I know my blog may be a little heteronormative at times, but I am trying to find more information on other forms of reproductive technology. Just because you aren’t a cis-gendered woman it doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about reproductive technologies as well.
This video is a general explanation of queer sexual education:
One part of the video that I thought was very important starts around 5:20 and talks about birth control. An IUD is the only hormone free birth control available other than external forms of birth control like condoms. It is a good idea if you want to be on birth control but cannot or do not want your hormones affected. Another part of this video I really liked was talking about consent; in all cases consent is always needed.
Remember whether you are straight, gay, cis, trans or anything else it is always important to know the reproductive technologies that are available to you, and always have consent when using them.
The link I am adding below is a comic about EC or Emergency Contraception. I like the comic as a whole; it is a good way to learn the basics of EC. It explains the difference between EC and the abortion pill and some of the side affects.
The part I disagree with is the way it shows the side effects of EC as being very terrible, when the side effects are actually rare. Many women do not have any side effects at all after taking EC and others have mild side effects. The most common side effects are shown in the comic: nausea and cramping. Different women have different experiences some feel nothing while others are sick for a long time. It is important to be prepared for the worst but chances are if you take EC you will not be in pain or have any side effects for very long. Although the side effects may not be as common as shown it is still not something that should be used as a form of regular birth control- note the same has “emergency” in it for a reason.
I feel overall it is a good comic. I wish it had some information on how to get EC but it is a good way to get people talking about EC.
Check it out:
Emergency Contraception Comic
I don’t know about you but birth control is a pain in my butt and I know other women feel the same. I’ve never really understood why there wasn’t a birth control for men. Our society is very accepting of men’s sexuality (well cisgender heterosexual anyway) so it only makes sense that there would be a male form of birth control. If women have to worry about being a slut if they have sex once than why are there so many options for female birth control and so few for men? I understand that women are the ones who get pregnant but men don’t always want to be parents either. Men complain about abortion and pregnancy and how they have no say in the matter; while if you want to avoid your girlfriend/wife/random hookup from getting pregnant and determining if you are going to become a father or not than use birth control for yourself.
I here men who blame their girlfriends/wives/etc. for getting pregnant because the responsibility of not getting pregnant is on the woman. A woman is always at fault for an unplanned pregnancy even though it takes two. With a male birth control available men can have control over their own reproductive rights that they did not have before, women will feel -a little- less pressure and blame if an unplanned pregnancy happens, there will be less chance of a pregnancy if both partners are on birth control and woman who cannot be on birth control for medical or economic reasons can have their male partners be on birth control instead. This seems like a win-win situation to me.
Right now the male birth control called RISUG (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) is still in the trial stages in India but has been 100% affective with no side affects. RISUG works by having a doctor inject a substance that is a nontoxic polymer that forms a coating on the inside of the vas. As sperm flow past, they are chemically incapacitated, rendering them unable to fertilize an egg. This form of birth control is the creation of Sujoy Guha who has spent over 30 years working on this project. In 2010 they were in late phase III clinical trials and were expecting the product to be available by 2012 in India but the process has been slowed. Red tape and a lack of corporate sponsors has prevented it from being sold world wide. No pharmasuidcal company wants it because it will cost less and be more affective than female birth control. Big business doesn’t like it because they wont make near as much money off of it as they already do off of female birth control which is very costly. Hopefully it will become available.
For more information on this breakthrough in reproductive technology try:
This 2012 Biotech article:
This 2010 wired article on RISUG:
Wikipedia always has somewhat reliable information as well:
At least twenty three Canadian women are suspected to have died from two of the most popular birth control pills in Canada: Yaz and Yasmin. Both Yaz and Yasmin are made by a company named Bayer. The two brands of birth control are linked to blood clots which can cause death. Women as young as 14 have died from blood clots while on Yaz or Yasmin. Health Canada is researching the birth control pill. Most of the deaths happened very early after taking the pills, one women died a month after starting Yasmin birth control.
Doctors say that there have been over 600 Canadian cases of side affects caused by Yaz and Yasmin. In the United States there have been many class action lawsuits against Bayer due to the side affects of the birth control pills. In Canada a judge has granted a class action lawsuit against the company. Bayer plans on appealing the granting of a class action lawsuit. Bayer says that it stands by its product.
Bayer needs to own up to what they have done. They need to compensate the families and stop making their birth control pills. If I owned a birth control company that caused 23 Canadian women to die and 600 to have adverse side affects I would stop selling my product. Why are they continuing to sell their product after it has hurt and killed women? Do they enjoy harming women? It does not make sense to me in any way. Even if they fix their product so that their are no longer side affects I would never buy their product. Sorry Bayer but it will never work between us.
What ever medicine you take, birth control or otherwise, should be safe and affective. Also be very careful to research side effects and always discus them with your doctor. You can never be too careful when it comes to the medicine you put in your body. If you are on medicine and feel any side effects always contact your doctor. Don’t be afraid to contact them it is their job to keep you healthy and safe.
For more information on the deaths caused by Yaz and Yasmine watch this CBC video posted June 11, 2013:
Women around the world have always found a way to try to control their reproduction. They will use any means they can to do this, even if it means risking their lives. I belive that education and accessibility are key to stopping this. Women either do not have reproductive rights or are un-knowledgeable on their rights. Not only do women need complete freedom and control when it comes to their reproduction but they also need education.
As you can see in the following news clip from ABC’s Channel 7 and their discussion with National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), knowledge is key to safety. The women being discussed in the this video are using drugs that are not made for abortions in order to induce a miscarriage. This is taking place in the USA where abortion is legal in some states.
This video is from 2009 and sadly I would say that these problems still exist. We all remember images of coat hangers during protests in Canada and the USA during R v Morgentaler and Roe v Wade. These images are still part of todays society. If abortion is not accessible women will use drugs, alcohol, being punched in the stomach, and even coat hangers to stop pregnancy. If women are to be safe and healthy they need reproductive rights.
If women are given access to reproductive technology and are educated on their reproductive rights they will no longer have to resort to these drastic measures. Women will always try to get abortion whether they are inaccessible and illegal, or legal, free and accessible. If women (and men) are properly educated and given the rights they deserve abortions will decrease. If women know they can have birth control, how to use it, and especially if it is free then there will be less unwanted pregnancies to be terminated. If abortion is accessible and free then women will no longer have to go to these drastic measures.