More on Your New Contraceptive Guidelines

While You Were Sunning The CDC Was Working Overtime on Contraception. Already Gyno Gab Covered this in one of our posts. And what seems to be generating the most articles on the Gyno Gabbing about the Networks, the OC/Bariatric Surgery talk! So here's the question: Have you won the Biggest Loser Contest in your Office because you had Bariatric Surgery?There are One Million of you (now, we need to get down to discussing how we can do something about that number, but lets not digress!). In the past the Gynos of the world all looked to the guidelines of the World Health Organization when counseling our patients regarding the safety and recommendations of what to do with birth control, based on the best available scientific evidence, and it's been a very helpful tool and really, much of it still applies. And being wise Gyno Gals and Guys, we just ignored all that cool stuff they have in ports of call not the U.S.A. when trying to find what we need. But, while we were packing the sunscreen and spare knitting projects, CDC health officials have for the first time released contraception safety guidelines specifically for the US and included recommendations for the forgotten gals. more than 1 million women who have had weight-loss surgery or have certain medical conditions The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, released Friday, say it’s safe for women with medical conditions to use most contraceptives.
But the CDC issued some warnings, including some concerning birth control pills, the most popular form of contraception for American women. The pill may be less effective for women who have had one kind of weight-loss surgery because the procedure may leave them less able to absorb the active ingredient. An Issue of lower rates of effectiveness for all bigger gals has been suspected because of the dilution effects of women who are larger and have bigger blood volumes. So for those getting bariatric surgery, and if you don't loose completely: think about your risks for pregnancy if you are going to stick with the pill post surgery! Let's hope those surgeons are giving women some good advice!
Another warning was newly issued: They now caution specifically that women with inflammatory bowel disease have a higher risk of blood clots. Those women generally should not use the estrogen-containing form of the pill, which may further increase their risk. Since many alternatives without hormones or with progesterone alone do exist, there are alternatives. The CDC was responding specifically to the fact that  these conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis, are more common in the US and that we needed guidelines of our own. And interestingly the guidelines highlight US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed during the first 4--6 months of life, preferably for a full 6 months. Ideally, breastfeeding should continue through the first year of life.
CDC officials say women should talk to their doctors with questions about contraception.
About half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, according to CDC statistics, and we have known that about 1/2 of unwanted pregnancies end in terminations. The way to reduce US unwanted pregnancies is to increase effective contraceptive use. Dr. Herbert Peterson, a University of North Carolina professor of maternal and child health, has been quoted in many of the articles as saying that physicians have felt uncomfortable with prescribing effective methods to patients with medical conditions. It is hoped these new guidelines will bridge that knowledge gap since the new guidelines should answer doctors’ questions about potential risks from certain forms of birth control. So if we make it easier for more women to have access to birth control,  Peterson, who led a panel of experts that helped CDC write the guidelines, points out, we will have fewer unplanned pregnancies. Knowledge is power gals, gab on!


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