Thursday, January 25, 2007

Birth control not that effective

New Rules for Birth Control Are Examined

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (AP) — The government is considering raising
standards for birth control drugs, saying new pills appear to be less
effective at preventing pregnancy than those approved decades ago.

The Food and Drug Administration asked a panel of experts on Tuesday
whether it should require new contraceptive drugs to meet a standard of effectiveness before approving them for sale. The panel is to meet
again on Wednesday.

In documents on its Web site, the F.D.A. says newer contraceptives
appear to be less effective — with twice the failure rate at
times — than previous products, most likely because manufacturers
have started using lower doses of hormones that stop ovulation.

“The very first pills were very high dose and carried risks of
blood clots and cardiovascular problems that would be unacceptable to
most women,” Amy Allina, program director of the National
Women’s Health Network, said. “Today, most birth control
pills are very safe for the vast majority of women.”

The original pills approved in the 1960s allowed on average fewer than one pregnancy for every 100 women taking the pill for at least a year, the drug agency said. But in the last decade, the government has approved pills allowing more than two pregnancies for every 100 women.

And here I was thinking that the reason most birth control fails is because the woman has baby rabies and has secretly stopped taking them and is not held accountable, in fact rewarded with attention and money. Oh wait, that is probably part of the reason, its just that no one wants to acknowledge it.

Birth control is a big issue for tons of people. My girlfriend has been on the Patch (Ortho Evra) for a few years now, and just recently her doctor advised her to consider the Pill, because the patch can be fatal in some circumstances. Now, the pill is really shitty primitive birth control in my book - you have to take it at the same time every day, and if you miss a day or just take it at the wrong time, that can reduce its effectiveness by a lot. Plus, with the Patch you know its on and working, not flushed down the drain.

Still more choices than the average man, but I wish something more long-term and less invasive would come out - the Mirena IUD isn't very widely available, and Norplant was banned a long time ago.

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