FDA revisits safety of the Essure contraceptive device

NPR, 2015: Many women rely on birth control throughout their lives to prevent unwanted or untimely pregnancies. The Essure contraceptive device is placed in the fallopian tubes essentially sterilizing the woman. This alternative to traditional sterilization methods has caused immense harm to many women and provoked strong responses from patient advocacy organizations and professionals in the health care industry. Continue reading

New warnings on popular birth control, Yaz

With all the different brands of birth control pills out there, most women have no idea which ones they should choose. Being aware of pill-related risks may aid that decision. In August 2009, two independent studies found that the type of hormone used in Yaz and Yasmin birth control pills put women at higher risk of blood clots than other birth control pills. As such, to reduce risk, it may be best to avoid taking pills that contain drospirenone, such as Yaz, since they increase your risk of blood clots more than other birth control pills. Continue reading

Emergency contraception & sexual assault: why compassionate care should be a standard of care

The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act of 2009 (H.R.1236) and the Prevention First Act of 2009 (H.R.463/S.21) were introduced in Congress in early 2009. The sole purpose of the CARE Act, and one of several goals of the Prevention First Act, would be to direct hospitals and emergency medicine facilities that receive federal funding to inform all women who have been sexually assaulted about emergency contraception (also known as the “morning after pill” or “Plan B”) and to make it available to them, regardless of their ability to pay. Continue reading

New warnings about the birth control patch

When choosing a method of birth control, most women want what is the most effective and convenient. Women who want “hormonal” birth control can choose a pill, patch, injection, or vaginal ring, yet not all of these options have equal risks. In fact, the Patch, Ortho Evra, is now shown to put women at greater risks than birth control pills did by exposing women to high levels of estrogen. But, how does Ortho Evra work, and why is it more dangerous than other forms of birth control? Continue reading