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

A life changed by Lady Comp…what it feels like to be natural

“I just want to say how much Lady Comp has changed my life.  Approaching my wedding back in 2011 I spent months trying pill after pill, side effect after side effect with no luck.  I felt stuck, stuck with going to have to deal with the side effects.  Like a lot of girls I didn’t know much about natural birth control methods.  I had always been fed the “you have to go on the pill” line.

After trying pill after pill I ended up on the mini pill because I couldn’t take estrogen.  The mini pill wasn’t as bad but over time I continued with side effects and they seemed to get worse every month.  I was on the mini pill for almost 2 years and frankly tired of it.  My body couldn’t handle the hormones anymore.  I had so many side effects including spotting all the time, headaches, exhaustion, complete loss of libido, anxiety, and constant dizziness.  I even got to the point where I would get sick and feel completely weird if I ate too much sugar or salty foods.  I felt like I couldn’t eat anything anymore.  I also started having random reactions that got pretty scary and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  At that point I felt like this was going to be my life forever or until I decided to have kids.

So I started searching.  I knew there had to be something else.  I wasn’t about to try anything like the nuva ring or IUD’s.  I wanted a natural option.  That’s when a friend of mine recommended the Lady Comp.  She said one of her cousins used it and loved it.  At first I was pretty skeptical and thought how could that work…  I debated it for months trying to figure out if I wanted to chance it and pay the expense to try it.

After a lot of debate I broke down and decided to get one, and it was great to have the option of making payments to pay it off!   I have to say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life!  Going off the pill was like getting back to who I was.  I lost myself being on all those hormones and being so depressed from being sick all the time.  It took a few months to get back to a normal cycle and for the Lady Comp to start being able to tell me about my cycle but once it did it worked great!

My cycle isn’t a normal cycle like most girls.  I seem to have longer cycles like 35-40 days and ovulate later than most.  I was afraid the Lady Comp wasn’t going to work for me.  But boy was I wrong!  It has been amazing to know when I ovulate and I can almost pinpoint to the day when I’m going to get my period.  Which was a huge change from being on the mini pill, I never knew when I was going to get my period and sometimes didn’t get it for 3-4 months!

Taking my temperature at the same time every day isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I keep a chart along with the Lady Comp, which is optional, but for me it’s been a great learning process.  I’ve learned more about my cycle in the last 8 months then I ever knew.  I think so many girls are led to believe that you have to be taking hormones to prevent pregnancy, but it’s just not true.

This method isn’t for everyone understandably but for many like me it’s wonderful!  If you’re trying to find a natural method and learn more about your cycle Lady Comp is the way to go.  Even though the price is a bit high it’s worth every penny.  Lady Comp gave me my life back. I was never myself on the pill and I was so glad to be rid of it.

I’ve now been using the Lady Comp for about 8 months and I absolutely love it!  I also love knowing when I ovulate so one day when my husband and I do decide to have kids it can be a big help and we have the option of switching to the Baby Comp.  The Lady Comp customer service is some of the best out there!  They are so helpful and caring!

Thank you Lady Comp for letting me get back to a healthy natural life!”

~ Brittany

The Story of Valley Electronics LLC

Many of you may have already read about the history of Valley Electronics on our website.  However, what you may not know is that Valley Electronics is a small, family owned and operated company.

Valley Electronics LLC is actually owned by the Natalie Rechberg, daughter of the gentleman who owns VE Valley Electronics Gmbh, the manufacturer of the Lady-Comp family of fertility computers.  While Natalie knew that some day she would come to work for the company, she also knew that she wanted to bring something more than just “being the owner’s daughter.”  With this in mind she set of to earn her degrees in International Communication and Business.  Still not satisfied, she continued on to complete her master’s degree in Marketing.

Natalie and Jessie in Switzerland 2013

Once her schooling was complete, Natalie went to work for the Swiss distributor, Valley Electronics AG.  She started with customer service and shipping and over the course of 6 years worked her way up to becoming the manager of international distribution and then finally, CEO.  During this time, she noticed a growing interest in the Lady-Comp from within the United States, coinciding with women’s growing concern with what they put into their bodies.  It was at this time that she contacted her childhood friend in the United States with an idea.

