Articles on women s reproductive health in the united states

10 Things About Emergency Contraceptives Women Must Know

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Emergency contraceptive pill is a pill used by a woman after having an unprotected intercourse to prevent her from getting pregnant. It is sometimes called "the morning after pill," "the day after pill," or "morning after contraception or postcoital pill. the term ”morning after pill” is misleading; ECPs may be initiated sooner than the morning after—immediately after unprotected intercourse—or later—for at least 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. ECPs are considered 96-98% effective in preventing pregnancy.The word “Emergency” is important to note. If you are sexually active or planning to be, don't use emergency contraception as your only protection against pregnancy.Many youths in India are using ECPs like I pill & Unwanted 72 without caring about their after effects on the health of the girl.Most youngsters have unprotected sex depending on these emergency contraceptive pills. However, i-pill or any other emergency pill is not a contraceptive pill you can depend on daily. With the fabulous marketing that these pills do, it has succeeded in making it one of India’s most favored ‘emergency contraceptive pills’. In a country like India where people only expect you to have sex after getting married, these advertisements are highly misleading.But before you think of it as a miracle pill, you should know about the dangerous side effects of these emergency contraceptive pills. Given below are 10 facts about the emergency pill that every sexually active woman must know about and ask their partner for a much safer option like condom.The emergency contraceptive pill is not an abortion pill. It stops pregnancy but cannot terminate it. Therefore it is ineffective if a woman is already pregnant.The pill is to be taken soon after unprotected sex. It should be taken preferably within 24 hours and before 72 hours or else the pill may turn useless. Emergency contraceptive pill is about 96-98% effective only if taken in time.It does not offer protection against HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.If you are on long-term medication for any ailment, consult a doctor before taking the emergency contraceptive pill.Nausea, breast tenderness, delayed menstruation, lower abdominal ache, headache, vomiting and irregular menstruation are some of the temporary side-effects of the emergency contraceptive pill. However, these effects subside within a day or two depending on the metabolism of the woman.The emergency contraceptive pill is to be used only as an emergency contraceptive method. It should not be used as a regular contraceptive method and is quite unhealthy if taken more than twice a month.According to researchers, emergency pill can reduce sexual interest; lead to skin allergies and also prepone periods in some women. Other women complain of severe headache which is a result of hormonal imbalance.A woman who has an allergy to Levonorgestrel (contraceptive pills) must consult a doctor before taking the contraceptive pill.The emergency pill is only safe for women between the ages of 25 and 45. It is not the best contraceptive method for teenagers. With the rate of teenage pregnancy growing in India, there is need to educate the youth about the harmful side effects of the i-pill on a developing reproductive system.The emergency contraceptives are hormonal pills and its long time usage can lead to severe menstrual problems or even ovarian damage.

The Unmet need for Contraception in India!

