Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Changing birth control, Year of the Vagina, How to Sell Maxi-Pads, and More Weekend Links

September 22nd, 2012 by Elizabeth Kissling

4 responses to “Changing birth control, Year of the Vagina, How to Sell Maxi-Pads, and More Weekend Links”

  1. Laura Wershler says:

    1) The maxi-pad ad was funny, if kind of strange.

    2) I commented on the Contraception: Choices, Culture and Consequences online course in this blog post Contraceptive Care Must Include Fertility Awareness Methods. Fortunately this course will include FAM.

    3) Learning how to transition successfully between birth control methods should be part of our contraceptive education, but(see above)if that education ignores effective barrier and fertility awareness based methods, it is not comprehensive or useful. This article is proof that birth control in America has becomes synonymous with hormonal and device-based contraception. The PDF resource Brody links to on how to switch methods successfully focuses only on drug- and devise-based methods. I call this propaganda. Failure to acknowledge that many women are completely fed up drug and device methods, and that they want and need information and support to effectively and confidently use barrier and fertility awareness methods, will continue to result in unplanned pregnancies. And they will continue to be blamed on women’s lack of contraceptive knowledge instead of the blind spot that keeps researchers and sexual and reproductive health-care providers from asking the right questions. We don’t need coercion to use more invasive methods, we need body literacy and support to use less-invasive methods.

    4) If we teach Mark and all men how a menstrual cycle actually works, drilling into them the key sign of fertility – cervical mucus, then men could be part of the solution to preventing unplanned pregnancies for all those women transitioning unsuccessfully between birth control methods. (see 2)

    5) Year of the vagina? It would appear so. A new book called Vagina by Naomi Wolfe, women knitting uteruses with vaginas to send to their political representatives, mandatory transvaginal ultra sound legislation…

    6) Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study? Dr. Jen Gunter is right. This is misogyny disguised as scientific research.

    7) That the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecolgists now recommends IUDs and implants as the best methods of birth control for teenage girls horrifies me. Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs my eye) are the most invasive and most difficult to quit methods of contraception should problems arise. Safe (debatable) and effective (conceded) they may be, but that doesn’t mean they are in the best interest of teenagers’ psycho-sexual development, sexual experience or overall health and well-being. This recommendation is one step away from coercive, patriarchal decision-making by doctors for teenage girls. It’s always ONLY about pregnancy prevention. I’ve said before ( LARCs may be forget-about-it birth control but the side effects and outcomes for many are anything but forgettable. And promoting LARCs for teenagers will not help young women develop mindful, self-directed sexual decision-making. “Here dear, let me put this inside you and you’ll be able to have sex with anyone at anytime.”

    8) Hillary Jordan had good reason to be shocked by the question the reporter asked her.

    9) And just as I begin to wonder if I’m taking my menstrual cycle advocacy too seriously, I’m reminded that sometimes I just have to throw back my head and laugh. It’s either that or cry.

  2. In reference to new ACOG guidelines on IUD’s and Implants:

    Hope we do not see a commercial with an award-winning jingle with girls prancing around singing ‘One less girl to get pregnant’ while Merck smirks singing ‘One more girl’ to get an STD -(and a vaccination.)

  3. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Leslie, suddenly I’m hearing a version of “One Less Bell to Answer” in my head, co-opted for this campaign . . . .

  4. Laura Wershler says:

    Leslie, Brilliant take on this. I’m vibrating with anger over this ACOG recommmendation. The AP story included not one dissenting opinion, rather just the typical sales professional’s “handling of objections.” Poor medical journalism that takes the “expert” view as indisputably right, exempt from being challenged.

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