Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Different Methods of Birth Control

Sep. 28, 2016

Dear Cathy:

My daughter is 19 and getting ready to be sexually active. What are some different methods of birth control? Sexually Active, Arkansas

Dear Sexually Active:

Birth control is a way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. Abstinence is the best form of birth control. Abstinence has no medical or hormonal side effects and it’s free. Women and men abstain from sex play for many reasons — even after they've been sexually active.

A couple may even choose to be abstinent after having had sex play with each other. The reasons people choose to be abstinent may change throughout life.

People choose abstinence to:

  • prevent pregnancy
  • prevent STDs
  • wait until they're ready for a sexual relationship
  • wait to find the right partner
  • have fun with romantic partners without sexual involvement
  • focus on school, career, or extracurricular activities
  • support personal, moral, or religious beliefs and values
  • get over a breakup
  • heal from the death of a partner
  • follow medical advice during an illness or infection

One of the most popular forms of birth control is hormonal contraception such as "the pill." Women take the pill by mouth to prevent pregnancy, and, when taken correctly, it is up to 99.9% effective.

However, many women have been known to get pregnant even though they are on the pill, so it’s not 100% effective. Also the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). The latex male condom provides the best protection from most STDs.

Other types of birth control include: 
  • IUD: An IUD is a tiny device that's inserted in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. It's long-term, reversible, and one of the most effective birth control methods out there. It's a small piece of flexible plastic shaped like a T.  
  • Birth Control Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon): The birth control implant is a thin, flexible plastic implant about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It protects against pregnancy for up to 4 years.
  • Birth Control Patch: The birth control patch is a thin, beige, plastic patch that sticks to the skin. It's used to prevent pregnancy. A new patch is placed on the skin once a week for three weeks in a row, followed by a patch-free week.
  • Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera): The birth control shot is an injection of a hormone that prevents pregnancy. Each shot prevents pregnancy for three months. 
  • Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge): The sponge is a squishy porous foam object which is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It contains spermicide to immobilize sperm as it comes in contact with the sponge. It is typically around 2 inches in diameter and features a nylon loop, which is used to easily remove it from the vagina.
  • Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing): The vaginal ring is a small, flexible ring a woman inserts into her vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It is left in place for three weeks and taken out for the remaining week each month.
  • Female Condom: The female condom is a pouch that is used during intercourse to prevent pregnancy and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. It has flexible rings at each end. Just before vaginal intercourse, it is inserted deep into the vagina. The ring at the closed end holds the pouch in the vagina. The ring at the open end stays outside the vaginal opening during intercourse. And during anal intercourse, it is inserted into the anus.

Common side effects of oral contraceptives include intermenstrual spotting, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, weight gain, mood changes, missed periods, decreased libido, vaginal discharge and visual changes with contact lenses.

Just remember that birth control pills are full of estrogen. If you take the pill, try to cut down on a diet full of estrogen such as in beef and chicken, which are fed "Bovine Growth Hormones" and also soy products. The more estrogen you have in your body, the more you will be at risk for cancer.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Can Hair Products Cause Fibroids to Grow?

Sep. 26, 2016

Dear Cathy:

I am an African American female in my late 30s. I have had fibroids as big as cantaloupes in the past. After I was operated on, the fibroids grew back. Are fibroids linked to products in the hair care industry? Fibroids and Relaxers, Pennsylvania

Dear Fibroids and Relaxers:

Yes many studies have linked hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls. This maybe caused by chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.

Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 might be more likely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair products black women are using.

While so far, there is only an association rather than a cause and effect relationship between relaxers, fibroid tumors, and puberty, many experts have been quick to point out that the hair care industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning that there's no definite way to fully know just how harmful standard Black hair care products really are.

Fibroids are tumors that grow in the uterus. They are benign, which means they are not cancerous, and are made up of muscle fibers. Fibroids can be as small as a pea and can grow as large as a melon. It is estimated that 20-50 percent of women have, or will have, fibroids at some time in in their lives. They are rare in women under the age of 20, most common in women in their 30s and 40s, and tend to shrink after the menopause.

