Jul 152014
 

Seriously? She Got Arrested Over a Diaphragm???

 

The diaphragm has actually been around for a really long time. In the 1940’s they were prescribed regularly for contraception and was the best woman controlled option available. Advertisements touted them as being discrete so that the male partner wouldn’t know it was there, many men at the time didn’t approve. It gave women a new level of control over their fertility.

Diaphragms have actually been around longer than this; they were more like cervical barriers and were sometimes called “womb veils”. They’ve actually been around for almost as long as condoms and were made from things like oiled paper disks, algae and seaweed, beeswax, rubber, wool, pepper, silver, seeds, tree roots, fruits, vegetables, sponges in silk nets with strings. Whatever they could find to cover the cervix or in some cases plug the entrance to the womb.

 

Diaphragms Have an Interesting History in the US


MargaretSangerMargaret Sanger was a woman dedicated to empowering women; she was an early American birth control activist, nurse and sex educator. She opened the first birth control clinic is the US in 1916 which led her getting arrested for telling women about birth control.

You might wonder why she got arrested for talking about birth control, especially since she’s a nurse. Well, you see back then we weren’t allowed to talk about birth control because birth control was considered obscene and was prohibited by the 1873 federal Comstock Law. She became determined to do something because as a nurse tending to working class immigrant women, she was often on the front lines of the aftermath of a self-induced abortion or “back alley” abortions. Margaret came to believe that the only way for true social change would take place would be to challenge governmental censorship of practices of “family limitation”.

Margaret decided to take action and force the issue, the only way to change laws is to go through the system as cumbersome as it may be. So this is what she set out to do. It started with a newsletter called The Rebel Woman promoting birth control, a phrase she popularized and said that a woman should be “the absolute mistress of her own body”. Her goal with the newsletter was to instigate a legal challenge to the federal anti-obscenity laws, her goal to provoke a response succeeded. The postal service only delivered two of the seven volumes of her newsletter. She was arrested and indicted in 1914 and she jumped bail and went to Canada and from there to England.

As she fled the country, her associated initiated step two of her plan, releasing another publication called Family Limitation, this publication, even more radical than the first was designed to really take a stick to the hornets’ nest!

While in Europe, Margaret was introduced to the diaphragm and got really excited because she saw this as a superior contraceptive method to the suppositories and douches that American women were relying on to prevent pregnancy. The device was not available in the US and so she sent some back home, even though she was breaking the law and with the help of her second husband she smuggled large quantities into the US from Europe for distribution.

In 1932, Margaret arranged for a package of diaphragms sent from Japan and when it was confiscated by the post office it opened the door which allowed her to challenge the laws preventing women from getting information and access to birth control. Her success in court was a huge win for women all over America, opening the door to having more control over their bodies and fertility.

 

What is a Diaphragm Anyway?


ppdiaphragmThe diaphragm hasn’t changed too much over the years; it has a spring in the rim to hold the shape of the device and allow flexibility for insertion. The dome is usually made from latex but other materials are sometimes available. It fits behind the pubic bone and extends back to cover the cervix. The dome is a reservoir for spermicide. I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that crazy about bathing my cervix in spermicide for eight hours after sexual activity.

When learning fertility awareness methods, I don’t encourage my clients to use this method because it can hide fertility signals. Should my clients decide that they want to use the diaphragm, I also teach them about natural alternatives to spermicide which they can use instead so that they can avoid putting chemicals in their most sensitive areas.

