Contraceptive Pearls

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Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception and Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea causes distress and missed days of school/work for millions of people. What’s the best way to treat it? All hormonal contraceptives can help. The pill, patch, ring, implant, injection, and progestin IUD have evidence for benefit. Continuous use of the pill/patch/ring may provide extra help. The copper IUD, on the other hand, may worsen…

Contraceptive Pearl: Updating Our Contraceptive Materials

RHAP has embarked on an update of our contraceptive materials. We aim to ensure our materials reflect the latest, best clinical evidence and align our with our core values, in particular patient-centered care. We started with our most general and widely used contraceptive fact sheet, which includes all birth control methods. The old versions organized methods by their…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception During COVID-19: Acidifying Contraceptive Gel

In May, 2020, the FDA approved a new contraceptive gel containing lactic acid, citric acid, and potassium bitartrate. The brand name is Phexxi. The gel acidifies the vagina, creating an environment that’s hostile to sperm. The gel does not contain nonoxynol 9, the active ingredient in spermicides (which can irritate the vagina and raise the…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception During COVID-19: One Year Vaginal Ring

In 2018, the FDA approved a one-year contraceptive vaginal ring. It’s a flexible silicone ring that slowly releases segesterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol. The brand name is Annovera. The label instructs patients to insert the ring for three weeks and remove it for one week, repeating the cycle a total of thirteen times before starting…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception During COVID-19: Non-Coercive Contraceptive Counseling

Coercive contraceptive practices have a long history in the United States, beginning in the era of slavery and extending to forced sterilizations as recent as 2010. Forced contraception has targeted primarily low-income, incarcerated, disabled, Indigenous, Black, and Latinx people. Knowing this horrific history, how can we adjust our contraceptive counseling to avoid any semblance bias…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception During COVID-19: One Year Prescriptions

What’s a simple way to improve adherence to prescription contraceptives? Easy: prescribe a one-year supply. One-year prescriptions also decrease trips to the pharmacy and the health center, thereby promoting social distancing in the time of COVID-19. Dispensing a year’s worth of contraceptives is even better than prescribing a year’s worth. In the states that allow…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraception During COVID-19: Post-Placental IUD Insertion

An intrauterine device (IUD) can be inserted immediately postpartum, minutes after delivery of the placenta. Post-placental IUD insertion is simple and safe, with a low rate of complications. This video demonstrates the procedure. Pregnant patients who choose an IUD can get one without experiencing the risk of an extra office visit during the COVID-19 epidemic. The risk…

Contraceptive Pearl: Contraceptive Counseling Through the Lens of Reproductive Justice

Contraceptive counseling is an art. We adapt and improve as we learn from our patients and our colleagues. The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective defines reproductive justice as the “human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The United States…

Contraceptive Pearls

This monthly clinical e-newsletter highlights evidence-based best practices for contraceptive care

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