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Birth Control

Effective & Reversible – The Newest Birth Control Options

Birth control has changed a lot in just the past few years. For the better. This is great news for women in every part of the world. Because no matter where you live, you need effective, simple and safe birth control. And you need it now.

New Choices For Long Acting, Reversible Contraception

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) is getting more and more popular for several reasons:

  • It’s simple. You don’t have to remember to take it, you don’t have to mess with it in any way—and neither does your partner.
  • It’s incredibly effective. Less than 1% of women using LARC get pregnant. There’s absolutely nothing more effective in preventing pregnancy—except abstinence. And sometimes, your plans to be abstinent just don’t work out that way. That’s why you should always be prepared. Ahead of time.
  • It’s completely reversible. You remove it, you can get pregnant pretty quickly if that’s what you want. But right now, you’ve made a choice not to get pregnant and LARC will ensure you don’t. There’s no need to let an unplanned pregnancy interfere with your personal hopes and dreams.

Other methods can fail. Condoms. Birth control pills. Vaginal rings. Patches. Injections. These methods fail more often than LARCs for a variety of reasons – most of which have to do with improper use or irregular use. It’s understandable. Life doesn’t send you a reminder to take your pills. You and your partner might both forget to buy condoms before you need them. With LARCs, there’s no remembering and no worry if you forget. You’re protected from getting pregnant. Right away. All the time.

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Effective. Simple. Safe. This is not the IUDs of old—by any stretch of the imagination. There are two types. Review options with your gynecologist to ensure that your uterus is in good health and that you’re not suffering from any Sexually Transmitted Diseases that often go completely unnoticed. After that quick exam is over, the small, flexible, plastic IUD can be inserted. You won’t feel the IUD after it’s in place. It cannot be felt by your partner either. The IUD will then work in two ways; it will prevent sperm from fertilizing your eggs and it will prevent any fertilized egg (in the unlikely event that even happens) from implanting in your uterus. You are not protected from STDs, but you’re 99% protected from having an unplanned pregnancy. Best of all, you’ll quickly return to your previous state of fertility when it’s removed. If you were very fertile before using the IUD, you’ll be very fertile when it’s removed. If you weren’t all that fertile before, the IUD isn’t going to change things either way. But, you didn’t get pregnant when you didn’t want to get pregnant.

Contraceptive Implant

Effective and simple. The new contraceptive implants have come a long, long way as well. Instead of the multiple little “matchsticks” along your arm that we used to use, there’s now just one.

It’s not noticeable at all. To you – or to your partner. As soon as it’s inserted, you’re protected from getting pregnant. You are not protected from STDs but you’re 99% protected from having an unplanned pregnancy.

No pelvic (gynecologic) exam is usually necessary. That’s a big relief to a lot of women—young and old. If you’re healthy, if you’re having regular periods, your doctor can usually prescribe and insert the long-acting contraceptive implant right away.

Like the IUD, once you remove the tiny implant, you’ll return to your previous state of fertility—usually after just a few menstrual cycles. Another benefit of the contraceptive implant is you’ll probably have less cramping every month. You might have a little spotting until your body adjusts to the tiny dose of etonogestrel that the hormonal contraceptive implant releases—but your periods will be lighter, you won’t be bloated, and you won’t be pregnant!

Discuss Your Options With at a Doctor Today

Now that you’ve read about these two very effective, very safe contraceptive choices, we urge you to talk to your doctor or health care provider about which is best for you. Soon. Because if you’re sexually active there’s just no reason you should risk getting pregnant.

LARCs do not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. They protect you from getting pregnant. Condoms protect you from STDs. Use both!

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Clinical Trials

  • This study is looking at the relationship between sleep and perinatal mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Participants will wear a wrist monitor like a fit bit for 10 days to help researchers gain information into sleep patterns during pregnancy and postpartum and will answer questionnaires about their mood.
  • Preterm birth is one of the leading causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality. One of the most significant risk factors is a history of a prior spontaneous preterm birth. Intramuscular progesterone is the only FDA approved medication for the prevention of recurrent preterm birth. Vaginal progesterone is not FDA approved for the prevention of recurrent preterm birth, but has been found to beneficial. Given the presence of trials demonstrating efficacy for both intramuscular and vaginal progesterone in the prevention of recurrent preterm birth, but limited information one being more superior to the other, we are performing a trial comparing vaginal progesterone and intramuscular progesterone for the prevention of recurrent spontaneous preterm birth in women with a history of prior spontaneous preterm birth.
  • [This study is no longer recruiting.] The SONATA Study is an FDA-approved clinical study designed to establish the safety and effectiveness of a new, investigational device to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding caused by uterine fibroids. The device, called the SONATA System, targets fibroids rather than treatment or removing the entire uterus. If effective, this device will provide an alternative to hysterectomy that is: incision-free, preserves the uterus, does not require general anesthesia and is an outpatient procedure.
  • Women with twin pregnancy who have a dilated (open) cervix detected on physical exam before 24 weeks are at increased risk for delivering their babies preterm (before 37 weeks gestation). Prematurity is associated with many complications for the babies including respiratory (breathing) problems, bleeding inside of the brain (a form of stroke), increased risk of infection, kidney, temperature and feeding problems. The primary objective of this study is to determine if physical exam indicated cerclage use reduces the incidence of spontaneous PTB in asymptomatic women with twin gestations with cervical dilation diagnosed on pelvic exam before 24 weeks of gestation.
  • Tranexamic acid was shown to significantly reduce risk of mortality when given to women with diagnosed postpartum hemorrhage in the recent Lancet WOMAN Trial.* The purpose of this study is to determine the optimal dose for using tranexamic acid to prevent postpartum hemorrhage during routine cesarean section. Women undergoing cesarean section will be eligible and must not have a history of blood clots or a known clotting condition. *
  • In this study, we are developing non-invasive tools to identify early signs of abnormalities of the placental function using arterial spin labeling (ASL) based on fetal MRI. ASL is a particularly attractive method for early and safe monitoring during pregnancy given that ASL is completely non-invasive and does not require contrast agents or exposure to ionizing radiation. Our specific aim is to develop and validate placental perfusion imaging with substantially improved image quality and sensitivity to abnormalities.
  • This study is being performed at Children's National Health System. We are trying to understand how the normal fetus controls blood flow to the different parts of the body such as the lungs and brain. We will measure your baby's blood flow using the same ultrasound approach used by your obstetrician. We will test your baby's control of blood flow by measuring the responses to changes in your (the mom's), levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. We will make these changes by asking you to breathe extra oxygen for short periods of time. If your obstetrician determines that your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you and your baby are eligible for this study.