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TV Doctors Tout IUDs As The Best Contraceptive Option: Why It May Not Be

That’s the opinion of television’s The Doctors, a syndicated TV Show that appears to be giving Dr Oz a run for his money, in USA Today. In fact, that’s the headline – IUDs: The Best Contraceptive Option.

What you know about birth control: Nearly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended; abstinence is the only sure-fire way to prevent pregnancy (and protect you from STDs); smoking while on the Pill may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke; as long as you are still getting a period, you can get pregnant during menopause. But here’s something you may not know:

We think IUDs work best.

This is contraceptive education at its worst. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Violence As A Means Of Miscarriage

In less than six months after I wrote ”Seven Reasons Why Pregnancy Becomes a Deadly Affair,” the public outrage is faint and inaudible regarding domestic violence committed against pregnant women. The subject therefore needs to be revisited again.

On a college campus less than 90 minutes away from my home, a 17-year-old woman was kicked and punched in her abdomen for no apparent reason other than that she carried life within her womb. The alleged father of her baby, Devin Nickels, a college student at Florida State University (FSU), was apparently not happy about his new prospective role. He purportedly contacted a high school buddy, Andres Luis Marrero, who now attended the University of Tampa, and asked him to beat his girlfriend until she had a miscarriage for $200.00. Marrero, instead, offered to assault the girl for free.

According to the University of Tampa’s newspaper, The Minaret, Nickels drove his girlfriend to a secluded wooded area near an apartment complex and Marrero allegedly assaulted her despite her pleas that she was pregnant. The woman was treated at a local hospital and her pregnancy was still viable. Hours later, Marrero allegedly wrote about the attack on his Facebook wall describing it as “fun.” He was subsequently arrested for armed kidnapping and aggravated assault on a pregnant woman. His father made a statement that his son was an “outstanding kid all his life” and he had no idea “where this was coming from.” Nickels was also arrested on the FSU campus.

Unfortunately these travesties continue. The Oakland Press reported the story of a 17-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan high schooler who allegedly stabbed a classmate (with whom he’d had sex) in the back of the head 12 times because she told him she “might be pregnant.” She ultimately had surgery that resulted in an intensive care unit admission. The classmate lived because she “played dead.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

Abortion Doesn’t Cause Mental Illness

Here’s yet another study showing that abortion does NOT lead to future psychiatric problems. From The New York Times:

The New England Journal of Medicine has taken on one of the pillar arguments in the abortion debate, asking whether having the procedure increases a woman’s risk of mental-health problems and concluding that it doesn’t. In fact, researchers found, having a baby brings a far higher risk.

The study, by Danish scientists (and financed in part by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, which supports research on abortion rights), is the most extensive of its kind to date. It studied 365,550 Danish women who had an abortion or gave birth for the first time between 1995 and 2007. Of those, 84,620 terminated their pregnancies and 280,930 gave birth.

In the year after an abortion, 15.2 out of 1,000 sought psychiatric help (defined as admission to a hospital or clinic), which was essentially the same as the rate of that group (14.6 per 1,000) in the nine months before the abortion. In contrast, among women who went on to give birth, the rate at which they sought treatment increased to 6.7 per 1,000 after delivery from 3.9 per 1,000 before.

Why do first-time mothers have a lower overall rate of mental illness both before and after pregnancy than those who choose termination? The researchers suggest that those who have abortions are more likely to have emotional problems in the first place. Compared with the group who give birth, those who have abortions are also statistically more likely to be struggling economically, and to have a higher rate of unintended pregnancies.

And why do first-time mothers seem to nearly double their risk in the year after giving birth? That is likely to have something to do with the hormonal changes, decreased sleep, and increased stress of parenting, which women who terminate do not experience.

Can we please talk about something else? Like maybe how to help these young women with the issues and unmet contraceptive needs that led to unplanned pregnancy in the first place?

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Contraceptive Failures: A Reality Check

The media has been buzzing over recent reports of pregnancies occurring in women using Implanon, a single rod progestin-only contraceptive inserted under the skin of the upper arm and lasting for up to three years.

The headlines make it sound horrifying: “Hundreds Become Pregnant Despite Contraceptive Implanon” and “British Pregnancy Scare in UK Implicates Implanon.” I love how terminology can make something so common sound so frightening.

Actually, what happened was that 584 pregnancies occurred in Britain among about 1.3 million women using Implanon, for a failure rate of .04 percent. In other words, the method had an efficacy of over 99 percent. That’s a pretty effective contraceptive if you ask me.

But it should have been better than that

As good as it may seem, this failure rate is significantly higher than most of us would have expected based upon data from clinical trails of Implanon.

I recall being told at an Implanon insertion training just prior to its introduction in the U.S.  that in fact, not a single pregnancy had been reported at that point among users of the device in clinical trails. This would put the method up there with sterilization and IUD in terms of efficacy.

So what happened?

How did Implanon go from perfect efficacy to something less than perfect? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at tbtam*

The Hyde Amendment: Abortion Coverage and Health Insurance Reform

I’m going to wade right in here.  I am not a fan of abortions, but neither am I of amputations.  Both are sometimes necessary.  To me, too often abortion opponents forget the mother.  She is a life present before us.  Her care should not be forgotten.

I have been listening and reading the discussions over how the abortion coverage may sink health care reform.  I think it would be a shame if this one issue does sink reform.

If my understanding of the Hyde Amendment (and it’s amendments over the years) is correct the Federal Government covers the cost of abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.  It does not cover the cost when the health of the mother is at risk:

With these bans, the federal government turns its back on women who need abortions for their health.  Women with cancer, diabetes, or heart conditions, or whose pregnancies otherwise threaten their health, are denied coverage for abortions.  Only if a woman would otherwise die, or if her pregnancy results from rape or incest, is an abortion covered.  The bans thus put many women’s health in jeopardy.

I agree with opponents who do not wish to cover abortions for simply any reason (i.e. the timing for a pregnancy is not good, etc).  Abortion should never be used for birth control.  That should be done using birth control pills, condoms, abstinence, etc.

Currently, the only abortions available under Medicaid are the ones mentioned above.  I think it’s a shame that distinctions can not be made to provide coverage for a woman who’s HEALTH would be negatively affected by her pregnancy.  All insurance policies should do so in my opinion.

Opponents of abortion want language that would prohibit any private insurance company that accepts federal funds from offering to policyholders abortions other than those already eligible under Medicaid.

Sources

How Abortion Could Imperil Health-Care Reform by Michael Scherer; Monday, Aug. 24, 2009; Times.com

What is the Hyde Amendment? (July 21, 2004); ACLU

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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