What you need to know about Diaphragms:

  • Can be inserted several hours prior to intercourse and thus doesn’t interfere with spontaneity.
  • Can remain in place for up to 24 hours
  • Recommended to leave in 8 hours after intercourse
  • Needs to be used with spermicide
  • No protection against sexually transmitted diseases like HIV
  • Needs to be fitted by a physician

 

The Cervical Cap


cervicalcapsThe cervical cap has had a spotty history here in the US; it has been used more extensively in England and other European countries. The FDA inhibited the availability of the cervical caps for many years, allowing only one of the three available to European women to be sold in the US. The one they allowed is the second to the right; it only fits a particular shape of cervix. If your cervix was a different shape you wouldn’t be able to use it.

ppcervicalcap

Today, the only cervical cap that is available in the US is the Fem Cap. It’s still used with spermicide and is more effective for women who have never given birth vaginally. It’s much easier to remove than previous versions and it has a slightly higher failure rate than the diaphragm.

 

Perfect Use vs. Typical Use


Something else that is important to know about barrier methods is their effectiveness is very dependent on you. With this in mind, most contraceptive failure rates are calculated two ways. First, when they’re used perfectly every time with no mistakes ever, meaning the method was used consistently and correctly every time. Second is a “typical use” rate in which they take into account the errors that people make when using the method, when they blow off using their birth control, etc. These types of behaviors increase the chances the method will fail.

Barrier Contraceptive Method: Perfect use: Typical use:
Condom (male) 98% 82%
Diaphragm with spermicide 94% 88%
Condom (Female) 95% 79%
Fem Cap (never given birth) n/a 86%
Fem Cap (post-vaginal birth) n/a 71%
Birth Control Pill (for comparison) 99.7% 91%

 

So you can see that someone who uses a condom perfectly every time would have a more reliable method than someone on birth control pills who sometimes forgets to take their pill.

 

Spermicides


Even less effective is using spermicide by itself. There are things like Contraceptive Vaginal Film, spermicidal jelly inserted with an applicator; these methods should only be used by women who would be OK with getting pregnant. They reduce the risk of pregnancy by about 70%.

 

Is the Diaphragm or Cervical Cap Appropriate for Teens?


My main concern with diaphragms and cervical caps is that they’re a “thing” that you have to carry around with you in order to have it with you and you also need to bring spermicide. I remember as a teenager experimenting with sex, there usually wasn’t a nightstand to keep my birth control supplies in, nor a bathroom close by to “get ready”, and so my concern would be that it wouldn’t be used consistently, which is also one of the reasons that MDs so heavily favor hormonal contraception for teens. In general, these are not ideal methods for teens, but it’s important to know about them and if your daughter really wants to try this as a method we can help make sure she’s not caught unprepared.

 

Final thoughts….


Barrier methods are powerful tools for women who don’t want to use hormones and would like to avoid getting pregnant but fortunately not the only tools available because people get sick of using them. Join me next week as we dive into one of the most popular and effective contraceptives in the world but under-utilized in the US. Stay tuned for more!

Jul 102014
 

Rant warning….Don’t get me started on hormonal birth control… oh! And the drug companies… let me tell you what!

There’s no denying that hormonal contraception has given women a level of control over their fertility that we’ve never experienced before. Today, hormonal contraceptive options include the Patch (sticks to your skin), Implants (are implanted in your arm under the skin), injectable contraceptives (like Depo Provera), Mirana (hormonal IUD), the Vaginal Ring, and of course, the good old Pill.

A few years ago I took a course for health care providers to aid them in recommending birth control. I took it because I wanted to learn about the newer birth control methods. I remember reading about the NuvaRing, they made it sound so great, a lower dose of localized hormones (implying it’s not circulating around your body). You wear it for three weeks and take it out for a week to bleed. The best thing is no more daily pill taking.

It was the dawn of a new age as far as the drug companies were concerned and they’ve made millions as a result. They made over $623 million globally in 2012 alone on the NuvaRing. It sounds like a very successful product and indeed it is, but what you might not know is how hard the NuvaRing’s creator lobbied the FDA to get the warning about Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) removed from the warning label.

