User Effectiveness Rates

the patch birth controlIn a recent post, we discussed the difference between the effectiveness of a birth control method versus the effectiveness of its use.  Method effectiveness is defined as the effectiveness with perfect use.  In other words, the number of unexpected pregnancies which occurred when the method was correctly and consistently used over a period of time.  On the other hand, user effectiveness, or typical use, is defined by the actual practices of the couples using the method, both correctly and incorrectly, over that same period of time, which is usually one year.

As a review, the chart below describes some common birth control methods, along with their method and user effectiveness rates, based on 2,000 users and one year of use.  For comparison, having unprotected sex with absolutely no method of birth control used results in pregnancy 85% of the time.

Birth Control Method Typical Use Failure Rate Perfect Use Failure Rate
Today contraceptive sponge 32% 20%
Diaphragm with spermicide 16% 6%
Male latex condom 15% 2%
Combined oral contraceptive pill 9% 0.3%
NuvaRing birth control ring 9% 0.3%
Birth Control Patch 8% 0.3%
Depo Provera birth control shot 3% 0.3%
Intrauterine device with copper 0.8% 0.6%

 

As you can see, the typical use failure rates for some of these methods are staggering, and much higher than the more commonly known perfect use failure rates.  The Center for Disease Control is dedicated to public awareness regarding birth control methods, and goes into great detail regarding typical use failure rates on their website.  However, many birth control users remain unaware of just how significant the difference in protection can be if you do not follow the method’s instructions to the letter.

With so much on the line, do you think that condoms and birth control medications should have the consequences of imperfect use right on the packaging in giant bold print?  Do you think more should be done to educate the public on the proper use of birth control?  We want to hear your opinion!  Please share it with us in the comments below.

Barrier Methods of Birth Control

photo courtesy of  jayativoria.com

photo courtesy of jayativoria.com

As a Lady-Comp user, if you are currently not trying to conceive, you may be looking for a form of birth control to use on your fertile days.  If so, one option that may interest you are barrier methods, which are various forms of birth control that block sperm from entering your uterus.  The types of barrier methods include the male condom, female condom, diaphragm, sponge, and cervical cap.  Any of these methods can be strengthened by also using a spermicide, which will kill most of the sperm as it enters your vagina, leaving fewer sperm for the barrier method to block.

The following are some advantages of using barrier methods.

  • No pre-planning is required. They can be put in place at the time of sexual intercourse.
  • They are temporary methods which have no long term effects on the fertility of either partner.
  • They are safe to use while you are breastfeeding.
  • Unlike hormonal birth control, they cannot aggravate medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • They are available without a prescription.

The following are some disadvantages of using barrier methods.

  • Aside from the male condom, other forms of barrier methods have little to no effectiveness in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The combination of diaphragms and spermicides has been linked to causing urinary tract infections.
  • Some people suffer from allergies to nonoxynol-9, which is the primary ingredient in most spermicides.
  • Condoms may tear or fall off due to improper size or placement.
  • Some people suffer from a latex allergy, in which case they must use condoms made of polyurethane, which is slightly less effective.
  • Some people may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed interrupting foreplay to implement the use of a barrier method.

Ultimately, the method you decide to use is a very personal decision.  If you are trying to decide which is right for you, talk with your physician and your partner.

 

 

Source: http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/barrier-methods-of-birth-control-19059

Why are there so Many Red Days?

red light trafficIf you are a Lady-Comp user, you are already familiar with its notation system.  After you take your temperature each morning, the unit will flash a green light if you are infertile, and a red light if you are fertile.  Yellow lights, which should always be treated as red, may be seen during transition days or if your temperature is fluctuating abnormally.  Because every woman’s cycle may vary by a few days and ovulation may also vary, the typical user can expect 8 to 10 red light days over the course of her cycle.  You will find these occur in the days leading up to ovulation and for 48 to 72 hours after ovulation has taken place.

If you have noticed an increase in red light days, it is because ovulation was not detected for you.  There are four reasons why this might occur.

1)      You missed a temperature reading.  If you miss a daily temperature reading, especially close to your ovulation time, Lady-Comp will have difficulty confirming your fertile days.  If you are unsure if you have taken your temperature daily, Lady-Comp has a feature which will allow you to check this.

2)      You did not ovulate.  As a healthy woman, you can experience the occasional month in which you do not ovulate.  If Lady-Comp is unable to isolate your fertile days, it will issue you red and yellow lights as a precaution.