But first a little history about this friendship… Natalie and Jessie spent 3 weeks of everyNatalie, Jessie on the beach summer with each other since before they can remember.  Some of their fondest memories are playing in the pool, water skiing, and going to the beach together.  Keep in mind, both girls were so young and neither spoke the other’s language.  Such is the language of children and play, words didn’t really matter, they learned how to point to an object and ask the other what it was called in her language and that was all they needed.  As the girls grew up, and thankfully for Jessie, Natalie learned to speak English fluently.  Although they saw each other only briefly each year, and some years not at all, their friendship remained strong and true.

Isabel, Jessie, NatalieIn August of 2000, during the Rechberg’s annual visit to their summer home, Jessie took them to the barn where she was working.  After watching her working with the horses, Dr. Rechberg, Natalie’s father, asked if she would be interested in coming to their home in Germany to train their horses.  A year later Jessie graduated with her Bachelors degree in Biology and training certification and returned to Germany with the Rechberg’s to live in their home while training horses for the next four months.  During this time, her boyfriend came for a visit and proposed to her at the top of a mountain overlooking the family home.  Although the family invited her to stay, two months later, Jessie returned to the US to plan her wedding and begin the next stage of her life.  And, yes, her wedding was scheduled to coincide with the Rechberg’s annual visit!  (Jessie’s second child is even named after her childhood friend)

In August 2010, during her visit to her family’s summer home, Natalie met up with Jessie to catch up on their lives.  Jessie explained that she was applying to return to Veterinary school, but was concerned with how to attend school with a young child at home and having to move because there were no schools close by.  Natalie explained the growth of interest in the Lady-Comp and how she was thinking of moving to the United States to open a local office and expand into the US market.  By then end of the day they each bid the other good luck with her endeavors and parted ways for what they thought would be the next year.  However, the more Natalie thought about the US market, the more she thought a local office was needed.  In September, Natalie called Jessie with her idea…starting the US office together.  In October 2010, Valley Electronics LLC was born with Natalie as the owner and Jessie the office manager.

Over the next three years, the LLC experienced rapid growth and acceptance, earning a reputation for quick service and excellent customer support.  Natalie and Jessie speak often about the growth and future of the company.  It has been decided that while the growth in sales will require internal growth as well, it is extremely important that the company maintain that “family feel.”  For example, your phone calls will never be transferred to a call center that can simply answer questions based off a pre-written script.  Instead, each call will be met with personal support, and quite likely answered by the same person you spoke with 2 weeks ago.  With just a second or two to refresh their memory, they will be able to remember their previous conversation with you and offer you the personal support and solutions that very few other companies can offer.

Fertility Awareness Methods of Birth Control

Women who do not wish to take hormonal birth control often turn to fertility awareness methods to determine the days each month in which they are likely to become pregnant.  If this is something that interests you, there are three main methods to choose from.

  • Calendar-Based Methods: These methods involve using a calendar to track your cycle, then calculating your fertile days based on your cycle lengths.  They are based on the 1920’s scientific discovery that ovulation starts approximately 14 days prior to your next period.  The most common calendar method is the Standard Days Method.  With this, you simply avoid having unprotected sex from day 8 to day 19 of each cycle.  The method works well if you have regular cycles that are never shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days, and has shown to be 95% effective.
  • Symptoms-Based Methods: With these methods, you will determine your fertile window by tracking one or more of the three primarily signs of fertility.  These are:  1) Basal body temperature- Research has shown that ovulation triggers a raise in basal body temperature between .5 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts until the beginning of menstruation.   2) Cervical Mucus- When you ovulate, the estrogen in your body is reduced and the progesterone climbs.  This causes a distinct change in cervical mucus in which it becomes slippery and similar to raw egg white in consistency.  3) Cervical position- Throughout the month, as you become more fertile, your cervix will move higher in the vaginal canal and feel softer to the touch.  Using these methods in combination has proven to be 98% effective.
  • Lady-Comp: Lady-Comp represents the very latest technology available for natural family planning.  It is a personal fertility monitor that records, analyzes, and stores your menstrual cycle data and daily morning basal body temperatures.  With this information, the monitor can predict your fertile days each month with 99.3% accuracy, a rate higher than nearly all birth control methods available.  To learn more about the Lady-Comp difference, call 1-877-925-LADY.

