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Contraceptive Pearls

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Contraceptive Pearl: Vasectomy Reversal

Written by Deyang Nyandak, MD. Vasectomy is a safe and effective permanent birth control method. Six to eight percent of married couples in the world rely on this method¹. Compared to vasectomy, tubal ligation has 20 times the risk of major complications and three times the cost².  Some patients regret vasectomy and wish to conceive. People…

Contraceptive Pearl: Special Considerations for People with Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Written by Sheila Attaie, D.O. Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a treatable chronic illness.  People with SUD have higher rates of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, and mortality related to pregnancy; and lower rates of contraceptive use¹. People with SUD face profound stigma, barriers to care, and even criminalization when interfacing with the medical industrial complex.…

Contraceptive Pearl: Birth Control Patches

Updated November 29th, 2022 The three birth control patches available in the US deliver estrogen and progestin transdermally. Some people find a once-weekly patch easier to remember than a daily pill. The newest patch, Twirla, contains lower doses of hormones: Brand Name Estrogen Progestin Xulane 35 mcg 150 mcg norelgestromin Zafemy 35 mcg 150 mcg norelgestromin Twirla 30 mcg…

Contraceptive Pearl: Irregular Bleeding with Hormonal Contraception

Written by Chelsea Faso, M.D. Many patients stop taking contraceptives due to an irregular bleeding pattern. Hormonal contraceptives often cause spotting, especially during the first 3-6 months. Anticipatory counseling about changes in bleeding patterns may help patients adjust to a new method. We can reassure patients that spotting is normal, and that they can stop…

Contraceptive Pearl: Pregnancy with an IUD in Place

Written by Mayra A Hernandez Schulte, M.D. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. While pregnancy is rare with an IUD in place, it requires special management when it occurs. Pregnancies that occur with an IUD in place have a higher chance of being ectopic, so it is important to obtain…

Contraceptive Pearl: Who Needs a Pregnancy Test When Starting Contraception?

Many clinicians or clinic protocols require a pregnancy test for patients who are starting contraception or receiving contraceptive care. However, a routine pregnancy test is not necessary for everyone starting contraception; it can act as a barrier to telehealth care and a negative test can provide false reassurance in some situations. The US Selected Practice…

Contraceptive Pearl: Starting Hormonal Contraception After Emergency Contraception

There are more and more options for emergency contraception (EC) available for patients. Not only do we have levonorgestrel (LNG) 1.5mg pills, ulipristal acetate 30mg pills, and the copper IUD (Cu-IUD), recent studies have shown that the 52mg progestin IUD can be used for EC up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse. While it’s great…

Contraceptive Pearl: Lactation and Hormonal Contraception

Effective contraception helps to optimize birth-spacing, thus improving the health of parents and babies. All patients receiving prenatal care should be counseled about available forms of postpartum contraception, their risks, and timing of initiation. For otherwise healthy birthing parents, most hormonal contraception can be safely initiated in the postpartum period. Theoretical concerns exist surrounding the…

Contraceptive Pearls: Post Abortion Contraception

Most people ovulate 9-14 days after an abortion. Patients presenting to end a pregnancy may be interested in starting or changing their contraceptive method. Depending on a patient’s medical eligibility, the following contraceptive methods are safe and effective post-abortion: Estrogen/progestin pill, patch, ring Progestin-only pill, injection, implant, IUD Copper IUD Barrier methods Sterilization Fertility Awareness…

Contraceptive Pearls

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

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