Not long after that class, I came across an article which told the stories of a couple of young women, classmates who hadn’t been in touch for a while. The first, Erika died of a massive, double pulmonary embolism as a direct result of NuvaRing and less than a year later, her friend Megan Henry was diagnosed with her lungs full of blood clots. Her doctor told her that if she wasn’t an Olympic athlete she would probably be dead and then told her that her Olympic hopes were over . This could have just as easily been your friend or mine.

health-birth-control-ringIt really pisses me off that drug companies withhold information and it’s not until numerous women have been harmed does it finally come out through investigation that they knew it could cause these problems all along and have been downplaying the risk.

While these events might be rare, they are life threatening. There’s no way to determine your risk when it’s striking down healthy young women. It doesn’t feel very rare to the young children who have lost their moms or to the mothers who have lost their daughters all because they used the vaginal ring to prevent pregnancy.

Is it worth the risk of dying from a blood clot, stroke, brain hemorrhage or heart attack to prevent getting pregnant? Women who use the NuvaRing are at higher risk for these types of events than birth control pill users. It’s also true that women who become pregnant face these same risks and more. You have to evaluate the risk and decide what feels best for you.

Outside of the US, a Danish study looked at 1.6 million women and found women who use the vaginal ring have a 6.5% greater chance of venous thromboembolism (VTE), ie. blood clots than women who don’t use hormonal birth control, this study was in direct conflict with Merck’s research. As a result of the Danish study many of the warning labels were changed in countries like Canada and in Europe but minor changes were made in the US. It’s taken many years to get the VTE warnings on the label here in the US.

What we currently know is that the newer types of synthetic progesterone are more dangerous than the older types that were used. We’ve also learned that buried deep in the research data that NuvaRing’s creator submitted to the FDA is reference to high spikes of estrogen levels which are related to NuvaRing use. These spikes in estrogen levels also put women at increased risk for blood clots and strokes. We’ve also learned that drug companies will actively lobby the FDA to not put valid warnings on the label because it makes the product look bad.

The moral of this story? You can’t trust drug companies and you can’t trust the FDA to keep you safe and the information medical professionals receive is incomplete and it can take years, decades even for information to make its way through the system. Do you really want to put these artificial hormones in your body?

Drug companies are worried about making money and keeping their share holders happy. They conspire to hide the truth so that they can win FDA approval and make their millions and billions.

What you need to know about the NuvaRing:

  • It contains both synthetic estrogen and progesterone (3rd & 4th generation hormones have greater risk for VTE (blood clots))
  • Side effects can be serious and even fatal
  • Synthetic hormones are absorbed directly into the blood stream
  • It prevents a normal natural menstrual cycle
  • Bleeding is due to hormone withdrawal not a true period
  • It works by suppressing ovulation
  • It’s very easy and convenient to use
  • Fertility returns immediately after discontinuation

 

Birth Control Pills, a Life Saver for Many

health-birth-control-pillThe Pill as it is often called is truly a life saver for many women. The symptoms associated with their cycles are unbearable and the pill makes life livable when “Aunt Flo” comes a calling. It can mean the difference between being “taken out” for a few days while your period does it thing and being able to live a normal life.

I know my opinion might be a little controversial but I would like to propose that doctors are by the act of prescribing birth control medications for these problems are actually sweeping your health concerns under the rug. I do realize that the options they have available are limited and that they’re offering the best solution they know and women who are desperate for a solution are immensely grateful for the relief birth control pills can provide.

There is no such thing as a magic pill that will fix the problem and suppressing an issue doesn’t make it go away it just pushes it deeper into the body over the long term. For women who desire a family in the future this can be especially problematic.

I encourage my clients to get an accurate diagnosis, because I believe knowledge is power. Once you know what the problem is, you can figure out how you want to address it. I often make herbal and nutritional suggestions to my clients to help them even out their cycles and tame the “Period Monster” and for clients who want a baby someday, addressing these issues early makes getting pregnant later much easier and less stressful.