Fertility Treatments and Stress

In a previous article, “The Psychological Impact of Infertility,” we discussed the reasons why undergoing fertility treatment can cause someone stress.  In short, the synthetic estrogen prescribed to help boost ovulation has side effects that include anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, and irritability.  Additionally, the expense of infertility treatments, which run $8000 and up, are often not covered by health insurance.  Finally, waiting for the treatment to take hold, and dealing with the knowledge that the treatment did not take hold, are both anxiety producing.

There have been many studies in the medical community linking stress to infertility.  Therefore, doctors would like to mitigate stress in patients undergoing infertility treatment as much as possible.  Doctors on medicinenet.com offer the following tips to help these individuals manage their stress:

1)      Do not try to downplay or deny that you are going through a time of heightened stress.  While you are undergoing infertility treatment, you life may not be business as usual.  Consider cutting out nonessential activities to give yourself some time to decompress.

2)      Do not try to handle the stress on your own.  Find a trusted friend or family member who you can talk to about your feelings.  You can also check with your fertility clinic to see if they offer a support group for their patients.  Understand that your partner is likely going through his/her own stress regarding the situation, and therefore might not be able to provide you with all of the emotional support you need.

3)      Empower yourself with knowledge.  Make sure to read up on and understand the treatment you are experiencing, and do not be afraid to ask questions of the doctor when you need clarification.

4)      Discuss the possibility of treatment breaks with your doctor.  It may be viable for you to undergo treatment every other cycle if you feel breaks in between would be beneficial to your mental health.

Most of all, you should understand that you are not alone.  Feelings of sadness, depression, and frustration are common among women undergoing infertility treatment.  Do not hesitate during this time to make your physical and emotional needs top priority. If you are still thinking about taking fertility treatments and have not made up your mind as to what route to take, Lady-Comp Baby is a great natural alternative before going through the stress and turmoil fertility treatments can take you through.  The Lady-Comp and Lady-Comp Baby can pinpoint a woman’s fertile window to help her plan when to focus on intercourse. And if necessary, the Lady-Comp can give her detailed information about her cycle that her doctor may use if she still has difficulty conceiving and may negate the need for costly and stressful fertility treatments.

6 Tests to Consider if You Can’t Get Pregnant

Lady-Comp provides you with a highly effective and all natural way to determine the days of the month when you are most likely to conceive.  It is a personal fertility monitor which learns and adjusts to your individual cycle regardless of irregularities or cycle length.  It is programmed with a database of more than 900,000 cycles and uses bio-mathematical forecasting calculations, as well as the very latest computer techniques to predict your fertile days, primarily based on your morning body temperature.   Research shows that Lady-Comp is 99.3% effective.

But what if, after using Lady-Comp and following all instructions, you find you are still unable to get pregnant?  Doctors assert that women under 35 should actively try to become pregnant for 12 months before considering alternatives.  Women between 35 and 40 years old should try for 6 months.  If that period has passed, it is time to see your doctor.  Here are six blood tests you may want to discuss with your physician when you visit.

1)      Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)- This hormone acts as a communicator between the pituitary gland in your brain and your ovaries.  It causes the ovary to recruit and stimulate follicles, leading to a main follicle that releases an egg when you ovulate.  The higher the FSH, the lower the potential for follicle growth and stimulation because of decreased ability of the ovary to produce eggs.  This test is best done on day 3, 4, or 5 of your menstrual cycle.

2)      Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)- The anti-mullerian hormone is also a marker of ovarian reserve.  Low levels mean low follicle count, and high levels are a strong indicator of polycystic ovarian syndrome.  This test is best done on day 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle.

