Birth Control – What Women Want

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How to determine which type of birth control is best for you?

In April of 2019 the magazine Scientific American was focused on women’s health relative to child birth and pregnancy. We read these articles and found them to be less scientific than we had hoped with regard to the research and data. Most of the articles were focused on summaries of studies that journalists were reporting on. The opinions seemed more relevant to the agendas of the individual journalists. However, as we read them, we realized that their concerns were also our concerns. Three concerns we had were:  1. Effectiveness of birth control.  2. Few or no side effects of birth control and 3. cost of birth control.

We thought we would offer Dr. Maupin’s experience after 30 years of taking care of women and their concerns relative to birth control.  Women want to be in control of their birth control. They want to know if they are at risk of getting pregnant. They want a method that will keep them from being pregnant unless they want to be pregnant.

Birth control pills are the first strategy. But some women have side effects from them. All birth control pills are mass produced and include the same hormone components. Dr.’s must learn from the women’s symptoms which particular pills to recommend to them. It takes the expertise of the physician enhanced by the information provided by the woman.

The articles in Scientific American seemed to say that this process by pharmaceutical makers of BC pills is driven by social or political agendas of the makers, or of society. They seem to be more focused on using “natural” methods of birth control. The rhythm method of taking your basal temperature, knowing when you ovulate and not having sex when you are at risk of becoming pregnant does not work for most women who are concerned about the security of the method.

Another method of BC is using an estrogen patch. Some women respond well but not women who are tall or obese. The doctor needs to know how the pills work and why they choose the BC for each woman that they chose.

Finally, another method of BC is an IUD, a small plastic device that is inserted in the uterus and have progesterone which will decrease ovulation and change the environment in the uterus so that an egg will not implant in the uterus so the woman will not get pregnant. These devices have to be implanted by a physician and removed by a physician. BUT there is less than one percent failure rate for IUD’s. So, this method is the most reliable for making sure you do not get pregnant. If you want to get pregnant, they you have to have it taken out.

Women who are. More likely to get genetically caused blood clots, they will not get them if they have an IUD. There is a one -time test that will let you know and if you are, you cannot take birth control pills.

It is our strong belief that a woman needs to have a physician who knows her and her genetics, spend the time talking with them regarding any thoughts or concerns about pregnancy. Always be an informed consumer and advocate for yourself!

This Healthcast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

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