On November 8, Mississippians will be voting on ballot amendment 26 , the so called “Personhood Amendment” that if passed, would declare a fertilized egg a person.
The question at hand is, would the Personhood Amendment be used to outlaw contraception?
Dr. Freda Bush, an Ob-Gyn and spokesperson for the Personhood amendment in Mississippi, seems to think it will not. In a press conference in support of the amendment in September, she stated this –
The personhood amendment will not ban the use of hormonal contraceptives.
The video of this press conference is being used to reassure voters about the intent of amendment 26. And yet the information Dr. Bush presents about contraception and the amendment stands in complete contrast to that which the personhood movement itself has presented. Here is the standard “talking point” on contraception from personhood sites at states across the country seeking to pass similar amendments – Read more »
A new article in the Journal of Women’s Health by Westhoff, Jones, and Guiahi asks “Do New Guidelines and Technology Make the Routine Pelvic Examination Obsolete?”
The pelvic exam consists of two main components: The insertion of a speculum to visualize the cervix and the bimanual exam where the practitioner inserts two fingers into the vagina and puts the other hand on the abdomen to palpate the uterus and ovaries. The rationales for a pelvic exam in asymptomatic women boil down to these:
Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea
Evaluation before prescribing hormonal contraceptives
Screening for cervical cancer
Early detection of ovarian cancer
None of these are supported by the evidence. Eliminating bimanual exams and limiting speculum exams in asymptomatic patients would reduce costs without reducing health benefits, allowing for better use of resources for services of proven benefit. Pelvic exams are necessary only for symptomatic patients and for follow-up of known abnormalities. Read more »
Ask any third-year medical student how hormonal contraception prevents pregnancy, and they’ll probably tell you it prevents ovulation. What they won’t tell you is that this effect is variable and dose-dependent, and if we depended on it alone, hormonal contraception would be much less effective.
That’s because of the very important, and in my opinion, much under-appreciated effect of hormonal contraception on cervical mucus.
A Cervical Mucus Primer
Fertile cervical mucus— which forms under the influence of rising estrogen levels in the first half of the menstrual cycle and is maximal around ovulation –- is thin, watery, clear and easy for sperm to traverse.
Non-fertile mucus — which forms after ovulation and also in pregnancy under the influence of progesterone –- is the exact opposite: Thick,tacky, non-distensible and impossible for sperm to penetrate. (It’s not called the mucus plug for nothing.) Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at tbtam*
What role has the birth control pill played in human sexuality? Dr. Jon LaPook looks at the evolution of sex as the pill turns 50 and discusses the effect of the pill on female sexuality with sex therapist and educator Miriam Baker.
The pill that ushered in the sexual revolution may have also thrown cold water on women’s libido. Fifty years ago, on May 9th, 1960, the FDA announced the approval of oral contraception.
The birth control pill has allowed women to control their reproductive cycle, delay childbearing, and develop careers. But it also may have the potential to disrupt sexuality by blocking normal hormonal surges that occur in a woman’s cycle. Here’s how. Read more »
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