3)      Your ovulation is delayed.  Many factors, including stress, travel, or change in exercise routine, can cause a delay in ovulation.  Lady-Comp will continue to give you red and/or yellow lights until ovulation has been confirmed.

You have atypical temperature patterns.  Most women experience an increase in their basal body temperature when they are ovulating. However, not all do.  If this is the case with you, be assured you can still use Lady-Comp effectively.  You will just want to be sure that you secure your basal body temperature during the same hour each day, and do not miss any of your daily readings.

Being on the Pill Could Make You Choose a Boring Lover

Photo courtesy of FrenchTribune.com

Photo courtesy of FrenchTribune.com

It’s a common misconception that women who choose not to take hormonal birth control have boring sex lives due to the fear of pregnancy.  In actuality, with so many alternative contraceptive methods available, this is simply not the case.  However, a 2011 study revealed that things may actually be the other way around, and that taking hormonal birth control can lead women to choose boring lovers as partners.

In the study, which was published in the October 12, 2011 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers surveyed 2,5000 heterosexual women who had one child, and asked them questions about the child’s biological father.  Approximately 1,000 participants were taking hormonal birth control, while the other 1,500 were not using hormonal contraception.  The results showed that women who were taking hormonal birth control were less sexually satisfied overall.  They found their lovers less attractive and were generally more likely to initiate a separation.

The researchers developed a theory on why this might be true.  Other studies have shown clearly that a woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, and these fluctuations actually impact the way women react to men as candidates for dating and mating.  The closer a woman is to ovulation, the more drawn she is to masculine men.  However, women on hormonal birth control do not experience these hormone fluctuations throughout the month, and are therefore more likely to be drawn to factors such a person’s financial stability, rather than to their raw physical attractiveness.

However, the results were not entirely negative.  The researchers found that women on hormonal birth control found their partner to have excellent paternal traits, such as being caring and reliable.  They also found their relationships lasted two years longer on average.

Sources:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20111016/Women-on-birth-control-may-be-dating-sexually-boring-but-otherwise-caring-men-Study.aspx

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/10/13/8290413-women-on-the-pill-pick-boring-lovers-good-partners-study-claims

Hormonal Birth Control and Breastfeeding

photo courtesy of thedailygreen.com

There is a longstanding rumor that it is not possible to become pregnant while you are breastfeeding.  However, it is simply not true.  Breastfeeding does generally decrease your fertility, and therefore you may find that you do not menstruate for months after having your baby.  However, the body will typically release its first postpartum egg about two weeks before you experience your first post-baby period.  Therefore, it is very possible that you can become pregnant while you are still breastfeeding.

At that point, with all that your body has just been through, you may not want to become pregnant again immediately.  Initially, abstinence is recommended.  Doctors will usually tell women who have just given birth to put off having sex until their six-week postpartum examination, at which point the progress of their healing can be checked and they can be medically cleared.  However, once given the green light, hormonal birth control methods are not the best option for breastfeeding women. First, oral contraceptives containing estrogen are known to suppress milk production.  Second, any type of hormonal birth control will enter into the breast milk you are feeding your child.  Physicians still do not know what type of impact these hormones have on children’s long term sexual and reproductive development.

Therefore, non-hormonal forms of birth control are ideal for the nursing mother.  This can include the use of condoms, diaphragms, sponges, or cervical caps.  However, these forms of birth control are subject to human error in usage that can decrease their effectiveness.  Women have an affordable, accurate, and all-natural alternative for fertility control with Lady-Comp. Lady-Comp is a computer which will determine your ovulation with 99.3% accuracy based simply on the data you provide and your daily morning body temperature.

During the time of reduced fertility immediately postpartum and the initial stages of breastfeeding, Lady-Comp shows yellow.  Just try to take your temperature as often as possible. Your temperatures are a typical zig-zag pattern.  Lady-Comp plus a barrier method like the condoms, diaphragms, sponges or cervical caps are the best choice during this time.

Once you and your baby reduce the frequency of breastfeeding, your body starts to produce hormones inducing ovulation (FSH).  You will notice a change in the pattern of cervical mucus – sometimes being more fluid.  During this time you are potentially fertile.  Lady-comp still shows yellow, but your wake-up temperatures drop to a lower level with fewer disturbances.  This is the time to be extra cautious when making love.