I was just reading an article the other day that was touting how today’s birth control is safer and doesn’t have many of the side effects that previous versions had and I wondered if this was really true so I dug a little deeper to see what women are saying and I’m not convinced. One big complaint is hair loss, weight gain still seems to be a problem even though the drug companies say the new pills are less likely to do that, mood swings, headaches and more are still being reported so it really doesn’t seem like much has changed, now granted, everyone is an individual and is affected in different ways.

But another troubling concern is that the newer generations of artificial hormones like the types used in Yaz/Yasmin and in the NuvaRing are turning out to be more dangerous than previous types of artificial hormones. Drug companies are consistently withholding or burying important information about health risks in 1000’s of pages of documents they drop off for the FDA to sift through. They used third world women to test the very first birth control pills on and as a result the hormone levels were lowered significantly before they were presented to US women. They routinely take advantage of those who can’t defend themselves and it’s not right!

Young beautiful woman drinking tea at homeI think it’s pretty safe to say that drug companies are looking out for their bottom line and getting these drugs to market is earning them 100’s of millions of dollars a year off just one drug. When people get hurt or die as a result of these medications and drug companies are held accountable, it’s usually just a minor inconvenience for them and the payouts to those they’ve harmed is just a drop in the bucket to the 100’s millions of dollars each drug brings in every year.

So how do we protect ourselves from all of this? The obvious answer is not to use hormonal contraceptives, but it’s more complicated than that. Most women use hormonal birth control at some point in their lives and this is because we don’t know what else to do and the other options seem less than desirable.

There’s one thing that we can say about hormonal contraception is that it does its job well; it is a very effective method of contraception. Too bad it totally cuts us off from our natural cycle and kills the sex drive!

Birth Control and Your Nutritional Status

Over the years there has been controversy about whether or not women who take birth control pills should supplement with a multi-vitamin. Research from the 80’s discovered that birth control pills depleted certain key nutrients: Vitamin B2, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C and Zinc and raised Vitamin A, Iron and Copper levels in women. As you may know maternal Folic Acid levels are essential for a healthy baby so they were concerned since no method of birth control is 100%.

The official conclusion in the research was that as long as women are taking in a varied healthy diet there is no need for additional supplementation. Today, drug companies say that because the newer contraceptives contain lower doses of hormones, the research from 30+ years ago no longer applies. It’s not surprising they’re not volunteering to do any new studies.

Coincidence or Connection?

Would you be interested to know that women who use birth control pills have an increased risk for gum disease? Did you know that bleeding gums is a shared symptom in deficiencies of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.

Birth control pill use has also been linked to an increased risk of cervical dysplasia (caused by the sexually transmitted Human Papilloma Virus). Nutritional deficiencies are one of the risk factors for cervical dysplasia. Research has shown that women who are diagnosed with cervical dysplasia tend to have low folic acid levels and they benefit from supplementation of Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid, B complex and Vitamin E.

Birth control pills may increase the risk for breast cancer and cervical cancer while reducing the risk for endometrial and ovarian cancers.

Things to know about Birth Control Pills:

  • They need to be used consistently in order to be effective
  • Some of the newer types of hormones increase the risk for serious and even fatal side effects
  • You may want to consider a high quality food based multi-vitamin
  • Made of both synthetic estrogen and progesterone
  • All hormonal contraceptive have side effects
  • There is a progesterone only version (mini pill) but this isn’t as effective as the combined pill
  • Return to fertility is usually rapid, but not always especially if there were problems beforehand

Should teenage girls use hormonal birth control?

Teenage Girl Relaxing On Beach It’s an excellent question and many factors to consider. The clear benefit is its reliability, however things that are of concern is the tendency to forgo condom use by pill users putting them at risk for STDs and the suppression of the normal natural menstrual cycle is also a big one.

I used the pill between the ages of 15 and 20 and I was fine. I didn’t experience any negative short term effects and no long term ones that I know of. In retrospect, I am grateful for the protection it provided. I also remember choosing not to use a condom because I was on the pill. Over the years, I’ve had problems with bleeding gums, gingivitis and cervical dysplasia; can I attribute them to birth control pill use? No, but interesting is it not?

