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birth control

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?

What's riskier?

Cayannagirl asks:

My Fiance and I have been having sexually active for about a year now, but we don't live together so we don't get to have sex that often, usually only on weekends if we're lucky and get my house to ourselves. We don't use condoms because the latex makes me break out and I haven't started birth control yet because I wasn't sure about what to use and because since both of us are Christian, we thought that if I got on birth control we would have sex more frequently which we didn't want to do since we were trying to keep from doing it too much and thus getting pregnant. Whenever we have sex he pulls it out before he ejaculates, but I've heard that some people still can get pregnant when doing that...is this true? Also, I'm really worried about gaining a lot of weight when I start birth control, because weight is a very big issue for me...is there a birth control that I can use that is effective, but won't cause me to gain a ton of weight?

It's Smart to Chart

What's charting? It's a person taking and keeping notes about their menstrual and fertility cycles. Those notes may be as little information as what days you get your period, may have more information, like what kind of flow you had and what discharges you experienced that month, or have just about anything and everything you can think of that does or may have something to do with your fertility cycle: your basal temperatures (a vaginal temp you take daily with a thermometer made for that purpose), your libido, your sleep patterns, the whole works. What information you include depends on what you want to observe, and what your needs in charting are.

When you hear about people charting their periods or overall fertility cycles, it's usually either about trying to conceive or using natural family planning (NFP or FAM) as a primary method of birth control. Many of you are not trying to conceive, and for younger people, NFP isn't a sound sole or primary method for you either because your

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First-Time Intercourse: It Was...Good?

We hear so many horror stories about first-time sex. Perhaps it might be good therapy to read about a first time that went well.

Implanon Part 2: In Which There Is a Very Large Needle

Earlier this week, I drove over to my very awesome local sexual health clinic, willingly had my upper left arm anaesthetized, and got a matchstick-sized piece of plastic jammed under the skin just for the heck of it. Well, okay, not exactly...

What I really did was get Implanon inserted, and it was actually a very neat experience. A couple of weeks ago, I'd had a long consultation with one of the doctors at the clinic to talk about whether Implanon would be a good choice for me (the blog entry about that is here) and I decided that even with the potential side effects, it sounded like a pretty darn good idea. No pill to take every day? Cool! No shot every three months? Great! No patch to irritate my skin or ring to irritate my vagina? Even better! Very effective contraception for three whole years? Absolutely fabulous!

At my consultation appointment, once I was sure Implanon was what I wanted, I was given a prescription for the implant. I think some clinics keep a stock on

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