something to do with the growing number of condom users? Maybe women are just sick of feeling sick. [via Daily Mail] Keep reading »
The Contraception Opera, “starring sperm and egg,” combines two of my favorite things — sex education and interpretive dance! Genius. [via BuzzFeed
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Authors of a new paper in Contraception magazine say that the withdrawal method is as effective as condoms when it comes to pregnancy prevention. They say “typical use” of the withdrawal method results in pregnancy 18 percent of the time, versus 17 percent for typical use of condoms. The lead author, Rachel K. Jones, told the New York Times that she and her colleagues wanted to publish the paper because the pullout method was being dismissed, and some people had the impression that it was akin to not using contraception at all. She added that it seemed logical to compare the withdrawal method with condoms because health care professionals advocate condom use, even though that method also has flaws. Now, however, some educators and physicians fear that putting out this new message will cause teenagers to abandon condoms altogether. They also point out that unlike condoms, the withdrawal method can’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections. The pullout method is less problematic in marriages and other monogamous, long-term relationships, but what happens when a young man gets it wrong or doesn’t withdraw when he said he would? Can horny teen boys really be trusted to pull out? Keep reading »
In an upcoming issue of Contraception, Rachel K. Jones of the Guttmacher Institute makes the case that sex educators should start teaching the withdrawal method as a form of birth control. Jones argues that when practiced properly, the withdrawal method is quite effective at preventing pregnancy, and only four percent of those who use it “perfectly” will get pregnant in the next year. The method, like birth control pills, however, has no proven effect when it comes to preventing the transmission of STDs, although researchers are hoping to study that, too.
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Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the FDA to make the Plan B morning-after birth control pill available without a prescription to women 17 and up. In a very crime show-sounding ruling, the court said, “The FDA repeatedly and unreasonably delayed issuing a decision on Plan B for suspect reasons.” How sordid! Apparently, the FDA only considered a petition about Plan B when Congress threatened to hold up FDA commissioners’ confirmation hearings. And, the FDA ignored it’s own advisory panel and scientists, who found that Plan B could be safely used by 17-year-olds. Keep reading for five things you should know about the morning-after pill, no matter what your age. [NY Times, Reuters] Keep reading »
President Barack Obama has been in office for more than 50 days, but the impact of the previous eight years is still leaving an impression. According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, 2007 marked the second straight year teen birth rates rose in the U.S. The first year, 2006, ended a 14 year decline. More than 70 percent of Black babies and 51.3 percent of Hispanic babies were born to unmarried women in 2007 and the teen birth rate increased by five percent between 2005 and 2007. Some experts are blaming the increase on the Bush administration’s “abstinence-only” education policy. Keep reading »
“[The AIDS epidemic in Africa] is a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems…. It is of great concern that the fabric of African life, its very source of hope and stability, is threatened by divorce, abortion, prostitution, human trafficking and a contraception mentality…. The traditional teaching of the church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids.” — Pope Benedict XVI
While it’s to be expected that the Catholic Church continues to have a conservative outlook on abortion and premarital sex, the fact the Pope is still unwilling to get behind the use of contraception to stop the spread of AIDS surprises (and appalls) many — especially as he embarks on a tour of Sub-Saharan Africa, where 22 million (that’s 67%) of the global total of 32.9 million people with HIV live. Nearly three quarters of AIDS deaths in 2007 were in the region. I wasn’t raised Catholic, so this doesn’t have any impact on my faith in God or whatever, but I do wonder how Catholics feel when Church leaders still take such a conservative position on this vital issue. Readers please share in the comments! [Guardian U.K.] Keep reading »