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FDA Explains Pros, Cons of Permanent Birth Control

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – Women need to carefully consider the benefits and risks of permanent birth control devices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. The agency recently introduced labeling changes for one such device called Essure. It consists of flexible metal coils that are implanted into the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Within about three months, tissue forms around the coils and blocks sperm from reaching the eggs. Because the device is made with metal, women who are sensitive or allergic to nickel or other metals should be sure to let their doctor know about their allergy, the FDA said. The labeling changes for Essure include a boxed warning and patient decision checklist to help ensure that women receive and understand the benefits and risks of the device in order to make an informed decision about whether to use it. An important ... Read more

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Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Women who experience migraines have more than double the risk of suffering a stroke, new research shows. The finding adds evidence to the suspected link between these two conditions. Although it's not yet clear why this connection may exist, study lead author Dr. Cecil Rambarat said it's important for health care providers to be aware of the link. "This is important since migraine is generally not considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," said Rambarat. He's a resident physician at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville. "Maybe providers need to factor in migraine headaches as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease among women," he said. "This is not being done currently." Previous research has linked migraines – especially the form known as migraine with aura – to stroke. Migraine with aura is estimated to affect one ... Read more

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More U.S. Women Hope for Motherhood, With 2 Kids Ideal

Posted 13 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – More American women want to become mothers, and their dream family consists of two children, a new U.S. government report shows. Half of women aged 15 to 44 expect to have a child at some point, according to a 2013-2015 national survey. That's up from 2002, when only 46 percent of women said they anticipated motherhood. "Women who have not yet had any children, younger women, and women who have never been married were more likely to expect to have a child in the future compared with other groups," reported researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The National Survey of Family Growth has tracked birth expectations for four decades to gain insight into future birth rates and family sizes. The 2013-2015 survey involved interviews with nearly 6,000 women. Reporting that most women wanted 2.2 kids ... Read more

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'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk

Posted 28 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 2016 – Women who use hormonal methods for birth control, such as "the pill," may have a slightly higher risk of developing depression – and teenagers may be most vulnerable, a large study suggests. Researchers said the findings confirm the link between hormonal birth control and depression symptoms. However, the association does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Manufacturers already list "mood changes," including new or worsening depression, on their products' list of potential side effects. But this new study of more than 1 million women strengthens the evidence of a connection, said Dr. Ojvind Lidegaard, of the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. Lidegaard said women with a history of depression symptoms might want to consider nonhormonal contraception – such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) that release copper to prevent sperm from fertilizing the ... Read more

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Got Unused Meds? Here's What to Do

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – While doing your spring cleaning, don't just toss out expired or unused prescription medications. Unwanted drugs need to be properly disposed of to reduce the risk of abuse or accidental use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. Follow disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that came with the medicine. Don't put medicines down the sink or flush them down the toilet unless this information specifically says to do so. Call local law enforcement agencies to find out if your community has a medication take-back program or event. Or, ask your local trash or recycling services about medication disposal services and guidelines, the FDA suggests. Another option is to deliver unused medicines to collectors registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). These authorized sites may be retail, clinic or hospital pharmacies, and ... Read more

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Birth Control Pills Linked to Fewer Severe Knee Injuries in Teen Girls

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 – Teen girls who take birth control pills may be less likely to seriously injure their knees than those who don't take the pill, a new study suggests. "Young athletes currently use birth control pills for various reasons, including more predictable cycles and lighter periods," said study author Aaron Gray, an M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Injury risk reduction could potentially be added to that list," he said, if future studies confirm what the new study found. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between birth control pills and knee injuries. The researchers only found an association between these factors. Female athletes are up to twice as likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury as male athletes, the study authors said. The ACL connects the top and bottom parts of the knee. ... Read more

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Condom Use Falls When Teen Girls Opt for IUDs vs. The Pill

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – High school girls who use long-acting contraception – such as IUDs or implants – are less likely to focus on condom use than girls who are on the Pill, a new study finds. Experts say the finding shows that many young women aren't paying enough attention to the dangers of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which condoms help prevent. "We need to work on crafting a clear message about pregnancy prevention and STI prevention," Dr. Julia Potter, of the Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Karen Soren, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, wrote in a related editorial. "Dual protection for sexually active adolescents should be encouraged, so that adolescents are not exposed to the risk of pregnancy or the risk of STIs as a result of selecting condom use vs. effective contraception use," they said. The new study was led by Riley Steiner, of the ... Read more

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Obese Women on Birth Control Pills May Face Higher Risk of Rare Stroke

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Obese women who take oral contraceptives may have a higher risk for a rare type of stroke, a new study suggests. Dutch researchers found that obese women on birth control pills were nearly 30 times more likely to develop this rare type of stroke, known as cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), compared with women of normal weight who didn't take birth control pills. But the chances of having this type of stroke in one's lifetime remain very low, the researchers added. And the study wasn't designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship. CVT affects just over one person per 100,000 each year, said study author Dr. Jonathan Coutinho. He's a stroke neurologist at the Academic Medical Center at University of Amsterdam. In the United States, that's about 4,200 new patients annually, he said. Coutinho added that CVT tends to occur mostly in children and young to ... Read more

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Steep Decline in Unintended Pregnancies in U.S., Study Finds