I propose giving girls all the facts including the risks, now that we know some of the newer synthetic hormones increase the risk for serious, life threatening blood clots in otherwise healthy, non-smoking women along with all of the other options and let them decide for themselves. I also encourage all girls to become familiar with their own natural menstrual cycle.

My clients learn how to avoid getting pregnant without the use of hormones and are able to teach their girls how to do the same. We’re breaking the dependence modern women have on hormonal birth control to avoid pregnancy by educating women about their cycles.

Implants: Norplant and Implanton (Progesterone only)

These are progesterone only hormonal contraceptives. Implanton is the second generation and contains material that allows them to find it on an x-ray if it gets lost. It is placed under the skin on the inside of the upper portion of your arm where it will release synthetic progesterone for the next three years. This method is considered the best, highest level of protection you can get from hormonal contraceptives, mostly because there is no chance for human error assuming you get it replaced in three years.

Things to know about the Implants:

  • Contains synthetic progesterone, so that those who cannot use estrogen may use this contraceptive.
  • It requires a doctor for implantation and removal; it can be removed at any time.
  • It contains the same kind of synthetic progesterone that increases risk for stroke, VTE and other adverse events.
  • You may experience spotting or intermittent bleeding
  • You might end up on birth control pills to control the spotting and bleeding.
  • You may not see your period for months at a time, even years. Some women may appreciate this.

Injectable contraceptives (Depo Provera):

Injectable contraceptives have to be administered every three months to remain effective. This is a progesterone only contraceptive. You’re unlikely to menstruate while using Depo Provera, but you may spot and some women find themselves on birth control pills in order to control side effects from this method. If you don’t like it, you have to wait for it to wear off and fertility can be slow to return.

The Patch:

Can be less effective for heavier women and is made from the newer generations of synthetic hormones and bears the same risks for VTE and cardiovascular events. The patch is worn every day on your skin, it can be placed where most won’t see it.

Coming off hormonal birth control:

Just a few quick tips for when you’ve decided to give up hormonal birth control. First, decide on your new method of contraception. In a pinch, condoms are good to help with the transition. If you’re going to be doing natural birth control methods, I encourage you to work with someone to make sure you receive good training and to help you avoid making mistakes while learning.

If you enjoy herbal teas, consider oatstraw or nettle leaf to help nourish your body. Other herbs can be utilized but I tend to tailor those based on my client’s needs.

Final thoughts….

So it’s great all the advancement that we’ve had in the world of hormonal birth control, some of the methods are very convenient and seem like the magical answer but at an increased risk to health and wellbeing. It seems that in the long run, most women prefer not to put artificial hormones into their bodies. Are you one of these women? Not sure what your next step is? There’s good news, because there is another way! Stay tuned because you’ll be learning about alternative solutions in the upcoming weeks.

Jul 022014
 

The oldest condom ever found was in an old English castle ruin, it’s believed that soldiers were issued condoms by King Charles I because his army was getting sick and dying due to deadly venereal diseases of the time like gonorrhea and syphilis.

http://bit.ly/1iTEYQz

Before the invention of rubber, condoms were made from a variety of substances, the most common being sheep or pig intestines, and goat bladders. Written and visual references to condoms appear as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. It’s said that knowledge of condoms was lost for a time after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century.

The emergence of syphilis in 1494 in Europe signaled dark times, sweeping rapidly through Europe to Asia in just 11 years, known as the “Great Pox” it decimating large portions of the population as it went causing death within just a few short months.

It didn’t take long for physicians to figure out that it was a sexually transmitted infection and in 1564 the man who our fallopian tubes are named after, published a book in which he recommended the use of linen sheaths soaked in a chemical solution and tied with a ribbon to prevent disease transmission. Condoms had been rediscovered!