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
26th September Is World Contraceptive Day & India Needs More Awareness.We were 1 billion in 1999 and we are 1.3 billion now in 2016. Why is one billion figure is worth its might- to cause a scare or to remind us about our depleting resources like water, food, and polluted air?Also because Dev Anand made a movie around same time titled 100 Crore to remind us about our might to Fight Corruption!If a qualified doctor happens to work in a one amongst thousands of rural villages right within Delhi/ NCR ,the harsh reality of numbers stares at us. No family has less than 4- 5 children and women are married at less than 18,the official age ,they have kids one after another every year in a row,by the time they are 25 , they are anemic mothers along with malnourished kids hanging around them but not willing to go to school despite education being made free.Still, it is our duty to guide these people, being visited by Government Vans to give them advice for free.Nobody offers them a Cafeteria approach to choose.Every contraceptive does not suit all women. It cannot be robotic.Why I wrote women here? Do men share no responsibility about family planning matters? The harsh reality is Yes.There are Myths associated with Male sterilizations, though medically it is the Safest for man and his family as Abdomen is Not involved. It is No Cut Vasectomy and the man walks out of clinic as if no procedure has been done, ready to go to work the same very day ,including lifting weights etc.Compare this with keyhole surgery of tubal ligation (safest choice for a woman who has completed her family) It looks like 1 stitch operation , but without sounding scary about the surgery, local anesthesia is given and abdomen is bloated up with gas to see tubes through a machine and bands are tied on both tubes one after another. Like any abdominal surgery, there is pain afterward , the woman is advised Not to Lift heavy weights for about 2 weeks lest the bands come out and Operation is a Failure.For temporary contraception, Pills, Condoms ( protection against STDs also ) are suggested but side effects are - Condoms have 20% failure rate,pills have side effects associated with hormones ( more on that later in another article)IUCD-Intrauterine Contraceptive Device is fairly good provided it is inserted to women under hygienic conditions & she does not suffer from heavy periods.I-pill means Only Emergency pill, it is loaded with hormones and can make regular cycle as erratic.Some girls have become habitual of taking it as a routine.Similarly, OCs should Not be given for more than 6 months at a stretch.A recent introduction is an injection for 5 years. This injection is the one being given every 3 months to avoid pregnancy. It is for women who forget to take a pill every day.Injection has hormone Progesterone. The woman is loaded with a dose for 3 months instead of a low dose to be taken daily. These women tend to get an Early Menopause & other conditions related to high doses of hormones. Motivate as many women as possible for safer procedures like Laprascopic Ligation / IUCD after asking them the details about their complex problems.One Happy woman may Not Share her Experience but another unhappy woman with wrongly fitted IUCD in a Van by Inexperienced Nurse/Health Worker is going to badmouth to entire Mohalla about bad effects of IUCD/Ligations.

All About Contraception, a Man or Women Must Know

Dr. Jyotsna Gupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
There are different methods of contraception, including:Long-acting reversible contraception, such as an implant, or an intra uterine deviceHormonal contraception such as contraceptive pills – “the pill”, the injection and vaginal ringsbarriers methods, such as condoms and diaphragmsFertility awarenessEmergency contraceptionpermanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTIONLong-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is a contraceptive that lasts for a long time. You don’t need to remember it every day or even every month.an intrauterine device (IUD) that lasts five or more yearsan implant under the skin that lasts either three or five years.These types of contraception last longer so are more effective at preventing pregnancy because you don't have to worry about forgetting pills or a condom breaking or coming off.They are “fit and forget” contraception.HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES“The Pill" is one of the most popular contraceptive methods The Pill comes in two forms:combined oral contraceptive pillprogestogen-only contraceptive pillBoth are taken daily and are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when taken correctly.BARRIER METHODSBarrier methods stop sperm from entering the vagina. There are three main barrier methods of contraception:male condomsfemale condomsdiaphragms.Condoms protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs) as well as unwanted pregnancy.A diaphragm (with spermicide) is inserted into a woman’s vagina before intercourse. It must always be used with spermicide.FERTILITY AWARENESSFertility awareness is recognising the signs of fertility in a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can be used to understand your own menstrual cycle, plan a pregnancy or avoid a pregnancy.Knowing when you ovulate (release an egg from your ovary). Avoiding intercourse during ovulation periods and knowing your safe days also helps in avoiding pregnancy.For a regular period of 28 days, it is considered that ovulation takes place in mid of the cycle and day 8th to 19th days are considered fertile days.  If your menstrual cycle is irregular, the success rate of this method decreases drastically.  EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTIONWe have two options for emergency contraception - the emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) or a copper IUD.Emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy after you have had sex when:you haven't used protectionyour normal contraception fails e.g. condom splitsyou have missed more than one contraceptive pillyou have been vomiting or had diarrhoea while on the pillyou have been forced to have sex without contraception.WHAT IS PERMANENT CONTRACEPTION?Permanent contraception is sterilisation that permanently prevents pregnancy. The procedure for men is a vasectomy and for women it is tubal ligation.

