birth control

Sex, Etc.

A for-teens, by-teens site dealing with birth control and pregnancy, STDs and testing, relationship matters, LGBTQ issues, and sexual politics. Sex, Etc. also publishes a teen-written magazine which accepts reader contributions.

The Testing Diaries: Robin

Ten years ago, I knew about using lube, about making first-time intercourse comfortable, and about pregnancy prevention options, but it seems I didn’t know much about sexually transmitted infections.

My partner at the time — I’m still with him — offered to get tested for STIs before our first meeting in person.

I turned him down.

I think I must have decided that he didn't have an STI.

Someone told me once that I was more powerful than electricity. If that is true, which I highly doubt it is, I must be truly powerful indeed, to conduct blood and urine analyses over the phone or Internet, and with no scientific or medical training at that!

Fear of pregnancy? Ready for sex?

Hannahcarissa95
asks:
I am almost 18. My long distance boyfriend is 22. I have decided he is the man I want to lose my virginity to. Seeing as he is 1500 miles away means that he is not going to be doing it anytime soon. However, I am going to where he lives for Thanksgiving and we are planning on doing it then....

UK Hurdles to Emergency Contraception

It's been a few months now since Heather posted "Back Up Your Birth Control Backup Day" making it crystal clear that, despite some pretty unethical misinformation given to young people seeking it, emergency contraception in the US is totally legal to sell to people 17+ without prescription.

It was few days later over here in the UK that I read a blog-post from a student in London that she had been refused emergency contraception, but not because of her age.

Which had me asking myself what the law actually is in the UK.

Breaking a No Condom Habit

CuriosityCat
asks:
I am 20 and sexually active. I don't have a long term partner but have had and do have various partners. I have an IUD so I'm protected against pregnancy, however I know condoms are still hugely important. My problem is that I am completely stuck for what to say to make a man put one on. At the moment, it's just getting carried away then really kicking myself later....

Morning-After Misunderstandings

Labels inside every box of morning-after pills, drugs widely used to prevent pregnancy after sex, say they may work by blocking fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus.

But an examination by The New York Times has found that the federally approved labels and medical websites do not reflect what the science shows. Studies have not established that emergency contraceptive pills prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb, leading scientists say. Rather, the pills delay ovulation, the release of eggs from ovaries that occurs before eggs are fertilized, and some pills also thicken cervical mucus so sperm have trouble swimming.

New Study Finds Long-Acting Contraceptives Much More Effective Than Pills (Especially for Those Under 21)

From Reuters, today:

A large real-life test of birth control methods found more U.S. women got pregnant while using short-acting methods such as pills, patches and vaginal rings — and the failure rate was highest when they were used by women under 21.

“We found that participants using oral contraceptive pills, a transdermal patch or a vaginal ring had a risk of contraceptive failure that was 20 times as high as the risk among those using long-acting reversible contraception,” said the research team.

I think I might be pregnant, and might have to choose an abortion.

MadsHatter
asks:
My boyfriend and I have had unprotected sex and my last period was 2 months ago (in 10 more days). I've had a two week delay on my period before, and I'm pretty volatile and feeling cramps every now and then but still....no blood. I'm scared to death I may be pregnant but I absolutely CAN NOT tell my mom. I'd be disowned, without a doubt. So....please help me!!...

If you've wanted/needed to use emergency contraception, have you had any trouble getting it?

Back Up Your Birth Control Backup Day

EC = BCYeah, we meant to say that. Boy do we wish we didn't.

Here's the spiel: it's Back Up Your Birth Control Day today, but as you may have heard, or personally experienced, here in the states, we're still having a lot of trouble with pharmacists refusing over-the-counter Plan B (emergency contraception, the morning-after-pill, or whatever you like to call it), for a whole bunch of reasons, including because of age, even though most of those asking for or about it are of legal age to get it over-the-counter, and without a prescription.