3)      Progesterone- Progesterone is critical to prepping the uterus for implantation, and holding the pregnancy for the first several weeks, until the placenta takes over.  Lower levels may indicate lack of or weak ovulation, which can be aided by progesterone treatment.  This test it best taken on day 19, 20, or 21 of your cycle.

4)      Full Thyroid Panel- A balanced thyroid is critical for fertility.  Even suboptimal levels can present problems with becoming pregnant.

5)      Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- For this, the doctor must check your free testosterone levels, total testosterone levels, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA-S) levels, and fasting insulin and glucose levels.

6)      Prolactin- Prolactin is the hormone of milk production in the breasts.  Results that are elevated even slightly, or are at the high end of normal, can trick your body into thinking you are already pregnant.  High prolactin levels can be caused by stress or by prolactinoma (typically a benign tumor) in the brain.

As you are going through these tests, please keep in mind that the health of the father-to-be is a factor as well.  Make sure he also visits a physician for appropriate testing.

What Affects Your Period?

Most women only know when their period starts and ends, and sometimes they may even be off by a couple of days due to changes in their diet. But in the world of women’s health, there is a lot more to understand about the entire menstrual cycle – not just your period. When thinking about your cycle in its entirety, there are so many things to consider, including the number of days in your cycle and days of menstrual flow. Whether or not you are planning for a new addition to the family, it is important to understand your whole cycle, not just the start and stop times of your period.

It’s very important to keep in mind that diet plays a huge role in regulating your menstruation, from bloating to even missing a period. Right before and during your period, it is a good idea to increase your fruit intake. Eating foods that are high in potassium can help with bloating, such as bananas and cranberries. Drinking plenty of water during this time is also a cheap and naturally effective way to flush out any toxins and sodium in your system that can cause puffiness in your skin and reduce water retention. Like a little spice in your food? Try adding some fresh ginger to the foods you eat to help relax and soothe those very muscles that cause cramping. A diet that is high in fiber can actually cause your cycle to be irregular and may potentially flush out some of the estrogen in your body. Keeping a good balance between both fiber and saturated fat will help you to keep a regular cycle. Aside from balancing your diet in the right places, it’s also good to keep in mind that smaller, more frequent meals are best. This helps keep your blood sugar and your mood up.

Calcium, Evening Primrose oil, Wild yam, Monks pepper and Magnesium are other good natural supplements to add into your diet. In fact, for women 19 years to 50 years of age, 1000mg of calcium should be included in your diet daily. For some women, primrose oil has been known to soothe menstrual pain and inflammation. Wild yam is another natural method of helping with not only menstrual discomfort but postmenopausal symptoms. Today, wild yam is said to be used more to replace hormone replacement therapy. Monks pepper, also known as chasteberry, is something else to consider when looking for more natural ways to help with menstrual pain. Monks pepper also helps to alleviate pre-menstrual tension. Lastly, it’s good to remember what you’ve been doing during your entire cycle to anticipate any irregularities like sudden weight loss or weight gain.

This Week is National Infertility Awareness Week, April 22-28

April 22-28, 2012 is National Infertility Awareness Week, a nationwide campaign intended to educate the public about infertility.  Since 1989, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association has hosted events and activities designed to encourage grassroots advocacy of the infertility movement.  The theme for this year is, “Don’t Ignore Infertility.” Continue reading

Megan Elizabeth’s Video Testimonial for Lady-Comp

Megan Elizabeth is a professional mentor who helps women achieve optimal heath through a natural diet and lifestyle. Megan recently added a video to her blog, reviewing Lady-Comp and explaining the benefit of natural birth control and natural family planning. Check out this great explanation from a real Lady-Comp client and learn what makes Lady-Comp the best option for a natural lifestyle!

MORE Recent Birth Control Recalls

In the month of February, two different manufacturers of birth control pills issued massive recalls of their products. On February 1st, drug company Pfizer announced a recall of over one million packets of birth control pills.  The specific brands recalled were Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets. All the pills were marketed by Akrimax Rx Products and have expiration dates ranging from July 31, 2013, to March 31, 2014. Continue reading