Fibroid growth is largely attributed to the levels of estrogen and progesterone being produced in the body. Estrogen makes the tumors grow and the fibroids themselves contain more hormone receptors than normal uterine muscle.

So if you eat chicken and beef often, which contains estrogen in the Bovine Growth Hormone added, you will be more at risk to form fibroids. Also if you take birth control pills with estrogen. So stay away from products and foods containing estrogen such as soy.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Should I Get A Vasectomy?

Sep. 23, 2016

Dear Cathy:

We have 8 children and we don’t really want any more children. My wife doesn't want to take birth control or have her tubes tied. So I am thinking about a vasectomy. However, I have heard that having a vasectomy, will hurt me when it comes to being sexually aroused. What do you think? Getting Snipped for Vasectomy, Alabama

Dear Getting Snippped for Vasectomy:

A vasectomy blocks sperm from moving into your semen. Many couples choose it because it works. Vasectomies have a 99% success rate in preventing pregnancy. It's also simple and safe. You can do it in a doctor's office and it only takes 15-30 minutes. The risks, like infection and bleeding, are low.

First, a doctor numbs your scrotum with a local anesthetic so you won't feel any pain. He makes a small opening in your skin, and then blocks or removes a tube called the vas deferens, which keeps sperm from getting into your semen.

Remember without sperm, there's no way your partner will get pregnant. Recovery time is quick and you may not need stitches, but if you do, they'll dissolve on their own. 

You may have discomfort or swelling for a few days. Icing the area can help. You'll probably be back at work and your usual routine in 2 days.

Some men worry a vasectomy will be bad for their sex life, but that's not the case. It won't change how you feel during sex. Men will have normal erections and ejaculate after vasectomy. The only difference is you won't have any sperm.

Your lovemaking may actually get a boost, especially when you don’t have to think about birth control. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, it takes time for sperm to leave your system. You'll need backup birth control for about 10 weeks or 20 ejaculations.

Also, there's a steep price for changing your mind once it's done. While some men will have successful reversals, it is a costly procedure and doesn't always work and is not covered by insurance. The procedure to undo a vasectomy is much more intensive. It's done in a hospital and takes hours. So think before going under the knife.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Can I Have a Baby After an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Sep. 21, 2016

Dear Cathy:

After having two kids and after divorcing my husband, I meet a wonderful man. However, when trying to have our own family, I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy. Can you explain what is an ectopic pregnancy and can I get pregnant again after having this type of pregnancy? Just One More Baby, New York

Dear One More Baby:
Yes you can get pregnant again after this type of pregnancy. First of all let me explain exactly what an Ectopic Pregnancy is. 

In a normal pregnancy, your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube. If the egg meets with a sperm, the fertilized egg moves into your uterus to attach to its lining and continues to grow for the next 9 months.

But in up to 1 of every 50 pregnancies, the fertilized egg stays in your fallopian tube. In that case, it's called an ectopic pregnancy or a tubal pregnancy.

In rare cases, the fertilized egg attaches to one of your ovaries, another organ in your abdomen, the cornua (or horn) of the uterus or even the cervix. 

In any case, instead of celebrating your pregnancy, you find your life is in danger. Ectopic pregnancies require emergency treatment, where they have to go in and clean out your womb.

Ectopic pregnancies usually happens within the first few weeks of pregnancy. You might not even know you're pregnant yet, so it can be a big shock. 

Doctors usually discover it by the 8th week of pregnancy. But again, most women go on to get pregnant again after these types of pregnancies unless they are taking some type of birth control.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Can I Sue My Doctor After A Pregnancy Even Though I Had My Tubes Tied?

Sep. 19, 2016

Dear Cathy:

My husband and I were really living below the poverty line so after 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, I decided to get my tubes tied. However, I ended up getting pregnant again and had another girl. Can I sue my OB/GYN because we thought this was a permanent fix? No More Babies, Connecticut

Dear No More Babies:

Getting your cords tied is also called “Tubal Ligation” but your friends might call it simply “getting your tubes or cords tied.” In this procedure, a surgeon closes off your fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from your ovaries to your uterus.