Contraception - Common Myths and Misconceptions

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Sex is a basic human right. But to have sex safely and without fear of unwanted pregnancy - should be the priority. Many women across the world die every day as a result of unwanted pregnancy, mostly due to unsafe abortion. So, couples can avoid pregnancy and enjoy sex life fully, only if they can follow safe and effective contraceptive advice. Let me clarify some popular myths and misconceptions abut contraception. 1. Contraception is useful for allWhile the ideal contraceptive is necessary but it does not exist. So, what may seem suitable for a couple may not be useful for another couple. We need to assess various points like a number of children they have, wish to have further children and plan to have children, general health of wife and husband (and any diseases they suffer from), the frequency of intercourse, the chance of infection, the age of the partners etc. 2. Regarding barrier methodsMost popular barrier method is a male condom. But the myths are that" condoms reduce sexual pleasure" and" condoms get easily damaged leading to failure.Condoms are especially useful for those who are at risk of infections, who do not have very frequent intercourse and who are not suitable for other methods. Condoms do not decrease sexual pleasure, some of the condoms have medicated products which can increase the duration of intercourse and also act as a lubricant to facilitate intimacy. But men should know how to use it properly. It should be worn on erect penis expelling all the air and projecting the tip beyond the tip of the penis. While withdrawing penis after intercourse, the condom should be held at the base of the penis. Actually, failure/ rupture of condoms occur because of mishandling of condom or not knowing the proper use of it. So, before use, please make sure that you know its correct use. Definitely, some men can feel latex allergy and they have to use a non-latex condom, which is widely available.There are barrier methods for females also- like female condom, diaphragm, and cervical cap etc. But they are not very easy to use and are not so popular.3. Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP)Myths OCP causes an increase in weight.OCP cause cancers.Facts CP seldom causes gain in weight. The gain in weight is coincidental, that means you have some other reason of gaining weight- like not having exercise, ignoring diet control and some other diseases. OCP rather reduces risk of cancer- especially ovarian cancer (which is very difficult to diagnose and very lethal), cancer of colon, cancer of endometrium (inner lining of uterus). Of course, there is little risk of breast cancer, but the risk is not very high, it can be easily detected by examination by doctor. So, if you take ocp, get rid of all the fears. Just try to have self- breast examination every month. 4. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD)Most popular is copper T. Medicated iucds are also available, that contains hormonal drugs. Copper T does not increase risk of infection, a common misconception lies among woman.5. Emergency contraceptive pills (i pill etc)Often couple uses these pills regularly after intercourse. Remember these pills contain very high content of hormonal drugs, which can lead to serious side effects like hormonal imbalance, irregularities in periods (and thus can prevent you from getting pregnant in future, even when you want pregnancy), ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside tubes that are life-threatening) etc. So, use regular contraception if you want to prevent pregnancy. I pill is not meant to be taken for every time.  6. LigationLigation of male (vasectomy) and female (tubectomy) is done as permanent contraception for couples having more than 2 children. Ligation in male does not disturb sexual activity. It is easier than female ligation. Again, female ligation is also a very safe technique. So, please remove all misconceptions and myths about contraception. Have safe sex, enjoy life.

Child Nutrition Tips

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
By eating the right amount and type of food recommended here, children can get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Young children can have small appetites which can sometimes make meal time a challenge. Check out some ideas on how to meet their needs.Serve small nutritious meals and snacks each day.Because preschoolers and young children have small stomachs, they need to eat small amounts of food more often throughout the day. One Food  Serving from a food group can be divided up into smaller amounts and served throughout the day. For example, half a Food Guide Serving of Meat and Alternatives can be served at two different meals such as one egg at lunch and about 30 g (1 oz.) of chicken for dinner.Do not restrict nutritious foods because of their fat content. Offer a variety of foods from the four food groups.Offer a variety of nutritious foods, including some choices that contain fat such as 2% milk, peanut butter and avocado.Satisfy their thirst with water.Encourage young children to drink water to quench their thirst and replenish body fluids. children and adults choose vegetables and fruit more often than juice. Children also need a total of 500 mL (2 cups) of milk every day to help meet their requirement for vitamin D.Respect your children's ability to determine how much food to eat.While parents and caregivers determine the selection of foods offered, young children can determine how much food they need. Throughout the day, children are able to adjust their intake. This explains why some children eat more at one meal than at another.Be a good role model.Be a role model for healthy eating. Start by having meals together as a family as often as possible. Turn off the TV. Set a good example. If your child sees you eating your vegetables - he/she will be more likely to eat them too!Be patient.If an unfamiliar food is rejected the first time, it can be offered again later. The more often children are exposed to a new food the more likely they are to accept it.Organize fun physical activities.Young children rely on parents and caregivers to provide opportunities for physical activity. Some ideas include: bicycling, walking, dancing, games of ball or tag in the summer and sledding or building a snowman in the winter. For more great ideas check out tips for being active.

