Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Contra(miscon)ception Part I/II




Contramisconception #1: A pill a day will keep premature parenthood away

Chew on this: Up to 50% of unintended pregnancies occur while using birth control!


While this statistic is slightly anxiety inducing, it doesn't mean we have suboptimal methods of contraception ( unless your preference is coitus interruptus).  But even the best forms of contraception are at risk for failure, particularly if not used consistently and as directed.


By knowing what options are available and tailoring your birth control specifically to your needs and lifestyle, you can avoid contraceptive fails because it makes it easier to be compliant.


Contramisconception #2: Birth control makes you gain weight


And pregnancy doesn't?


Actually,  a low dose of oral steroids ( yes, estrogen and progesterone are steroid derived hormones) is unlikely to cause notable weight gain. If it does occur, rest assured, it is water retention, not true body fat.  If you still aren't willing to gamble the gain, consider using forms that are locally acting ( more on that to come) and absolutely avoid large dose based forms of contraception such as Depo-Provera.


Contramisconception #3: Hormones give you mood swings


Premenstrual disorder or Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder are actually both treated by the use of birth control. The reason women have psychological and behavioral "swings" a week before their menstrual cycle is the FLUX in the hormone levels that accompany this time, not the hormones itself. No flux, no fuss. Other options for treatment of PMDD include Antidepressants ( stay tuned for a separate post on this topic).


Contramisconception #4: Birth control is only good for...birth control


Most of us have been there. A dry spell happens and we come off our pill. Who needs all the unnatural extra hormone, right? Think again. First, birth control is really a misnomer. I have used  it frequently in this post so as to build up to this very point...Wait for it...


It isn't birth control. It is HORMONAL REGULATION of ovulation, sperm transmigration, implantation and menstruation. ( it inhibits gestation with innovation,  fer reals no confabulation) 8-)


This also means you can use the aforementioned for a lot more than population control, including ovarian cysts, painful periods, heavy periods, excess testosterone ( acne and fuzziness) " mood swings" , polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS), fibroids and more. Still not sold? What if I tell you that a life time use greater than 5 years reduces your risk of ovarian cancer by 50%!!


Please take this all with a grain of estrogen, I am not trying to push any pro choice/anti-life agenda here. To me, as an OB its my job to know what options are available to help my patients. It is as ethical as math. I acknowledge, however, that there are other schools of thought on contraception/hormonal use and its advantages/risks/religious implications. The second part of this will cover the various options available, including natural family planning, in addition to knowing how to pick which options are best for you!


Stay tuned and thanks for reading!!


ObGynKanobi OUT!




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