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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Episode 63 (Epilogue): Family Planning

Tonight’s show was focused on family planning. Hostess Cheryl welcomed Nan Gould, a Sexual Health Educator from Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, and Dr. Deanine Picciano Kirschner, who is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, acupuncture physician and licensed massage therapist.

            We began our discussion with a general overview of the menstrual cycle, of particular importance because, as Nan noted, many individuals have some confusion related to how fertility works and when individuals are most and least fertile.

We then talked to Nan about pregnancy prevention, and she shared with us the pros and cons of various birth control methods. We focused both on the common prescription methods, such as the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD, and the implant, as well as non-prescription methods such as fertility awareness, withdraw, and condoms. We talked about the pros and cons of each method, as well as the importance of individual preference for dictating what will work best.

            Next we talked to Dr. Piccian Kirschner about planning for pregnancy and conception, and the steps that one can take in order to make their body more ready for a healthy pregnancy. She talked about the different ways in which one can get ready for pregnancy, focusing on mental, emotional, and physical aspects of preparation.

            We closed our show with a listener question session. Topics ranged from debunking the old adage of “two’s company, three’s a crowd,” to different kinds of hysterectomies, to fertility after stopping birth control, and pregnancy planning for young professionals.

            Finally, we want to share with your our results from out listener poll! We asked our listeners what kind of birth control method they relied on. We received 76 respondents in our online poll about birth control methods. The most popular forms of birth control, according to our listeners, were condoms, which were used by 28.9% of listeners, and fertility awareness, which was used by 27.6%. The withdraw ("pull-out" method) was also very popular, used by 22.4% of listeners. 85.7% of this time this method was used with another method, most often Fertility Awareness, which made up 66.7% of the respondents who used withdraw and another method. 17.1% respondents and 6.6% of respondents, respectively, reported that they relied on vasectomies or tubal ligation. Abstinence was also a popular methods, reportedly used by 10.5% of our participants, but 62.5% of respondents reported using this method with some other form of birth control. The birth control pill, either combination or progestin only ("mini-pill") was used by 10.5 percent of respondents, but only 37.5% reported using this as their only form of birth control. The hormonal IUD was used by 5.3% of respondents, while 6.6% reported using the copper IUD. 6.6% of respondents also reported that they were leaving family planning to a higher power, while 1.3% of our respondents reported that they were trying to conceive.

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