Safe Sex Education - the Only Way Forward!

Dr. Amar Deep, Homeopath
Planned Parenthood believes that parents and guardians should be the primary sex educators of their children. As with other complex issues, many parents may need support, resources, and expertise from schools and other organizations. It is important that young people receive age-appropriate sexual health information and develop practical skills for keeping healthy. Educators can help families by providing culturally meaningful learning opportunities in safe and non-judgmental environments so that young people can learn about sexuality in a healthy and positive context.Sometimes, people mistakenly believe that “sex ed” refers only to sexual behavior (e.g., sexual intercourse) and not the full array of topics that comprise sexuality. These include information and concerns about abstinence, body image, contraception, gender, human growth and development, human reproduction, pregnancy, relationships, safer sex (prevention of sexually transmitted infections), sexual attitudes and values, sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual behavior, sexual health, sexual orientation, and sexual pleasure. Comprehensive sex education covers the wide array of topics that affect sexuality and sexual health. It is grounded in evidence-based, peer-reviewed science. Its goal is to promote health and well-being in a way that is developmentally appropriate. It includes information and communication skills building as well as values exploration. Sexuality is an integral part of each person’s identity. Learning about our sexuality and achieving sexual health and well-being are lifelong processes that begin at birth and continue throughout our lives. Although parents and guardians are the primary sex educators of their children, children also receive messages about sexuality from many other sources. Some of them may have more negative than positive impact. Schools and other community-based organizations can be important partners with parents to provide young people accurate and developmentally appropriate sex education.The goals of comprehensive sex education are to help young people gain a positive view of sexuality and to provide them with developmentally appropriate knowledge and skills so that they can make healthy decisions about their sex lives now and in the future. Medically accurate sex education is an investment in our children’s future — their well-being. Our “return on investment” could be a generation of young people who have heard more helpful messages about sexuality than the provocative media images and/or silences they currently witness. It could be a generation of women and men comfortable in their own skin; able to make well-informed, responsible decisions; form healthy relationships; and take care of their bodies.It can be normal to feel overwhelmed by the task of developing and implementing comprehensive sex education in your school or program. Some educators find it helpful to talk with other professionals — mentors and/or supervisors — who have already implemented comprehensive sex education. It is important to get support from your school or organization. While this may feel like a huge undertaking, break it down into discrete steps such as:Assessing the needsResearching solutionsGarnering supportDeveloping a planDeveloping or selecting a curriculumCreating lesson plansGathering resourcesHaving fun!It may help to keep in mind that you may be the only adult who will ever talk to a young person about sexuality in an honest, accurate, and nonjudgmental way. Your good intentions, your positive, healthy attitude, your nonjudgmental tone, and the information you offer may be more than appreciated — it may save a young person’s life. Armed with knowledge about comprehensive sex education, you now need to jump in!  Talk with a mentor or colleague, browse your local library, or surf online to become acquainted with the breadth and scope of resources available. Contact Planned Parenthood educators near you to talk with and learn more about this important topic. Many Planned Parenthood affiliates provide consultation and training to assist with implementing sexuality education programs.

