Bowling Green doctor talks about contraceptive options available

Discussing contraceptive options for women after the overturn of Roe v Wade
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 8:43 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The ruling from the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, has created a mix of emotions nationwide and with Kentucky making abortions illegal with the only exception being when the mother’s life is in danger, there is no exception for rape or incest.

With so many options nowadays, many women may be wondering what type of birth control is right for them?

But the answer may not be so simple.

“One of the ones that’s maybe under utilized increasing use is what we call LARC’s, that stands for long-acting contraceptives, reversible contraceptives, and that’s IUD’s. The implant that goes into your arm that’s called the Nexplanon and that lasts for three years,” says Dr. Joseph Gass, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Graves Gilbert Clinic.

Gass says all contraceptives are different and it really depends on the plans you have long-term.

“The IUD’s last between seven and 10 years and one of the IUD’S is a non-hormonal one. The nice thing about these LARC’s is, as soon as you remove it, you’re fertile again, even the same day, so and very, very effective when they’re in place,” says Gass. “Birth control pills are wonderful, they have a lot of positive effects that patients are not really aware of, for instance, they reduced the risk of ovarian cancer, the longer you’re on the birth control pill, the lower your risk, also, uterine cancer is reduced, the longer you’re on it, make your periods lighter, less cramping and, of course, prevent pregnancy.”

Gass also spoke about different ways that birth control can be used.

“There’s a patch that you can put on, you put it on for a week at a time and leave it on for three weeks and take it off, and then you have your period,” said Gass. “There’s also a vaginal ring that you can there’s two different versions, one you put in once a month, and there’s even a ring that you can put in and leave it in for a full year.”

If those options may not some like the right option for you there’s also another option.

“The Depo-Provera shot lasts for three months, we do see it’s excellent for birth control, and it makes your periods usually go away. But sometimes you do see some weight gain with that one, that’s the only drawback and sometimes some loss of bone density as well, if you use it long term,” says Gass.

He also says that the recent trigger laws that went into effect in Kentucky have many of his patients confused.

“I’ve had a lot of patients asking about whether we’ll be able to take care of them if they get a tubal pregnancy, or if they get a miscarriage and I had several patients believe that that’s going to be an illegal procedure and I would really like people to understand that that is not the case,” he says.

He adds that it is important to understand that, “a tubal pregnancy is a non-viable pregnancy, a miscarriage is a non-viable pregnancy. The new laws are in reference to elective terminations of a viable pregnancy. So, that has nothing to do with an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.”

Every case is different and if you’re wondering what the best option for you may be, it is best to contact your physician.

With the recent news of the potential of limiting Plan B, Gass says people need to remember that the morning after pill is not an abortion pill.

“Plan B, a lot of people are concerned right now, because of the new laws in the state and wondering if that’s still available, it is still available,” he said. “That one, the way that works is that you can take it within three days after intercourse, and it will prevent or reduce the chance of you getting pregnant.”

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