As soon as your first ovulation has taken place, Lady-Comp will notice a significant change in your temperature pattern and show green when it is sure you are definitely infertile.  About 8 days later you will have your first menstruation and Lady-Comp will be able to predict future ovulations.

Be aware that only the change of temperature can show you for sure that you ovulated. The mucus pattern comes and goes like waves – thus it’s a sign of being fertile, but not good enough to establish that ovulation has definitely taken place.

 

Birth Control Expenses

Cost-Cutting-Pig-300x1972014 has ushered in a new era of health care for women with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which requires health plans to provide contraceptives and related services to women without a copay.  Unfortunately, this does not apply to all women, as exceptions have been made to certain grandfathered health plans, as well as group health insurance coverage sponsored by certain religious employers.  Considering the fact that 36% percent of sexually active Catholic women in America use birth control, we know that there are a vast number of U.S. women who are paying completely out of pocket to do so.  Unfortunately, the expense is overwhelming.  The chart below shows what an uninsured woman can expect to pay for birth control over her lifetime, assuming she starts usage at age 18 and discontinues usage at age 51.

Method What’s Included Lifetime Cost
IUD Doctor’s visit, device, insertion, and follow up care, every 7.5 years $8,178
Implanon Doctor’s visit, device, insertion, and removal, every 3 years $19,601
Injections Doctor’s visit, follow-up care, and four injections, every year $32, 496
Birth Control Patch Doctor’s visit and an annual supply of patches, every year $66,644
Vaginal Ring Doctor’s visit and an annual supply of rings, every year $66,644
Surgical Sterilization Doctor’s visits, surgery, and follow up care; one time cost $6,000

If you are one of the many women who do not have their birth control covered under the Affordable Care Act, you will be pleased to know a birth control method exists that is both less expensive and more natural than those mentioned above.  Lady-Comp is an intelligent fertility monitor that learns, analyzes, and indicates your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy based on your daily body temperature and data you provide.  At just $485, it is an investment that will save you thousands of dollars over time.

 

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-98-percent-of-catholic-women-use-contraception-a-media-foul/2012/02/16/gIQAkPeqIR_blog.html

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/calculator-birth-control-expensive-really-cost

Hormonal Birth Control Can Decrease Your Sex Drive

All too frequently, doctors prescribe the birth control pill not just for its intended purpose, but as a cure-all for acne, irregular cycles, and the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.  However, they often fail to discuss the potential negative effects the infusion of synthetic hormones (either estrogen and/or progestin) can have on your body.

shoe_romance_007One of these effects is a decrease in libido.  The reason behind this result is that the birth control pill works by raising your levels of the sex hormone-binding globulin protein.  This protein binds to the testosterone you naturally produce, and when it does so, that testosterone is no longer available for your body to use.  The causes reduced testosterone, which can decrease masculine features in your body, such as acne, hair growth, and sex drive.

In a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University Hospital Heidelberg studied the sex drives of more than 1,000 women.  They found that for the patients complaining of lower levels of arousal and sex drive, they were able to isolate other variables potentially involved (such as stress and relationship status) and pinpoint the pill as the cause.

If you are wondering why taking the pill results in decreased libido in some women and not others, the answer lies in their individual hormone receptors.  Approximately 1/3 of all women have inefficient hormone receptors which require more hormones to function properly.  It is women in this category who experience difficulty with birth control pill.  Even worse, if they remain on the pill, it can cause their glands to start shutting down, creating not only low libido, but thinning of the vaginal tissues and shrinking of the clitoris and labia.  The result is severe vaginal dryness and painful sex.

If you believe the pill is lowering your sex drive, please know you are not alone.  You should speak with your doctor as soon as possible about alternate fertility methods.

 

Sources:

http://thehealthyelements.com/the-pill-your-sex-drive-how-to-start-reclaiming-your-va-va-voom/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/05/17/is-the-pill-killing-your-sex-drive.html

Achieve Clear Skin without Hormonal Birth Control

The birth control pill is frequently prescribed to young women to control acne.  In fact, 3 brands of birth control pills- Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrosep, and YAZ- have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as acne treatments.  They work by lowering the usable testosterone in your body, which in turn decreases your skin’s ability to produce pore-clogging sebum.  While taking a pill to cure acne sounds like an easy fix, you are actually introducing synthetic hormones into your body which can have negative effects as well.  These include nausea, headaches, gallstones, breast tenderness, depression, high blood pressure, and many more.

woman washing her faceIf you are seeking a natural way to achieve clear skin, below you will find some helpful tips.