Planning a baby? Here's a Physical & Lifestyle Readiness Checklist

Dr. Rushabh Mehta, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Physical readiness checklistOne way of giving your baby the best start in life is to get your own health under control before you get pregnant. You could choose to have a complete physical check-up three months to a year before you start trying to conceive. This would give your doctor an important baseline to use as a guide during your pregnancy - as well as help determines whether you're physically ready to have a baby. To help you keep track of all your tests and vaccinations, we've prepared the checklist below. You are unlikely to need all these tests and checks, but you could print the list out and tick off the items you choose to have.Medical history: Keeping your doctor informed will help her get you ready for pregnancy.Cervical smear: Check that you are up to date with this, or arrange to have one done.Urine analysis: Detecting infections and other problems early will help you have a healthy pregnancy.Blood tests: Your doctor may check your blood for anaemia, sugar levels and screen for any potential problems.Blood pressure check: If it's too high, you (and your pregnancy) could be at risk.Vaccinations: If you need any immunisations, now's the time as some vaccines aren't safe for pregnant women.Test for sexually transmitted diseases: Finding and treating them now increases your odds for a healthy pregnancy.Viral tests: Have you had toxoplasmosis? If you're not sure, it's possible to be tested.Start taking prenatal vitamins: Make sure you're getting enough folic acid for your baby.Ask all your questions: Don't be shy - this is what your doctor is for.Address medication and health concerns: If you take medication for a pre-existing condition check out now if your prescription is safe to take during pregnancy.Genetic testing and counselling: If any genetic disorders (such as cystic fibrosis) run in your family, getting a test now is a good idea.Lifestyle readiness checklistYou've decided it's time to start your family. But are you ready? By making a few lifestyle changes now, you can give your baby the best head start possible. Print out our checklist and check off each goal on the day you reach it.Improve your diet: Proper nutrition is essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby.Achieve a healthy weight: Being Significantly overweight or underweight can affect your ability to conceive, as well as your baby's health.Create (and follow!) an exercise plan: Start a programme now that you can continue through pregnancy.Start taking antenatal vitamins: Make sure you're getting enough folic acid, iron, calcium and the other nutrients your baby will need.Stop drinking, smoking, and taking drugs: All three can impair your fertility and harm your baby.Eliminate environmental dangers: Your job may not be as safe as you think it is. Some jobs can also be dangerous for your unborn baby.Stop using contraception: Depending on what method you use, your body may need time to get back to normal before you can conceive.Get your finances in order: becoming a parent comes with a hefty price tag - and lots of responsibility.Think your decision through: be sure that parenthood is really for you

Is Your Aunt Irma Late for Appointment !!!!

Dr. Geetanjali Jha, Homeopath
AMENORRHEAMenstrual regularity is a point of pride with many females, but only a handful of women fall into this category these days. Abnormalities of the monthly cycle are very common and a wide range of menstrual irregularities are faced by women all over the world.We shall cover one such irregularity at a time. Today's topic is Amenorrhea.  Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. It may be of 2 types Primary and Secondary.Primary Amenorrhea – It is the absence of menses and secondary sexual characteristics like breast development and pubic hair in a girl until the age of 16 years.Secondary Amenorrhea – It is the absence of menses in women who have been menstruating earlier but stops for more than a couple months later. Absence of menstruation during pregnancy is not counted as secondary amenorrhea, menopause is also ruled out.Symptoms of Amenorrhea –Milk production in women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.Increased hair growth.Vaginal dryness.Hot flashes and night sweating.Noticeable weight gain or loss may be seen.AnxietyIf you have any of the above symptoms in addition to absence of menstruation, please meet your gynecologist as soon as possible because the absence of menstruation is just a symptom which may be caused by an underlying problem.Homoeopathic Treatment –Homoeopathic treatment for amenorrhea cannot be carried out without knowing the underlying cause and without a full case history.Yoga Therapy –Asanas –1) Tadasan and Urdhva Hastasan.2) Uttanasan.3) Trikonasan.4) Halasan.5) Vipritkarni asan.6) Virasan.7) Janu sirasan.8) Mandook asan.Pranayam –1) Naadi shodhan pranayam (5-10 minutes)2) Ujjai breathing.3) Bhramri.4) Bandh ( Moolband, Uddiyan bandh, Jalandhar bandh) with deep breathing.5) Meditation and relaxation to get rid of stress.If you add the above yoga with a balanced diet,( make sure you are not anemic ) and take sufficient rest you may help your body heal faster. Medication may be needed based on the test reports.Wishing you health and happiness !