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birth control

Ready for arguments about increasing your access to Plan B? We can help.

You may have heard that the FDA may finally remove age restrictions for the morning-after emergency contraception pill in the United States. If you've heard that, you may have started to hear some panic or fear-factoring, not just gratitude and relief.

Currently, in the United States, someone must be over the age of 17 in order to get Plan B at a pharmacy without a prescription. Until two years ago, the age limit was 18. It's still kept behind the pharmacy counter for people of all ages, but those over 17 do not need a prescription from a doctor or a clinic to purchase it.

For a long time now, organizations like ours and many, many other reproductive choice, justice and health organizations, have been lobbying to remove that age restriction, something other nations -- like Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Israel and others -- do not apply; a restriction which has never been supported by sound health data. The restriction per age has long been about politics, not health.

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Condoms Breaking? Ur Probably Doin It Wrong.

As we've explained in the past, like here, with proper use, condoms actually break very rarely. The common mythology that condoms are flimsy and break all the time is just that: mythology, not reality. Different studies on latex condom breakage tend to reflect a breakage rate of around .4%, or only 4 breaks in every 1,000 uses. So, if you're having condoms break often, especially before you've even used them a few hundred times, it's not likely something is wrong with condoms, but that something is wrong with the way you're using them. That's not surprising, since a lot of people don't get good information about how to use condoms correctly, or ever see clear, slow demonstrations of proper use where they also get the chance to ask questions.

Since we've been having some users lately reporting patterns of breakage, we thought we'd take a few minutes to walk you through a review of some common issues that tend to make breakage more likely, so that those of you using condoms can avoid br

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Quick Hits: We Already Got You Covered Edition

Landa84 asks:

My boyfriend and I had anal sex and then after went on to normal intercourse, can this cause infections?

Four Daughters, Four Moms, Four Sex Talks

happy_active_loved_17 asks:

I'm 18, and I've been sexually active for about three years. I met my current boyfriend in August of 2010 and we've been inseparable since. He just celebrated his 21st birthday. My problem is, my mom seems to think I'm her angelic, virginal teenager. (I'm one of five kids) She doesn't know I'm dating or that I'm not a virgin. Before I go away to college, I'd like to come clean to her. I'm just not sure how to do that without shattering her image of me completely, though it seems inevitable.
 So, how do I begin to tell her?

My new IUD

Nearly two years ago, I started thinking about getting an IUD instead of continuing to take the birth control pills that had served me well for more than half a decade. I had always liked the idea of being free of synthetic hormones while still being confident that I wouldn’t get pregnant. The thought of getting an IUD floated around in the back of my mind, but I was satisfied enough with my pill that I wasn’t jumping at the chance to change my routine.

A few months ago, though, something changed. I went from working part time to working a full time, well-paying job at a family friendly workplace with quality benefits. My relationship with my partner got more stable, and we moved together into a nice neighborhood. He started saying that if I got pregnant, he could be ready to be a parent, and I started feeling like I could, too. For my entire life, I had been convinced that I was so unready to parent that I would have an abortion should I become pregnant. Now at 23, I know I’m still n

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The Truth Behind the Trope: Understanding the Realities of Teen Parenthood and Teen Pregnancy Prevention

What do we know about teen parents? Take a moment to make a mental list (or, if you’re motivated to get out a pen and paper, I won’t stop you) of all the facts and statistics you’ve heard.

In case you’re coming up short, I’ll give you a few:

  • Most teen parents drop out of high school.
  • Only 2% of teen parents will graduate from college by age 30.
  • Many teen parents will end up on welfare, costing tax payers billions of dollars nationwide.
  • The children of teen parents are more likely to fail a grade in school. Their sons are more likely to go to jail. Their daughters are more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
  • The relationships of teen parents almost always fail, leaving teen mothers to be single parents.

You can read more here or here or here or watch any episode of 16 and Pregnant that features Dr. Drew. He’ll usually cover most of these points before the hour is up – while interviewing young people who are actually parenting.

Beyond these “facts”, we hear plenty of othe

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When you use the pill, do you still have to use condoms?

Kori_Sanchez asks:

I'm and 18 years old and have been having sex for a year and been on the pill for about a year. I take my birth control like a ritual at the same time every day (the combination pill). Sometime my boyfriend and I don't use a condom in the beginning to get him hard then we always put one on. My question is, when on the pill do you absolutely have to use condoms? They say that every time you have sex you NEED to use a condom. I know it is the most effective way, but I thought that the one of the points of the pill is so you don't need to use a condom.

I Used to Be a Pro-Life Republican

I had a favorite line, in high school, when debating people on the subject of abortion. It was "Hey, that thing in your stomach's not gonna come out a toaster, right? It's a baby!"

Oh, I thought I was really, super clever with that one. Because I loved talking about the babies. I talked about the babies at the high school Young Republicans Club--not only was I the president, but also the founder. I talked about the babies at Club 412, the evangelical punk teen hang-out in Fort Worth I frequented with my friends. I talked about the babies in class. I cried about the babies while I strummed my guitar. I wrote songs about the babies, imagining myself as a broken, murderous whore who regretted her abortions.

I didn't have an opinion one way or the other on abortion until I started hanging out with right-wing punk rock kids in high school. Then, somebody -- probably one of the older teenage punk rock boys I would later fend off in the back of a car or behind the chapel at church camp -- ha

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How to get birth control privately when you're a teen & keep condoms from breaking

kassidur asks:

Me and my boyfriend want to get me birth control pills, as we've had the condom break three times on us already, and we're really fearful of pregnancy. I've already seen on this site a question on how to get birth control, but I have more questions than were answered. I'm 16, as is my boyfriend. Neither of us are able to drive yet because we didn't get our permits at the correct time (though we can take a cab to get somewhere), my mom would be highly unsupportive of the fact me and him are having sex (and even more unsupportive of me being pregnant), but we don't want to stop or anything, we just want more ways to protect ourselves against pregnancy. So, I need a way to get birth control without my mom's know. In the question I've read, you guys said that the doctor would ask for my name, address, phone number, and social security number. By giving them any of these things, would my mom be able to know I had seen the doctor? One of my main fears of getting birth control is my mom finding out somehow. Also, I don’t know where my mom keeps my social security card, and I haven’t memorized the number, so how can I find it out? Can I not have to tell the doctor?

Talking to My Daughter

Part of the 2010 Blogathon to help support Scarleteen. This entry is courtesy of Tess at Urban Gypsy.

If I earned a dollar each time I’ve heard the statement, “I’m surprised you’re so strict,” in relation to my parenting, I’d be basking on a beach in Tahiti now rather than on a Metro North train whisking me off to do a sex ed consult on the Lower East Side. I’d probably be doing sex ed consults in Tahiti; you can take me out of NY but you can’t kill my desire to help people learn more about their sexuality. But back on point, I can always hear the implied, “you with your pierced nose, tattoo, open marriage and non-stop sex talk.”

The funny thing is, my friends may have been surprised but my daughter was not. When her thirteen-year-old best friend got her belly button pierced, there was, of course there was, some whining.

“But why can’t I,” she implored. “I don’t see what the big deal is.”

In parenting style reminiscent of the worst of my own parents, I snapped, “You can’t because I

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