Birth Control Methods- What Works Best for You?


How do you know which birth control methods are best for you? Below is a great chart of the different kinds of birth control methods available and how effective each are. Talk to your doctor about these options and which would work best for you.

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Here are some FAQs we’ve heard about birth control.

“I’m taking birth control pills. Does that mean I don’t have to use condoms?”

No. Birth control pills are usually prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles, treat cramps, protect against pregnancy, or hormone replacement. They do not protect against HIV or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). You should continue to use a condom for protection against HIV and STDs, even if you are on birth control pills.

“I’ve heard you can’t get an IUD unless you’ve already had at least one child.”

Not true. You can get an IUD if you’ve never been pregnant. It’s a great option for pregnancy prevention that does not require you to take a pill daily or insert a ring weekly.

“Do antibiotics affect oral birth control pills?”

Rifampin is the only antibiotic shown to interfere with oral birth control pills. No other antibiotics have been shown to interfere with oral birth control pills. A research performed by Harvard in 2011 showed that women who were on the pill and antibiotics were no more likely to get pregnant than those who were not on antibiotics.

“When is the right time to put on a condom?”

Condoms should be put on after the penis is erect and before any oral, vaginal, or anal insertion. This should be done every time you have sexual contact to prevent STDs.

Adolescent Access to Confidential Health Services

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Few things are more personal than information about our bodies and our health. The information patients share with their health care provider is often sensitive, even embarrassing. Patients expect that it will be kept private. If that privacy is not guaranteed, they may be reluctant to seek care or treatment.

Confidentiality is also important for health care providers. To deliver accurate diagnosis and treatment, the provider must have all relevant information from the patient. If the patient fears that such information will be made public, s/he may not divulge all the necessary facts.

Confidential health services are essential in promoting teens’ health. Adolescents are at a critical stage of development, both physically and emotionally, and are beginning to establish their own identity and autonomy. Teens experiencing depression, rage, suicidal thoughts, sexually transmitted disease (STD), pregnancy, or sexual abuse may pose a grave danger to themselves or those around them. A health care professional can help enormously by encouraging screening and treatment.

The health care provider’s duty of confidentiality becomes complicated when the interests of an adolescent’s parents or guardian must be factored into the provider-patient relationship. The parents’ financial responsibility for, and guiding role in, raising their children and the state’s interest in protecting family autonomy are concerns the health care provider must respect. Health care providers must also balance parents’ and minors’ interests while keeping in mind laws that govern confidentiality and that mandate parental notification.

If you would like to know more about this topic visit: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/component/content/article/516-adolescent-access-to-confidential-health-services

Bacterial Vaginosis


What is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is an infection caused when too much of certain bacteria change the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina.

How common is bacterial vaginosis?

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women ages 15-44.

How is bacterial vaginosis spread?

We do not know about the cause of BV or how some women get it. BV is linked to an imbalance of “good” and “harmful” bacteria that are normally found in a woman’s vagina.

We do know that having a new sex partner or multiple sex partners and douching can upset the balance of bacteria in the vagina and put women at increased risk for getting BV.

However, we do not know how sex contributes to BV. BV is not considered an STD, but having BV can increase your chances of getting an STD. BV may also affect women who have never had sex.

You cannot get BV from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools.

How can I avoid getting bacterial vaginosis?

Doctors and scientists do not completely understand how BV is spread, and there are no known best ways to prevent it.

The following basic prevention steps may help lower your risk of developing BV:

  1. Not having sex;
  2. Limiting your number of sex partners; and
  3. Not douching.

 I’m pregnant. How does bacterial vaginosis affect my baby?

Pregnant women can get BV. Pregnant women with BV are more likely to have babies who are born premature (early) or with low birth weight than women who do not have BV while pregnant. Low birth weight means having a baby that weighs less than 5.5 pounds at birth.

Treatment is especially important for pregnant women.

For more information visit: http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/stdfact-bacterial-vaginosis.htm



STD & Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant can become infected with the same sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as women who are not pregnant. Pregnant women should ask their doctors about getting tested for STDs, since some doctors do not routinely perform these tests.

For more information please visit:


You’ve Tested Positive for Hepatitis C; Now What?

In the past, if someone tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a chronic liver infection, the only real treatment was interferon-based medications, which had lower success rates than the latest treatments, especially among people of color, and harsh side effects.

But with treatment progressing over time, a cure for HCV is now a reality.

Thanks to therapies such as Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir), Harvoni (a combination of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) and Viekira Pak (also a combination therapy, consisting of ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir and dasabuvir), HCV has a cure rate of 95-100 percent. Even better: New data have confirmed that treatments have the same success rates among people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

But for the 3 million to 5 million people estimated to be living with HCV, the cure seems bittersweet: The treatment alone can cost $1,000 per pill, with a total of $100,000 for the entire 12- to 14-week regimen. Even with health insurance, the cost of treatment and copays can make the drug almost inaccessible.

“It’s actually unconscionable that we have this cure and millions globally can’t afford it,” says Kenyon Farrow, the U.S. and global health policy director for the Treatment Action Group. “And while in other countries the pharmaceutical companies are in negotiations to make the drugs more affordable, here in the U.S. we don’t have a national office that does that, which allows for companies to charge what they want.”

But don’t let this discourage you, because you do have options.

For starters, depending on the progression of your disease, you may want to talk to your doctor about delaying treatment, in hopes that more-affordable treatment will come down the pipeline in the next year or so, as some expect. But that could be a gamble with your health if you need treatment and lower-cost meds don’t materialize. You can also try negotiating directly with your health insurance company to see what it covers and how much it will cover.

In addition, you can utilize the following:

Financial-assistance programs: These can help offset the high costs of HCV treatment for those living with the disease. Depending on your income and/or insurance status, these programs may pay a portion of your prescription and other-related fees, such as your copay, or pay the entire cost, making the treatment free—but only for those who apply and qualify for assistance. These programs may be funded by foundations or pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead.

“They can definitely help those who need it, but it still requires extra steps such as doing online research and filling out what can be confusing forms. Steps that aren’t as easy as just getting a prescription from your doctor and going straight to the pharmacy,” says Farrow.

These links provide comprehensive sources of programs that can help you:

* Hepatitis C New Drug Research and Liver Health

* The American Liver Foundation

* The Patient Access Network Foundation, also accessible by phone at 866-316-7263866-316-7263 FREE

Medicaid and Medicare: These government-issued health-care programs for low-income and elderly Americans will also provide access. According to The Washington Post, in 2014 Medicare spent a whopping $4.5 billion on this treatment for those enrolled in its program, 15 times more than it did in 2013 for older, less-expensive treatment. Because of the high cost, both programs are in ration mode, which doesn’t always sit well with activists.

“These programs have rules like, if you are a drug addict or an alcoholic, you won’t get treatment. They are also prioritizing those with more advanced disease above others to see who gets treatment first,” says Farrow.