Not to get all TMI on you — we’re all friends here, though, aren’t we? — but my husband and I are thinking about changing up our birth control to the ol’ pull-out method. Actually, correction: I’m thinking about it and he’s biding his time, not saying too much, hoping I come to my senses before my prescription for the Pill runs out. But the thing is, I’m beginning to hate the Pill. While I’m not experiencing the emotional side effects that I have in the past — thank God! — I am suffering from what I call the Big Boob Effect. My boobs have grown a whole cup size in the two years that I’ve been taking the Pill on the regular. I’m now a D-Cup, which may sound sweet to some of you, but remember, I went through surgery once before to have smaller boobs, so these Ds are not welcome in my book. In addition, I’ve gained about 10 pounds and no matter how much I exercise, I can’t seem to shed the extra weight. I’ve gone up a dress size in everything, and I’ve had to replace practically my whole wardrobe. I’m a confident person, but lately I’m pretty uncomfortable in my skin and I blame it on the Pill. Keep reading »
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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