Tubal ligation is usually done in a hospital or clinic and takes about 30 minutes. You'll probably go home the same day. Some women have it done when they deliver their last baby via C-section, while they're already being operated on.

If you had this procedure the paperwork that you signed should have also listed the possible side effects and your doctor should also have discussed this with you. 

The side effects include bleeding, infection, damage to other organs, side effects from anesthesia, and ectopic pregnancy -- when a fertilized egg stays in your fallopian tube.

So getting pregnant again was a side effect. It's more than 99% effective, but not right away. The scars need time to form, so you should have planned on using backup protection for about 3 months.

Sometimes before patients are admitted for surgery, they have to come into the doctor’s office or hospital, just to make sure the paperwork is in order. Many people for some reason don’t even keep copies of this paperwork. 

If you still have the paperwork and if it did not list possible side effects and if your doctor did not explain to you possible side effects, you might have a case.

However, suing a doctor is sometimes like suing the federal government, it’s extremely hard to do. Look at it like this, you had another unscheduled child but did you really plan the birth of your other 4 children?

Sometimes people have these unscheduled births and these children are the ones that end up taking care and providing for them as they get older -- so just look at this unscheduled birth like a "blessing in disguise."

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Can I Have A Regular Birth After Having a C-section The First Time?

Sep. 15, 2016

Dear Cathy:

I want to know what it is like to have a baby the old fashioned way so can I have a regular birth or a vaginal delivery after having a C-section the first time?
Regular Birth, MI

Dear Regular Birth:

Remember babies can enter this world in one of two ways -- a vaginal birth or surgical delivery by Caesarean (C-section). However, the ultimate goal is to safely give birth to a healthy baby.

In some cases, C-sections are planned because of medical reasons that make a vaginal birth risky. A woman may know in advance that she will need a C-section and schedule it because she is expecting twins or other multiples, or because the mother may have a medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, an infection that complicates pregnancy, such as HIV or herpes, or she may be experiencing problems with the placenta during her pregnancy.

A C-section may also be necessary in certain situations, such as delivering a very large baby in a mother with a small pelvis, or if the baby is not in a heads-down position and efforts to turn the baby before a woman gives birth have been unsuccessful.

But often just because a women has had a C-section doesn’t mean she can’t have a vaginal birth the next go round. Many women go on to give this type of birth. Just remember some of the benefits of having a C-section verses regular birth include being able to resume a sex life after 2 weeks. Women who give birth vaginal are told to wait 4 to 6 weeks or longer. So if you have a highly sexual mate, having a C-section does have its advantages.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Are Hospitals Making More Money With C-Sections?

Sep. 14, 2016

Dear Cathy:

I will be having my first baby soon and I would like to do it the old-fashioned way instead of a C-section. Do hospitals make more money by giving pregnant women C-sections? No C-Section, Ohio

Dear No C-Section:

Apparently, according to many experts that deals with the womb, hospitals do make more money by giving their patients (Cesarean) C-sections. After all it’s an operation, where many times they have to put women to sleep.

Hospitals are hurting today financially, like most other institutions out there. I am sure doctors are encouraged by hospital administrators to bring in more money by conducting more surgical procedures, especially more C-sections verses regular births.

Childbirth is a funny thing. Some women have short labors and for others it goes on for days, so basically it will be left up to doctors, how to deliver your baby.

If you go in the hospital on a Friday, most doctors like others in the workplace, will be looking forward to weekend adventures, so they will not hang around for you to have your baby. 

They can tell you that you or your baby was in distress and that a C-section was necessary and the nurses will just go along with them. They can lie and tell you anything, especially if you are a hard patient to deal with.

Even though cesarean deliveries are without a doubt a necessary and lifesaving procedure in many cases, again doctors can tell you what they want to and do what they want to because once you are admitted in a hospital, you have no say-so over what is going to happen to you. So therefore, you might want to look into other ways of delivering your baby, other than a hospital, if you want to have a regular birth for your baby.