- U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable)
Talking to your patients with HIV about their transmission risk
People living with HIV often have questions about the risk of passing HIV to their negative partners. Recent research has shown HIV treatment with antiretriviral therapy (ART) antiretroviral therapy (ART) to maintain consistently undetectable levels of HIV are effectively unable to transmit HIV to their sexual partners, commonly referred to as U=U or “Undetectable = Untransmittable.read the full article »
- Why (and how) providers should get consent in the exam room
Using the principles of explicit consent to give patients better care
From the #metoo movement to reports of sexual assault being front and center on national television with the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, consent has been making the news headlines. Health care providers have an opportunity to provide a safe space to discuss enthusiastic consent in relationships and to model it in the exam room by obtaining explicit consent from our patients prior to performing intimate exams in the office. Consent is an important component of establishing a respectful and trusting relationship with your patient—one that improves satisfaction, adherence, and ultimately, outcomes.read the full article »
- Talking fertility awareness methods with your patients
You may have your doubts about FAM, but what if your patients want to use it?
In the last few years, one of the most ancient contraceptive methods has taken a modern turn. At last count, there are over 200 fertility awareness method (FAM) mobile applications (“apps”) for measuring, monitoring, and tracking women’s cycles. Before we dive into the apps, here’s an oh-so-brief overview of FAM.read the full article »
- Your patient has the answer
We can only listen when we create a space for the patient to speak. Listening can be augmented through open-ended questions. During a period of listening, consider opting for one open-ended question in lieu of a series of closed-ended questions. read the full article »
- What makes the Liletta IUD different from Mirena?
Here’s what you and your patients should know about these two (very similar) hormonal IUDs.
Many of you are likely already stocking and placing Liletta, the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (IUS, a.k.a. IUD) introduced in 2015. But you and your patients may still be trying to sort out how Liletta is different from—or very similar to—another IUD that’s been out there for years, the Mirena. Here are the details.read the full article »
- Starting birth control after using ‘ella’ for EC
Here’s what you need to know to help your patients balance risks and uncertainties related to starting hormonal birth control after ella.
In March 2015, the FDA changed the label for one brand of emergency contraception (EC)—ulipristal acetate (UPA), sold as ella. The new label warned against starting a hormonal birth control method within 5 days of taking UPA. Why the change, and what does this mean for your practice?read the full article »
- Nobody’s perfect: Pill efficacy for the real world
Our patients shouldn’t have to be perfect to protect themselves from accidental pregnancy.
It’s no secret that many women’s health care providers use IUDs, likely because they have the highest efficacy and continuation rates. But the most common method of birth control among our patients remains the pill. The pill is advertised as having 99% efficacy, but in real life we know that about it’s closer to 90%. That means about one in 10 women will have an unplanned pregnancy while using this method. How can the advertised number and real life numbers so different? And what can we do to help our patients narrow the gap between these numbers?read the full article »
- Excellent care for LGBTQ patients
Here's how to be part of the solution when it comes to the health disparities LGBTQ people face.
We’ve known for a long time that LGBTQ people have health disparities compared to heterosexual and cis-gendered people. So what can you as a provider do to reduce these disparities? read the full article »
- Hello, Bedsider mobile: Birth control info on your phone
Take your birth control experience anywhere you go with Bedsider's mobile features.
I have a secret. Even though I use the implant as my birth control method, I still get Bedsider’s birth control text message reminders for the pill. And why not? They’re fun, cheeky facts delivered to my phone every day. I personally use the texts to remind me to catch my train home. But did you know that getting cheeky birth control reminders is just one of the many ways you can use Bedsider on your phone? Let me show you how it all works.read the full article »
- Changing the conversation about contraception
The most useful tool for providing contraceptive care may be to ask the right questions.
Talking to women about their pregnancy intentions is an important part of responding to their requests for contraception.read the full article »
- What do YOU use for birth control?
Pros, cons, and alternatives when it comes to telling your patients about your own birth control method.
Self-disclosure by providers is a controversial topic in all areas of medicine. In the field of reproductive health, in which it’s common to discuss the most intimate of topics with our patients, self-disclosure is an especially important consideration. Studies by Evans and by Zapata suggest that, when appropriate, provider self-disclosure about contraception can be done without negative consequences. But how can we be certain that a situation is appropriate? And in circumstances when a clinician isn’t using birth control (e.g., she is trying to conceive; she is infertile; or, like me, she has a female partner), how should she handle the situation?read the full article »
- Misinformed: What do pharmacy staff say about emergency contraception?
Do you know what info your patients are getting about EC?
Many patients head straight to the pharmacy when they need EC. It’s convenient and may be more affordable for them, depending on their health care coverage. So what do we know about women’s ability to access EC at pharmacies?read the full article »
- Open enrollment is over: Can you still get covered?
Big changes in your life? They could make you eligible to get health insurance coverage.
Certain life changes might mean you’re eligible to get health insurance (including coverage of your birth control with no out-of-pocket costs!) before open enrollment starts again. Read on to find out more about your options.read the full article »