Posted 3 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 2, 2016 – Accidental pregnancies have reached a three-decade low in the United States, mostly because of long-acting contraceptive methods, a new study found. The unintended pregnancy rate declined by 18 percent in women of childbearing years between 2008 and 2011, to "the lowest level we've seen in at least 30 years," said Mia Zolna, a research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research institute in New York City. Among U.S. women aged 15 to 44, about 45 out of every 1,000 experienced an unintended pregnancy in 2011. This compared with 54 out of 1,000 women of childbearing age three years earlier, said Zolna and her Guttmacher co-author, Lawrence Finer. Their report is published in the March 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Also, unintended pregnancies occurred less frequently across the board, regardless of age, ... Read more

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FDA Orders 'Black Box' Warning Label on Essure Long-Acting Contraceptive

Posted 1 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 – A special "black box" warning should be added to packaging for the Essure implantable birth control device, based on concerns over serious complications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday. The FDA also ordered Essure's manufacturer, Bayer, to conduct a new clinical study to gather more data about the health risks the device might pose for "in a real-world environment." Essure is a permanent and nonsurgical form of birth control for women. It consists of flexible coils that are inserted through the vagina and cervix into the fallopian tubes, the FDA explained in a statement. Scar tissue forms naturally around the coils, creating a barrier intended to prevent sperm from reaching the egg as they travel down the fallopian tubes into the uterus. However, since the FDA approved Essure in 2002, the agency says it has received about 10,000 ... Read more

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Double Up on Acne Treatments, New Guidelines Say

Posted 23 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 – Combining treatments is the best way to combat acne, new guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology state. "There are a variety of effective treatments available for acne, and dermatologists have found that combining two or more treatments is the best option for the majority of patients," Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, co-chair of the guidelines committee, said in an academy news release. "Recommended treatments include topical [skin] therapy, antibiotics, isotretinoin [Accutane is one brand] and oral contraceptives," she added. Acne affects up to 50 million Americans a year, according to the academy. When using antibiotics to treat moderate to severe acne, prescription skin medications should be used at the same time. After patients complete a course of antibiotics, they should continue using topical, or skin, therapy to manage their acne, according to the ... Read more

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Having More Kids May Slow Mom's Aging, Study Says

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 – The more children women have, the slower they may age, new research suggests. Looking at chromosomes, scientists found that women who have more kids have longer telomeres, which helps slow the aging process. Telomeres are caps of DNA at the end of each chromosome. Like the tips found at the end of shoelaces, telomeres protect chromosomes and their critical genetic information from damage. Having sufficiently long telomeres is essential for cells to be able to multiply. As people age, telomeres shorten, eventually leading to cell death, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. The new study by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, included 75 women from two rural communities in Guatemala. Their telomere lengths were measured through cheek and saliva swabs taken twice 13 years apart. The research suggested – but did not prove – that ... Read more

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No Link Between 'the Pill' and Birth Defects: Study

Posted 7 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – Becoming pregnant while taking birth control pills doesn't seem to increase the risk of birth defects, a new study suggests. Researchers found similar rates of birth defects – about 25 infants out of 1,000 – among women who never used birth control pills and those who took them before pregnancy or took them before realizing they were pregnant. "Women who become pregnant either soon after stopping oral contraceptives, or even while taking them, should know that this exposure is unlikely to cause the fetus to develop a birth defect," said lead researcher Brittany Charlton. "This should reassure women as well as their doctors," said Charlton, an instructor in the department of epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. However, she cautioned that this study can't prove that birth control pills don't cause birth defects, only that ... Read more

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Girls Given Risky Meds Don't Get Contraceptive Advice

Posted 16 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 – New research from a Midwestern hospital suggests a wide majority of teen girls and young women fail to get information about contraceptives when they take medications that could cause birth defects. At issue are so-called "teratogenic" medications, used for conditions ranging from acne to anxiety, that boost the risk of birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Physicians often tell sexually active women to take birth control while they're on the drugs to avoid becoming pregnant, but it's unclear whether younger females routinely get the same kind of guidance. In the new study, researchers examined the medical records of nearly 1,700 females aged 14 to 25 who received just over 4,500 prescriptions for teratogenic medications in more than 4,100 visits from 2008-2012. All the participants had visited a large, unidentified pediatric medical center in the ... Read more

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U.S. Abortion Rate Hits Record Low: CDC

Posted 11 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – The U.S. abortion rate has declined by more than one-third over the past two decades to a record low, federal officials reported Friday. Abortions fell 35 percent between 1990 and 2010, reaching 17.7 procedures per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, said report lead author Sally Curtin, a statistician for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. That's the lowest abortion rate since the CDC began tracking the procedure in 1976, Curtin said. "Abortion has been on a nearly steady decline since the rate peaked in 1980," she said. The pregnancy rate also hit an all-time low in 2010, according to the report. Many factors likely contribute to the reduction in abortions, but increased use of highly effective birth control is one of the most important trends, said report co-author Kathryn Kost, principal research scientist at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Plan B, Emergency Contraception, Mirena, Sprintec, NuvaRing, Provera, Nexplanon, Implanon, Depo-Provera, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, Plan B One-Step, TriNessa, Lutera

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