Last semester, I overhead some students talking about how Tori Spelling got pregnant one month after giving birth even though she was breastfeeding. I’ve never really understood breastfeeding-as-contraception, so I did some research about LAM, aka Lactational Amenorrhea Method.
My hope is to provide an overview of LAM to folks who are unfamiliar with this method and blew it off as just another sexual health acronym (IUD, NFP, PID, HIV, HPV, HSV, etc). If you are interested in using this method, please consult your health care provider for more detailed guidance. Check out my last blog entry Are you pregnant or parenting at UNC? for more info on resources available UNC.
What is Lactational Amenorrhea Method? Lactational Amenorrhea Method is a contraception method where a woman relies on exclusive breastfeeding to change her body’s hormonal balance to prevent pregnancy. This method can work up to the first six months of the infant’s life, which is also the duration for which the WHO and American Academy of Pediatricians recommends exclusive breastfeeding.
Writing it on your hand. Making a Google task. Asking your roommate or partner to remind you.
What do you think these things are trying to help someone remember to do?
Prevent pregnancy, of course!
These are just some of the many ways that I’ve heard women use to try and remember to take their birth control pill daily, change their patch weekly, or replace their ring monthly. Considering that the last big study of pregnancy showed that about 50% of pregnancies in the United States were unintended, many of these methods might not be working so well. Luckily there are some new ways to reliably remind you or your partner about their birth control and even doctors appointments.
This week, I thought I would take some inspiration from Laetitia’s latest slippery exploration of the world of lubes and take you on a tour of their faithful companions – condoms! Luckily, condom technology has come a long way since the likes of these examples from the 16th a through the 18th centuries.
Condoms were originally made from animal by-products, like intestinal products. YUCK! Eventually, vulcanized rubber (Thank you Mr.Goodyear) hit the scene and ever since, the majority of condoms have been made of rubber-based materials. These days condom options are nearly endless and can range from the mundane to just plain bizarre. Like choosing lube, figuring out what is right for you and your partner can be downright daunting, so here are a few important points to consider. Continue reading →
There is a lot of information out there about sex, sexual health and pleasure. But how do you know which resources to trust? Wonder no more! Below is a list of resources that contain excellent, reputable information:
Go Ask Alice! is a great health resource that is maintained by health educators at Columbia University. The website is set up in a Q & A format and it covers a variety of health topics including emotional health, sexual health and relationships.
Sex Etc. is a great website hosted by Rutgers University. All the staff writers for the website are students so it is sex education for students, by students! The website is fun and interactive and once a week, the site hosts chats with a health educator so you can ask questions and get an accurate answers immediately.
Planned Parenthood has been providing accurate sexual health information for a long time and they are still one of the best resources on the web. Their website has information on just about any sexual health topic you can think of including body image, gender and emergency contraception.
This website offers a lot of information about sexual health, but they also have a blog and “sexpert” advice. The website has also started building a database to connect young people to services like counselors and clinics. Check it out!
Allow me to set the record straight — if pregnancy does not result from an incident of unprotected sex, it does not mean that you are unable to get pregnant. A recent survey found that 19% of women and 14% of men believe that they are infertile, when in fact national estimates indicate that less than 10% of individuals are experiencing fertility problems. I’m not suggesting that concerns about infertility are invalid or not important. It would be a downright heartbreaking experience, no doubt. All I’m trying to say is that there is a tendency to underestimate the likelihood of pregnancy from unprotected sex, which can lead to the idea that contraception is not necessary. I’m assuming that for most of us the baby plan is on hold, so I’m going to exploit the old cliché better be safe than sorry! Continue reading →