Issues

Fertility/Birth Control

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Articles from Healthsquare.com
How the Reproductive System Works
"As you weigh your options, whether to encourage pregnancy or forestall it, your best resource is a working knowledge of the organs, glands, and hormones that prepare your body for motherhood."

The Role of Hormones
"Conception and pregnancy are governed by the ebb and flow of sex hormones that each month prompt crucial changes in your reproductive system."

The Menstrual Phases
"Whether the goal is to increase your chances of conception or reduce the odds of pregnancy, many of the techniques described in the following chapters do their work by adjusting hormone levels at various points in this cycle."

Barrier Contraceptives: A Growing Array of Options
"This chapter outlines the advantages and drawbacks of each of your options, from the familiar condom and diaphragm to new alternatives like the vaginal sponge and female condom."

IUDs: Still Worth Considering
"But IUDs didn't just fade into the sunset. Scientists improved them, making a second generation of the devices safer and more appealing. Now, American women are once again turning to IUDs for effective long­term birth control."

Hormonal Options: Pills, Shots, and Implants
"They are all highly effective and safe for most women; they all reduce cramping and pain related to the menstrual cycle; and they all require a doctor's prescription. Unfortunately, these forms of birth control offer little protection from sexually transmitted diseases; and all may be accompanied by health risks and side effects."

Other Approaches to Family Planning
"For whatever reason, alternative approaches to family planning remain popular. Fertility awareness methods are gaining new adherents, while voluntary sterilization presents a safe and extremely effective option for all women who have completed their families. And, when all methods fail, termination of pregnancy remains a legal and widely used alternative."

Condom Use
What You Should Know. What You Should Do.

Fertility Awareness Method

Fertility Awareness Method
from Kaiser Permanente
"FAM is a general term for several different methods that a woman can use to become aware of fertility-linked changes in her body in an effort to either plan or prevent pregnancy."

Fertility Awareness Method
by Beth Anne Moonstone
"There are three main indicators of fertility that are charted in fertility awareness method: basal body temperature, cervical changes and cervical mucus. By observing these three signs you can determine when you are fertile. This method can be used to avoid or achieve a pregnancy."

Fertility Awareness Method
from Feminist Women's Health Center
Detailed

Safety of the Birth Control Pill

The Birth Control Pill: Benefits And Risks
from InteliHealth
"The birth control offers many health benefits. And with the invention of the birth control pill, women were given the ability to control their hormones and their body. However, the birth control pill is not without risks."

Risks of Birth Control Pills
from HeliosHealth.com
"There are risks associated with the pill, however, most of these risks are considered to be rare. Always call your doctor or other health provider if you experience severe pain in your abdomen, chest, or legs, if you have severe headaches, or if you have eye or vision problems."

Misleading Claims by Industry-Sponsored Study on the Safety of the Pill
by Dr. Samuel Epstein
"Clearly, unqualified claims on the safety of the current pill reflect interests of the pharmaceutical industry rather than scientifically well-based concerns on women's health."

Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk
from About.com
"This fact sheet addresses only what is known about OC use and the risk of developing cancer. It does not deal with the most serious side effect of OC use--the increased risk of cardiovascular disease for certain groups of women."

The Pill And Breast Cancer
from MSNBC.com
"Using the birth control pill can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, particularly if is she is still taking it after the age of 45."

Pill May Boost Risk in Breast Cancer Gene Carriers
from Medline Plus
"Women with a gene mutation linked to breast and ovarian cancer who took the birth control pill face a greater risk of developing breast cancer than women with the gene who never took oral contraceptives."

Oral Contraceptive Use Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk
from ABCNEWS.com
"A major new study examining the risk of breast cancer for the millions of women who have used birth control pills will have them breathing a sigh of relief."
"Despite the encouraging finding and other health benefits associated with pill use, experts are quick to point out that using birth control pills is not risk-free."

Some Birth Control Pills Increase Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
from WebMD
"The most modern birth control pills increase the risk of death from blood clots in the lung, according to a recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet from researchers in New Zealand. The risk is very small, but greater than previously realized, their study shows."

Birth Control Pills Increase Blood Clot Risk
by Joseph Mercola, D.O.
"Oral contraceptives are SYNTHETIC hormones that the body is not designed to be exposed to. Long term use will invariably increase the user's risk of developing serious chronic illness as this recent BMJ study highlights."

OTHER RESOURCES

Birth Control
from iVillage.com

Birth Control/Contraception
Articles from Medline Plus

Contraception Guide
from About.com

Fertility UK
"Fertility UK is an educational service, offering instruction/counselling in Fertility Awareness and Natural Family Planning (NFP) for women / couples."

Planned Parenthood

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Please click on the picture of the book or the title to order.

Nona Aguilar, The New No-Pill No-Risk Birth Control

Toni Weschler, Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control and Pregnancy Achievement

Merryl Winstein, Your Fertility Signals: Using Them to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy Naturally

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