It wasn’t long before the Church caught onto the condom’s ability to prevent pregnancy and declared them immoral in 1605, which didn’t stop them from being produced, sold and used. Two hundred years later, the first documented use of condoms occurred in America where they continued to gain in popularity in spite of unfavorable government laws and religious objections.

Rubbers Revolutionized


In 1855 the first condom made from rubber was manufactured and the condom industry was transformed. Each rubber was custom-made for the gentleman and only covered the head of his penis. Not surprisingly, they often fell off during use and it wasn’t until condom manufacturers made a one size fits all, full length condom that the problem was solved. Latex condoms were invented soon after.

So, what’s the awful truth about condoms? Like them or not, we need them! They save lives. Condom use became essential when sexually transmitted diseases flared up with life threatening consequences, like in the 1500’s when syphilis destroyed lives and later in the 1980’s when we became aware of the AIDs epidemic. Condoms are perhaps the single most important tool available to both men and women to avoid pregnancy and disease.

Other types of condoms that are not made from latex include:
  • lambskin – feel more natural than latex and polyurethane.
  • polyurethane – thinner and stronger, tend to have a less constricting fit. Transfers heat more efficiently which may help to increase pleasure.
  • polyisoprene.- said to have a soft natural feel that conforms to the skin (Brand: LifeStyles SKYN and Durex Avanti Bare)
  • Female condom – may be inserted in advance, made from nitrile (synthetic rubber). Use with water based lubricant. Can be noisy. Many guys say they like them once the new-ness factor wears off.

 

Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the 21st Century


sti_rates_newLots has changed since the syphilis epidemic in the 1500’s however, the sexually transmitted diseases and viruses are no less problematic than they were centuries ago.

Every year there are almost 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases are diagnosed putting men and women at risk for infertility, disfigurement, cancer and death.

It’s important to be aware that sexually transmitted viruses are common, unpleasant, can be deadly and are for life.

Things to Know about Male Condoms


  • Having dry sex while using a condom increases the risk of breakage and creates an unpleasant experience, adding lubricant improves the situation.
  • Type of lubrication matters, oil based lubes can damage latex and can make condoms ineffective. Note: Vaginal use of certain medications such as miconazole or econazole can damage latex.
  • Condoms must be put on correctly and removed promptly after use to be effective.
  • Condoms that have uneven color, feel brittle, dried out or very sticky are not safe to use. Discard and use a new one. Male condoms are sensitive to heat, light and moisture.
  • Different brands fit differently and have different thicknesses. Experiment to see which brand you and your partner like best.
  • Using two or more condoms at once or combining male and female condoms can increase the risk of them breaking due to friction.
  • Lamb skin condoms do not provide protection from sexually transmitted viruses.
  • Condoms are not 100% protection from sexually transmitted diseases, but they do provide a high degree of protection. It’s the best option we have.

 

Female Condoms


Female-CondomFemale condoms offer many of the same advantages against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention as male condoms, but they also offer several unique features which may be worth considering.

One major advantage is that they offer better protection from STDs because they cover more outer surface area than male condoms.

For those who are sensitive to latex, female condoms are an excellent alternative; they are made from soft supple plastic. It’s good to know that when used correctly, female condoms are just as effective as male condoms.

 

Things to know about female condoms:


  • They can be inserted up to 8 hours in advance.
  • If the condom makes noise just add some extra lubricant.
  • You may use any type of lubricant including oil based as the integrity of the plastic of the female condom is unaffected.
  • Add extra lubricant to the penis to reduce friction if he experiences irritation.
  • They offer greater protection from skin on skin sexually transmitted viruses than male condoms.
  • Protect against all sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

Some women like the female condom over the male condom because the soft moist material feels more natural than latex male condoms and the outer ring provides some additional clitoral stimulation. The female condom can also be placed up to 8 hours beforehand so that it doesn’t interrupt lovemaking.

