Birth Control

Recent posts

Black Market Birth Control

I was reading an article on xoJane and it featured a young woman who was broke – as I’m sure many people feel right now. I’ve had friends who have mentioned changing birth control methods due to price or having to choose between groceries and paying for their birth control. However, the woman mentioned to her hair stylist that she was feeling a bit too broke to possibly afford her birth control and the stylist had the “perfect” answer – just buy her Nuva Ring from a woman’s car trunk. At this point, I sat on my couch slack-jawed just waiting for some popular music celebrity I don’t know to jump out and yell “You’ve been punked!” Except that didn’t happen. Continue Reading →

Reproductive Politics in YA Literature

Everyone’s read The Handmaid’s Tale, right? With its dystopian vision of a future where the few women who are fertile are kept like slaves? Well, with reproductive rights being so hotly contested right now, it’s no surprise that the topic is popping up in literature again. This time, YA (Young Adult) novels offer a variety of perspectives on how a disturbing yet plausible future might emerge from our currently debated policies. It makes you wonder… Continue Reading →

Thanks, Tennessee Legislature!

Dear Tennessee Governor Haslem and the Tennessee legislature,

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you.  Due to your hard work at drafting and passing the HB 3621 and SB 3310 law, my sex therapy practice will continue to be profitable for years.  While your law outlawing the teaching of  ”gateway sexual activity” and “non-coital sexual activity” is on the books, thousands of Tennessee teens will be taught that their sexual feelings are bad and that they need to refrain from any kind of affectionate touching until their relationship is recognized by the state, and the only way to be sexual with someone is through coitus in marriage.  And my fellow sex educators in your state have their hands tied in terms of giving these confused teens options and speaking frankly about things they could do to deal with these sexual feelings in a way that lower their risks of making their partner or themselves pregnant or contracting STIs. So, thank you, because as a sex therapist, I will reap the benefits of this law for many years.  People will come to me confused as to why the sex in their marriage has fallen apart, or asking how they can stop being attracted to their same gender because they were never taught that same gender attraction was possible, or that any kind of sex exists besides coitus in the context of marriage. Perhaps I’ll even get a chance to meet with a young man who is diagnosed with HIV because his school didn’t address the type of sex he was having, and the risks involved with that. In short, your legislation will allow many more people to be undereducated about sex and relationships, which will lead to problems down the road, even in their state-approved marriages.  They will come to my sex therapy practice to talk about their deep dissatisfaction with their sex lives which may have been prevented were it not for your legislation. Thanks also for helping people think that sex should be painful and scary, and not the pleasurable, wonderful thing that it can and should be.  Those people will need counseling in the future when they don’t want to have sex because they simply don’t like it, or because their head is so filled with sex-negative messages that even when they want to enjoy sex, they can’t get to the point where it feels good. Continue Reading →

Sexual Health For The Zombie Apocalypse

As you may be aware, the CDC has a zombie preparedness page. However, as Dr. Jen Gunter points out, they neglect to give sexual health advice, so she fills in the gap by advising us to be prepared with condoms, menstrual supplies, and batteries for our fave toys (since not every survivor you meet will be your type). My only concern is that this advice seems overwhelmingly aimed at women, while men, too, would benefit from having emergency supplies for both sexual safety and pleasure on hand. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Spermicidal Condoms & N9

I came across an article called “What Spermicide Users Should Know, But Often Don’t” by Gretchen Cuda Kroen the other day that reminded me of the downsides to spermicides, specifically nonoxynol-9. While nonoxynol-9 is very effective at helping to prevent pregnancy and STIs, it can also have some negative effects. Studies have shown that nonoxynol-9 may leave its users more susceptible to HIV. Also, more and more people are reporting have sensitivity issues to it. These sensitivity issues can be mild and somewhat annoying to pretty bad (for example, some people have developed rashes, severe itching, etc.) Also, the amount of nonoxynol-9 that stays on the condom isn’t as much as if someone would add some spermicide on their own – so if you do prefer spermicide as your method of birth control, just know that you can easily add a dab of spermicide to the inside and outside of the condom. Continue Reading →

Melinda Gates Launches “No Controversy” Site about Contraception


In her TEDx Change talk about the value of contraception for women and families throughout the world (especially in the poorest countries), Melinda Gates made reference to a new site, No Controversy.  In her talk, Mrs. Gates spoke about the value of contraception in her own life and is encouraging women and men to speak about its role in their lives, whether or not they are personal users of contraceptives or have benefitted in other ways (read this article about her talk and views). Indeed, if you look through the No Controversy site you can find a number of stories submitted by men and women throughout the world that speak to this – some are by women who have personally taken hormonal contraceptives (such as the pill) – or other types of contraceptives – and others are by straight or gay men who have a story to tell about what contraception means to them, their partners or their friends. There are stories from people who have benefitted by being able to extend their education, develop a richer life with their partner before having children, or manage a health issue. Submit your story to No Controversy and help change the conversation about contraception around the world. Continue Reading →

When Your Period Isn’t A Period

While it’s not something that I consider vitally important, I have had many friends and students who think that the time that they bleed while on the hormonal birth control (like the birth control pill or Nuva Ring)  is a period. But it’s not. It may look like a period, and you may have cramps, PMS, etc. However, it’s still not a period. I found an article to back me up, and this can also be known as withdrawal bleeding, a fake period, or a hormonal period. Continue Reading →

Shocking News: Birth Control Is Expensive

Put down your beverage of choice, I have shocking and jaw-dropping news: birth control is expensive. Should I wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor? No? An article from Good News shared some stories of individuals’ views on how expensive their birth control is, including for those with insurance. I’m lucky – I have health insurance, and it’s pretty good insurance. Continue Reading →

Abortion Laws In Africa

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa receives much media attention, but there is another problem: the illegal status of abortions in many countries, which makes them that much more dangerous for women. This article gives a thorough overview of the issues at play, including how outdated colonial laws interact with local norms about sex and birth control. As in many cases, greater access to and education about sex, contraception, and abortion appear to be the best options for maximizing women’s health. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →