Contraception Updates [CLICK HERE TO READ BLOG]

Hello, everyone!

In order to discuss contraception, pregnancy, and all things related over the next few months, I think it is important that we discuss a few important terms so that everyone has access to the same frame of reference later on.

imgres-1By definition, contraception is the “deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation by any of various drugs, techniques, or devices.” (Dictionary.com) However, recent debates, including the recent Hobby Lobby decision, debate when pregnancy even begins. Many pro-life advocates suggest that pregnancy begins at conception, the meeting of sperm and ovum. Medical professionals, particularly obstetricians and gynecologists, assert that pregnancy begins at about week 3 of gestation, when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterine lining.

Contraception thus prohibits pregnancy from occurring either by blocking ovulation or conception. Oral contraception, most commonly referred to as “the pill,” is a mixture of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. The pill not only prevents ovulation (the release of ovum from the ovary), but changes the uterine lining. (National Library of Medicine, 2012) Unbeknownst to many women, there are various doses and mixes of hormones to suit everyone’s needs. The pill not not allow conception to occur, thus no pregnancies. (If used properly, oral contraception has an over 97% effectiveness rate, however, there is always that 3% chance. Please make sure that you are using your contraception properly, and consult with a medical professional.)

Of course, there are still barrier methods like male and female condoms that have histories of their own. Medical technology has evolved so far as to provide long term contraception in the form of injections (4-12 weeks) and implants that are effective up to three years.

Recently, abortifacients have gotten into the limelight, as abortifacients are substances that emergency_contraceptioneliminate a new embryo. The recent Hobby Lobby decision put IUDs in the same spotlight as emergency contraception although IUDs are most commonly used as long term contraception. IUDs (inter-uterine devices) are small T-shaped devices inserted through the cervix into the uterus, and are either plastic and hormone excreting, or constructed of copper. IUDs prevent sperm from meeting the egg, as copper is a spermicide. IUDs that contain hormones alter uterine lining and cervical mucus so that sperm cannot meet an egg. Controversially, IUDs can be inserted after unprotected sex and act as emergency contraception before being left in for longer contraception, as IUDs can be left in upwards of ten years.

Abortifacients and emergency contraception are not completely the same. Emergency contraception blocks conception if it has not already occurred, and is taken within 72 hours of unprotected coitus. However, if fertilization has occurred already, emergency contraception can create a miscarriage, or will not be effective. Results vary per the type of emergency contraception, like an IUD, Ella, or Plan-B. (Again, should you need this, please consult with your doctor or pharmacist to determine what is right for you, your body, and your situation.)

This blog is intended to give basic awareness of the different forms of contraception. Over the next few months, we will explore the types more intimately.

Until then, let’s get the conversation rolling with a simple question! Where do you get your information in regards to contraception: female friends, your doctor, or the internet?

Until next time!

~Naomi

Graduate student intern

Case Western Reserve University

Questions can be posted in the comment area below, or directed to MuseumofMotherhood@gmail.com

Meet Our New Blogging Intern Rozita [CLICK]

Hi everyone!

My name is Rozita Alaluf, I’m the new graduate student intern for Museum of Motherhood!

Currently, I am a first year MA student in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University.

Born and raised in Turkey, I received my BCom degree with majors in psychology and

international management at McGill University.

I am also a certified yoga teacher who hopes to draw upon alternative therapeutic outlets in addition to established methods.

Rozita - Internships at the Museum of Motherhood
Rozita – Internships at the Museum of Motherhood

My interest in women’s well being started truly early. Growing up in a country that

ranks 123rd in the attempt to close gender gap (among 130 countries worldwide), I

learned at a young age how women might suffer in various ways as a result of the social

order. This awareness, combined with my fascination with psychology, led me to

M.O.M. where issues related to women’s health are discussed openly. I am particularly

interested in the role of spirituality and culture in transition to motherhood.

In this blog, I will explore a variety of subjects related to motherhood and women from a

mental health perspective.

Please let me know if there are any topics you’d be interested in reading about!

I hope the conversations started in this blog can inspire all of us intellectually and

encourage constructive actions in our communities.

Warmly,

Rozita

Also meet our new blogging intern Naomi Rendina, and please go like the Museum of Motherhood on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Please introduce yourself in the comment section, and make any suggestions as to what you would like to see in the blog! We’d love to hear from you, and we will try to answer any questions you may have.