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birth control

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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Boys, Birth Control, and Nature

I swallowed my reservations about hormonal contraceptives, why can't the men?

In which we're reminded, again, that abstinence pledges don't work.

From PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 1 January 2009, pp. e110-e120 (doi:10.1542/peds.2008-0407): Patient Teenagers? A Comparison of the Sexual Behavior of Virginity Pledgers and Matched Nonpledgers, Janet Elise Rosenbaum, PhD, AM; Health Policy PhD Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

The subjects for this study were National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health respondents, a nationally representative sample of middle and high school students who, when surveyed in 1995, had never had sex or taken a virginity pledge and who were >15 years of age (n = 3440). Adolescents who reported taking a virginity pledge on the 1996 survey (n = 289) were matched with nonpledgers (n = 645) by using exact and nearest-neighbor matching within propensity score calipers on factors including prepledge religiosity and attitudes toward sex a

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