  • Wash your face in the morning, evening, and after you exercise with a cleanser that contains up to 2 percent salicylic acid.
  • Resist the urge to squeeze or pop whiteheads and blackheads.  This can cause scarring and inflammation.  Worse, the pus coming in contact with your skin can actually create more acne.  If you do pop a zit, be sure to disinfect your skin with a cleanser containing 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide afterward.
  • Acne treatments containing glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are considered to be the best.  However, you should understand they won’t work immediately.  Use a product for a full six weeks before deciding it is not the correct one for you.
  • Consider using a retinoid cream before you go to sleep at night.  While these formulations are commonly used for wrinkles, they can also plump up skin that is pitted from acne and help fade acne scarring.
  • Acne treatments can dry out your skin.  At least once per day, you should use an oil-free moisturizer that will hydrate the skin without clogging your pores.

Ancient Methods of Birth Control

It is commonly thought that at one point in history, women believed their menstrual cycles corresponded with the phases of the moon, with ovulation occurring at the full moon and menstruation beginning with the new moon.  If this method was truly used, its effectiveness is certainly questionable.  However, there are some well-documented examples of birth control methods used in ancient times to help women exert some control over their bodies.

  • lemons-1Lemons– According to the Talmud, the preferred method of birth control in Jewish communities was a crude version of what we now know as the sponge.  Because citric acid has spermicidal properties, women would soak sponges in lemon juice and insert them in the vagina to act as a simultaneous barrier against and killer of sperm.  Additionally, the rind of half a lemon was used to act as what we know today as a diaphragm.  Women were also observed douching with lemon and lime juice after sex.
  • cottonCotton– A 1550 BCE medical manuscript called the Ebers Papyrus shows that physicians advised women to grind acacia tree bark, dates, and honey together, apply the resulting paste to seed wool, and insert it vaginally.  In addition to the wool forming a barrier against sperm, the acacia would ferment into lactic acid, which is known as a spermicide.
  • papayaPapaya– Because unripe papaya contains phytochemicals that interfere with progesterone levels, it was used to prevent and terminate pregnancies in parts of Asia.  Additionally, when taken daily, papaya seeds served as a natural and safe form of male birth control, cutting sperm count to zero.

Thankfully, we have come a long way since ancient times, and have many proven birth control methods at our disposal.  At Lady-Comp, we have created an intelligent fertility monitor, based on 25 years of research and development, which will predict your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy.  To learn more about the very latest in fertility technology, please call 1-877-925-LADY.

 

Source: http://listverse.com/2010/11/14/10-ancient-methods-of-birth-control/

Non-Hormonal Contraception Options on your Fertile Days

bc methodsAs a Lady-Comp customer who is not seeking to have a child at this time, you may be wondering about natural contraception options for your fertile days.  While abstinence is of course the most effective birth control method, it is not your only choice.  Read on to learn more about non-hormonal contraception options.

Item What is it? How Effective is it?
Male Condom A thin covering, usually made of latex or lamb skin, which fits over an erect penis to catch sperm during intercourse. 85% with typical use and 98% with correct and consistent use.
Female Condom A loose, soft pouch inserted into the vagina, with flexible rings at each end to hold it in place, which catches sperm during intercourse. 79% with typical use, and 95% with correct and consistent use.
Vaginal Spermicide A gel, foam, film, cream, suppository, or tablet which contains a chemical that kills sperm on contact. 71% with typical use, and 82% with correct and consistent use.  Often recommended to use in combination with a barrier method to boost percentage of effectiveness.
Diaphragm A dome-shaped, flexible rubber rimmed cup which covers the cervix, creating a barrier to sperm. This must be fitted by a medical professional. 86% with typical use, and 94% with correct and consistent use.
Contraceptive Sponge A small, soft, round piece of synthetic sponge, containing a spermicide, which is placed over the cervix to both create a barrier and kill sperm. 84% with typical use, and 91% with correct and consistent use.
Cervical Cap A hat-shaped object with an outward-flaring brim made of silicone rubber which completely covers the cervix.  Spermicide must be placed on the inside and outside of the device, which must be fitted by a medical professional. 85% with typical use, and 91% with correct and consistent use. Less effective in women who have given birth vaginally.

Do you have experience with any of these methods? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: http://www.boulderwomenshealth.org/our-services/birth-control/nonhormonal-methods/