An interesting discussion in the Economist under the title “Crazy, sexy, stupid” looks at abortion, adoption, and birth control use. It explores some of the issues that explain why the abortion rate in the U.S. is 3x higher than the abortion rates in many other countries. However it does not discuss a key issue that results in unplanned pregnancies worldwide – the effectiveness and failure rates of different birth control options. Many people are surprised to find out that even commonly used, and highly touted hormonal methods are less effective than they may think.
It’s pretty common knowledge these days that there are high rates of both contraceptive discontinuation and unintended pregnancies in the U.S. Could increasing the availability of fertility awareness-based family planning options at family planning clinics help address these issues by meeting the needs of women looking to prevent pregnancy without hormones?
We’ve been investigating how a woman’s cycle affects male-female relationships and have found that when a woman is accurately informed about what is going on with her body and can clearly communicate it to her partner, it enhances the relationship overall. Sounds easy enough, but what is a good way to accomplish this?
In our last post, “Can a Woman’s Cycle Affect Her Relationships with Men?” we looked at how a woman’s cycle impacts her most intimate relationships. It’s clear that a woman’s menstrual cycle does affect her male partner. But are men really interested in understanding how a woman’s cycle works? What do they already know? And at the end of the day, does a guy’s knowledge of the menstrual cycle affect a couple’s relationship?
The menstrual cycle has long been considered a “woman’s issue”. This seems logical, since only women have a menstrual cycle, but a woman’s cycle can also significantly affect her partner’s life and the dynamics in general between a man and a woman. There are the obvious monthly occurrences, such as premenstrual syndrome and menstruation itself, but more is being learned about how other aspects of the cycle influence feelings and behavior, and how all of these influences can actually impact relationships.
Exciting research is being conducted by the Institute for Reproductive Health on offering the Standard Days Method™ of family planning through mobile phones. As an information-based, natural family planning method, the Standard Days Method is ideally suited for offering in this manner. The research and some of the lessons to date are described in an article on MobileActive.org called, "Family Planning through Mobile Phones: No Doctors Necessary".
In a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece, "Birth Control Over Baldness" Nicholas Kristof points out that research on contraception is "pitifully underfunded” and argues that family planning is treated less seriously than baldness. He further points out that new contraceptives will fight global poverty and “affect more people in a more intimate way than almost any other technological stride."
We occasionally hear the question “isn't CycleBeads just the rhythm method?" The answer is NO. CycleBeads, and the Standard Days Method on which it is based, are very different from the so-called “rhythm method”, a method which is vaguely understood, not well defined, confusing to use, and largely untested.
The confusion most likely comes from the fact that CycleBeads and the rhythm method are both considered “calendar-based natural family planning methods”. That is where the similarities end.
A story on NPR today focuses on the dangers associated with newer versions of the birth control pill. In the report, the interviewers talk to women who have taken Yaz, a birth control pill that came on the market in 2006. Touted as being “beyond birth control” Yaz quickly became America’s No. 1 birth control pill. Today thousands of women are suing the manufacturer, Bayer HealthCare saying that Yaz caused them serious harm.
Posted in: Birth Control Side Effects
"I am a women's health graduate student in Boston and a classmate who works in the family planning field shared the joys of CycleBeads. I began using my CycleBeads not for family planning but to track the symptoms of my disease, endometriosis. Because of a blood clot on my lungs last summer I am no longer able to take hormonal birth control. Now, with CycleBeads I am able to know when my symptoms (specifically pain) are worse. I am grateful to CycleBeads for helping me navigate this new path of my journey with endometriosis."