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birth control

Stephen, We Need to Talk

To: Stephen Harper (a.k.a. the Prime Minister of Canada, a.k.a. That Guy With the Questionable Judgment)
From: Me (a.k.a. A Concerned Citizen, a.k.a. Someone Who Thinks You're a Bit of a Twit)

Dear Stephen,

I have to confess, I am not, nor have I ever been, one of your biggest fans. I have never voted for your party, and I've found many of your decisions since becoming Prime Minister (such as sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan and protecting the Alberta oil sands even though they are royally screwing up the environment) disappointing, to say the least. However, when you announced at the end of January that you hoped one focus of the upcoming G8 summit would be improving maternal and child health worldwide - particularly in developing countries - I thought that maybe this was a decision of yours I could get behind.

But then, again, you let me down. Because earlier this week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon confirmed that your newfound commitment to maternal heal

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How to Have Condoms "Interrupt" Sex By No More Than 30 Seconds

My current partner recently got a vasectomy. Because we're also monogamous, well-past six months of monogamy and barrier use, and both are current with our STI testing -- the combination of things and time period I know massively reduces our STI risks -- that means we're not using condoms right now.

This is very unusual for me: in around 25 years of sexual experiences and many partnerships, the vast majority of the times I have had male partners, including long-term partners, there have been condoms. As someone who wants to be able to enjoy her sex life as much as possible, who knows preventing infection is part of that, and also as someone who can't use most other methods of birth control, condoms have been my BFFs.

I've never found them to be the drag some people frame them as. Rather, I often find myself perplexed by folks who frame them that way, even though I know as a sex educator that more often than not, the folks who do frame them that way either a) haven't even used them or

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Q&A About the New FC!

In case you haven't already heard, the female condom (FC) has had a recent redesign. Yippee! (And how much do I love "put a ring on it" as a slogan for female condom use? I love it a whole lot.)

I was able to catch up with Mary Ann Leeper, the Female Health Company's Senior Strategic Advisor and past President/COO to ask her a few questions people seem to have about it. Check it out!

The FC has recently been redesigned! Can you tell us about the changes?
What’s new about the FC2 condom is the material. Our first-generation product was made with polyurethane. The second-generation female condom is made with a synthetic rubber called nitrile. Nitrile delivers at least two benefits to consumers. The first is that it lets us make FC2 with the same cost-efficient “dipping” process used to make male condoms. The second is that nitrile is softer than polyurethane, which means that FC2 feels softer and it doesn’t make noise when you use it.

Why did you make those changes?
We made FC2 b

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What's the Typical Use Effectiveness Rate of Abstinence?

Heather Corinna asks:

What's the typical use effectiveness rate for abstinence? All I can find anywhere, even at organizations that teach abstinence, or say it's the only effective method of contraception, is the perfect use rate. How well does it really work for people in real life? Why doesn't anyone have that information on this method when we do for every other method?

Can I get a girl pregnant if...

mcnclguy1210 asks:

Can a girl get pregnant if I ejaculated in the condom then took it off and then stuck my penis back in her but didn't ejaculate in her unprotected. What are the chances?

What's the Typical Use Effectiveness Rate of Abstinence?

That question probably either sounds like a really important one or a really stupid one, depending on your view. But I want the answer regardless, and am seriously tired of waiting for it.

As an organization that provides information on all methods of contraception and other aspects of sexual decision-making, we include talking about abstinence (or celibacy, or not having certain kinds of sex, terminology we prefer because they're more clear) as a method. We are supportive of our users who choose to be celibate, in whole or in part, as their method of birth control, just as we're supportive of our users choosing any other method of contraception. We know full well that there is no one best method of contraception for all people and would never suggest that there is.

For every other method, we provide perfect and typical use rates of effectiveness. Those are two pieces of information, combined with additional info on each method, we provide for those making choices about contraception;

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A Common Condom Misunderstanding

I get the impression that some, if not many of of our users think that condom failure rates are the same as condom breakage/slippage rates. In other words, think that when we explain that in typical use, condoms are 85% effective, that means that 15% of condoms break.

It doesn't: that is NOT what those rates mean. I hate for anyone to be presuming it is and to panic about a potential pregnancy via condom use because of that misunderstanding.

When we say condoms are effective 98% of the time in perfect use, that means that 2% of women using condoms (or, 2 out of every 100) as a sole method perfectly -- as in, following all the directions, including proper storage of condoms -- each year become pregnant. When we say they are 85% effective in typical use -- the way most people use them, which includes storing them incorrectly, putting them on wrong or too late or not using them at all -- that means 15% of women using them that way become pregnant in one year. People often forget that ty

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Why Childbirth Ed is Sex Ed

Sex leads to pregnancy leads to childbirth.

This, of course, is a huge oversimplification. It is possible to have lots of satisfying sex that doesn’t lead to pregnancy because a penis never goes into a vagina. It is possible to have chemical or mechanical problems of the reproductive system that make it impossible or unlikely for penis-in-vagina sex to produce pregnancy. People can also have penis-in-vagina sex while using any of a number of chemical, mechanical or physiological methods to prevent pregnancy (contraception).

But, penis-in-vagina sex has been until very recently in human history the only way to make more humans, and it is only recently that it has been as simple (and difficult) as taking a medicine to prevent pregnancy.

When pregnancy occurs as a result of sex, it may not necessarily lead to childbirth. Genetically abnormal embryos often spontaneously abort, and one pregnancy out of five will end spontaneously before halfway through the pregnancy (20 weeks). Many women

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Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet

You've probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I'm willing to bet you haven't heard everything I'm about to say. Even if you're already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone -- a sibling, a friend, a sexual partner -- who could stand to hear ten great reasons to use condoms.

Is birth control safe? Are certain brands best?

Gwenaly asks:

I've been wondering if using birth control is safe? And is there a certain brand of birth control that I can use that will be the best to use?

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