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How Dietary Supplements Effect Birth Control Efficacy

It’s not a discussion often had or even pondered, but perhaps it’s one that needs to be. Did you know that there are dietary supplements that can actually interfere with the effectiveness of birth control? We think it’s certainly an issue most women should be aware of.

Dr. Josh Umbehr, MD, a practicing physician in Wichita, Kansas, says that what can cause the interference is if the supplement and the birth control pill are both being metabolized by the liver, because it increases the liver’s ability to break down estrogen, thus decreasing estrogen levels, and thus having the risk for decreased effectiveness. And because this theory goes both ways, some birth controls may interfere with the effectiveness of dietary supplements as well.

According to Dr. Umbehr, one example of a dietary supplement that may interefere with birth controls efficacy is Forskolin, because it increases the activation of liver enzymes, putting it in the category of posing a risk for decreased effectiveness.
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Foods Rich in Isoflavones Are Known as Natural Birth Control

If you are frequently forgetting to taking oral contraceptives at the same time every day, you are increasing the chances of becoming pregnant. If you don’t want to switch to another form of birth control are there any foods that might help or hurt your contraceptive chances?

I spoke with our resident expert on all things food-related, Mary Hartley, RD, and this is what she told me. “Foods that are high in isoflavones have been called ‘natural contraceptives.’”

Isoflavones are plant-based estrogen-like compounds that could, in theory, create hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation and interact with birth control. Genistein, the most potent isoflavone, is found in legumes, and so soy foods, peas, peanuts, chick peas, and fava beans have been thought to influence fertility. Wild yams (not to be confused with sweet potato yams) contain the isoflavone, diosgenin, but it has a very weak effect compared to the body’s own reproductive hormones. At this point, the potential health benefits and risks of the various isoflavones are under investigation, but there is no current data to suggest that normal intakes are likely to cause hormonal imbalances.
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Know Your Birth Control Options after Weight Loss Surgery

With the risk of blood clots and other complications following weight loss surgery, women are having to find other options than a typical estrogen-based contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. Estrogen-based contraceptives, like Ortho-Tri-Cyclen, that contain ethinyl estradiol are more likely to cause blood clots and increase blood pressure. But don’t fret, there are a lot of options available.

Estrogen-free birth controls, or progestin-only birth controls, only contain one form of hormone but are still effective in preventing pregnancy. These are a good option for those who are overweight, have high blood pressure and are at risk for blood clots. Weight loss surgery patients probably have at least two of these three issues.

Oral contraceptives include Jolivette, also known as Ortho-Micronor, which is taken daily; the Depo-provera shot, which is administered in a doctor’s office every three months; and Mirena, the intrauterine device or IUD. One concern with progestin birth controls is the increase risk of weight gain. This is usually pretty minimal and can be controlled with proper nutrition and exercise.
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CDC Reports Unmarried Couples Having More Children Than Ever

The CDC reports that unmarried women living with partners having more babies than ever.

Between 2003 and 2010, 27 percent of births were to unmarried couples. This increase is triple from 1985, researchers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention found.

“It’s thought that in births outside of marriage, one parent isn’t present. But our data is showing that a large proportion do have two parents, even though [they're] not formally married,” said report author Gladys Martinez to Healthday, a demographer in the CDC’s Division of Vital Statistics.

In addition, not only are many older women giving birth, but many also are having more then one child, Martinez said.

The report showed there is actually an increase in the number of older women having more than one child. Women who tend to delay childbirth have usually received a secondary education.

Nearly 60 percent of women who did not complete high school had their first child as a teenager, according to Healthday, compared with only 4 percent of women with a college degree.

The CDC’s data was from over 22,000 interviews done between 2006 and 2010 with men and women aged 15 to 44. The data was compared with similar data from 2002.

“It’s surprising that so many unmarried couples are having children,” Dr. Christine Mullin, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y., told Healthday. She also noted women typically delay giving birth for education and career reasons.

The report also included:

  • Forty-three percent of women aged 15 to 44 had never had a baby.
  • Among men aged 15 to 44, 45 percent had fathered a child.
  • The average age at which women had their first child was 23; for men it was 25.
  • Almost 40 percent of women whose first birth occurred between the ages of 35 and 44 had at least two children; it was 26 percent in 1995.
  • Women between the ages of 40 and 44 had an average of 2.1 children.

Also Read:
Yoga for Babies
Pregnant Women Don’t Exercise Enough
Number of Children with Eating Disorders on the Rise



The Doctors Dish About Babies, Conception and Contraception

The Doctors are at it again. They are promising another episode loaded with revitalizing tips. Monday’s episode is titled, “Shrink A Dress Size, Increase Your Fertility & Get Sexier Skin!”

The doctors are asking viewers to give them an hour to transform them into a new person. The cast will be giving tips about how to go down a dress size and the latest ways to better your health and body.

Much of the episode will be devoted to babies, conception, and contraception. The doctors will discuss Beyonce and Jay-Z’s parenting style of their infant, Blue Ivy. Specifically, the cast will discuss if they think the new parents are too protective.

While the topic is on babies, the topic of a controversial training method meant to give babies super strength will be covered. Hear what the docs have to say about these “super babies.”


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