- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Too much information? Birth control choices abound
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Worried about birth control in light of headlines about side effects from Yaz and the patch? Women have a lot of options that are safe and effective, including some that are even more reliable.
You can choose a contraceptive that’s used daily, weekly, monthly, once every three months, once every three years, even once a decade.
Yet almost half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended _ and experts say confusion and uncertainty despite all the options is a big reason.
“We have a whole generation now of young adults, the vast majority of whom are sexually active, who are in a fog about modern contraception,” says Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “They don’t know enough to make a reasonable choice.”
Indeed, in a recent survey, the campaign found 42 percent of unmarried 18- to 29-year-olds said they knew little about birth control pills and two-thirds knew little about even more effective long-lasting contraceptives. A third said they believe there’s a good contraceptive for their personal needs but they don’t know which one.
To help, her center just opened a novel website _ www.bedsider.org_ to offer frank answers for all those questions you might be embarrassed to ask.
Wonder how easy it is to use the NuvaRing, or what the once-every-three-months contraceptive shot costs? Can’t imagine how to insert the female condom? Want to know if the rhythm method has any chance of working? Or whether your partner could feel your IUD? What are the side effects, and which methods work best?
Those aren’t just questions for teens and young adults. Consider that half of girls are sexually active by age 17, and that menopause hits around 50. To avoid an unplanned pregnancy, the average American woman will have to use contraception for several decades. The right choice when you’re 20 might not still be when you’re 35 or 40.
And starting in 2013, affording different types may become easier as the new health care law requires insurance to cover contraception with no copays.
Today, sterilization, vasectomy for men and tube-tying for women, surprisingly is the nation’s leading form of birth control.
When it comes to reversible contraception, the pill is No. 1, highly effective if you take it correctly although missing doses raises the risk of pregnancy. The pill can bring other benefits as well. Long-term use lowers the risk of ovarian cancer; some types cut menstrual cramps or help clear acne.
But last week focused a lot of attention on birth control. First came the Obama administration’s decision to keep the Plan B morning-after pill _ which can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after unprotected sex _ behind pharmacy counters so only those 17 and older can get it without a prescription.
Then came two days of hearings about a rare but serious side effect of the pill and another hormone-containing contraceptive, the Ortho Evra patch. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended stronger warning labels on Yaz and similar new-generation birth control pills because they’re more likely than older, cheaper pills to cause dangerous blood clots. The FDA estimates that 10 in 10,000 women a year will get a clot on the newer drugs compared with 6 in 10,000 who take the older pills.
FDA’s advisers said the weekly patch may bring a somewhat higher clot risk, too, but called the patch an important option for women who have trouble sticking with a daily pill.
Brown points out that the contraceptives are less risky than getting pregnant: About 20 in 10,000 women who are pregnant or have just given birth experience a blood clot.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow