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contraception

Implanon Part 3: The Upgrade

Back in 2009, I wrote two blog entries about Implanon: what made me decide to use that particular method, and my experience of having it inserted. Those pieces live here and here.

Although the implant is a long-acting method of contraception, it does only last three years, so eventually it needs to be removed entirely or replaced. For me, the decision to get mine replaced was kind of a no-brainer. Everything that factored into my original choice was still there: my desire not to have children at the moment, the other medications I'm on, the very high effectiveness rate, the fact that it requires pretty much no effort on my part. Plus, after three years, I knew what the side effects would be like for me, and in general, those have been pretty minimal. One of the main reasons people get the implant removed is irregular bleeding or spotting, and while I definitely don't have a regular cycle anymore, I'm not bleeding constantly and I've had only a little bit of spotting on occasion.

One

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The 2012 Scarleteen U.S. Presidental Election Voting Guide

It's Presidential election time again here in the United States, and we're doing our part to help you take an active role in the democratic process.

The Testing Diaries: Robin

Do you feel anxious about the idea of getting tested for sexually transmitted infections and diseases? Some of our readers certainly do.

Some never had adequate sex-education and did not realize that sexual activity with a partner -- and not just anal or vaginal intercourse -- can pose STI risks in the first place. Some are not sure where to go for testing or how to ask for it. Others feel uncomfortable discussing STIs with a partner or potential partner. We get it: this stuff can be hard, and it is usually not the kind of thing where someone just takes us by the hand and leads us through.

This is why we're doing this series at Scarleteen. In it, some of our volunteers share their own stories of how they deal with different aspects of STI testing and reproductive healthcare.

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

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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. He is a very spiritual guy and has a strong feeling that I might get pregnant on the first time that we have sex. He thinks this due to the fact that I really want a baby and I always have. But I want one when I am married and able to support it and a family. I told him that the best that we can do is be safe and smart about sex and protection and if it happens it happens but I need some advice on what else to tell him. Could you help me? I also was wondering if you have any suggestions about what would be the best plan of action if I were to get pregnant? In my mind abortion is not an option for me. I asked him what we would do and he said that he would obviously support me with multiple jobs. we would get our own place. But we all know that things never go exactly how you plan them. What do I do to ease his worries and my own?

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

We're posting this across all of our channels, because it's mondo important.

From Reuters, today (bolding, ours):

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.

In a new study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, about 7,500 women and teens in the St. Louis area were allowed to pick from a variety of contraception methods at no cost.

Over the course of the study — more than three years for women who completed all follow-up interviews — participants had a total of 334 unintended pregnancies. For the full study, see: bit.ly/KdMCQp

“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, l

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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!! I'm getting desperate enough as to seriously consider an abortion because my body can barely support myself, never mind a baby. I heard Vitamin C helps induce a self-inflicted abortion, too. I'm saving up for a test at Planned Parenthood, but I'm still nervous and scared as all heck. Words of advice??

Back Up Your Birth Control Backup Day

from http://ecequalsbc.tumblr.com/from http://ecequalsbc.tumblr.com/Yeah, 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 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. We knew that was happening already, but that recent covert study linked there brought it more to light and gave this some more (very needed) attention.

We understand that dealing with being refused something when you're likely already feeling panicked, and also asking for something pretty private without much, if any privacy, can make dealing with refusals even more hard and maddening than they already are.

We also know that in th

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I take birth control because it is my f*@&I#g right to take it.

I am so fucking fed up.

The latest is from Arizona: now, if an employee uses the company’s health insurance to purchase contraceptive pills, they must prove to their employer that they are using them for “non sex” purposes. If they don’t, they could be fired.

How is this supposed to go?

“Oh, yeah here is my ultrasound from my ovarian cyst. See it over there? Yeah, its a big one.”

“Here is a testimony from my ex-boyfriend about just how terrible my PMS is that it lead to our eventual, inevitable catastrophic breakup. Then he became gay.”*

How are you supposed to prove that you have ovarian cysts popping a mile a minute and a slough of gay ex’s to prove how terrible your PMS is while simultaneously proving that there is no way in hell you are using it for "sex purposes?"

How are we supposed to prove that birth control–whose very name not so implicitly implies controlling a birth–is not our bang without a baby free card?

We can’t even refer to it by its official name, contraception: it

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Please Speak Up About the Plan B Decision!

It was probably obvious yesterday that we earnestly thought the FDA might finally turn around a longtime decision, one largely against all advice, information and recommendations from sexual, reproductive and adolescent health and rights experts and advocates, when it came to unfounded restrictions long put on teen access to Plan B.

And that was going to actually happen. The FDA was on board this time around and made the decision to ditch those restrictions. People under 17 were finally going to have the same kind of access to a safe, important kind of contraception those over 17 had, a kind of access there is simply no sound reason to restrict.

And yet.

In what Jodi Jacobson of RH Reality Check so rightfully said can, "only be called an astounding move by an Administration that pledged on inauguration day that medical and health decisions would be based on fact not ideology and for which women are a major constituency, today Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Healt

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