Men say they like the female condom because it’s not tight and constricting like male condoms, plus it doesn’t affect his sensitivity. Female condoms also don’t have to be removed immediately after ejaculation. Men also appreciate not having to interrupt lovemaking to put a male condom on the erect penis.

 

The Biggest Reasons Why Condoms Fail


Woman with results to pregnancy testOne of the biggest reasons they fail is because they were not used or were not used the whole time. Condoms can fail for other reasons, like breakage, improper use and incorrect removal after use.

To reduce the risk of breakage, be sure to put the condom on correctly. Male condoms are more likely to tear while female condoms are more likely to slip. Manufacturing defects are pretty rare.

 

Talking to Your Partner about Using Condoms


Depositphotos_3302745_XLIn order for condoms to be an effective method of contraception and disease prevention both partners must agree to consistent use, because without consistency, condoms can’t prevent sexually transmitted disease.

For best results in a new relationship, have these conversations with your partner prior to engaging in sexual activity. How can you get your partner to agree to using condoms every time?

  • Taking a personal stand for yourself and protecting your health is the most powerful. Women who consistently use condoms are:
  • At reduced risk for cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer
  • Less likely to become infertile due to silent STD infection
  • At reduced risk of STDs which can put a future baby at risk, such as herpes or HIV
  • If male condoms aren’t an option or are objectionable, female condoms are an excellent alternative and resolve many of the complaints while providing STD protection. (Or work with me for a more natural solution)
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and do the blood tests to check for sexually transmitted viruses like Hepatitis, HIV, and Herpes 1 and 2.
  • The very common, sexually transmitted virus HPV puts women at risk for cervical cancer and men at risk for oral, throat and penile cancers. At this time it is not possible to test men for this virus and women under 30 are only tested if the Pap smear is abnormal or if they ask.

What about when you don’t want to use condoms anymore? If you’ve gotten a clean bill of health from the doctor and you don’t want children, you might be wondering what your options are. Many long-term couples start using less reliable methods like timing cycles on a calendar or withdrawal which often leaves one or both partners fearful of unintended consequences. Are you struggling to find a solution? I can help!

 

Talking with your Teen about Using Condoms


Mother and daughterIs your daughter dating an older boy? Did you know that for each year older he is there’s an 11% chance your daughter won’t use condoms with him (3 years = 33% risk). The more sexually experienced he is, the more likely they will have sex. How do you protect your daughter?

Some of the most powerful messages you can give your daughter are:

  • She is in control of her body and she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to and she can say no at any time.
  • That you are there for her, that even if you’re upset, angry or disappointed with her, that you would move past all those emotions to help her, because she is what is most important to you.
  • You want her to make thoughtful, empowered decisions by helping her to logically think out hypothetical scenarios without being attached to the outcome. Possible scenarios might include:
  • What if he pressured you not to use a condom, what would you say?
  • What if you had sex with a boy and he told everyone at school the next day. What if people were being mean? How would you feel? What would you do and say?
  • What if you caught an STD like herpes and you had to tell a new partner, how would you bring it up?
  • What if you got pregnant, what would you do? What if you and your boyfriend broke up? What if he did/n’t want the baby? What if he was angry? How would you feel?

These conversations can be quite enlightening for you both and help her identify why using a condom is important to her. Practice role-playing so she can gain experience sharing why she wants her partner to use a condom. Why it’s non-negotiable. You’ll help her gain important skills that will keep her safe in the years to come.

 

Ever notice how doctors seem to push hormonal birth control?


Join me next time as we explore The Truth about Hormonal Birth Control, hormones are often pushed on young women. Is it safe? What options are out there? Is hormonal contraception a smart choice? We’ll look at all this and more.

In the meantime, if you are confused about what birth control method is best for you, or are sick of condoms or worried about relying on withdrawal, I would love to chat and learn more about what’s going on for you and see how I can help.

 

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