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A. WB AA presents birth control today. Freedom and responsibility. This is a series of programs about birth control and how it affects us and our society. Today we look into the medical aspects of modern contraception techniques and birth control methods today. Nowhere is there a topic more timely or controversy all than birth control. It's on the tips of men's tongues the world over. The media tell us of the growing concern about the population explosion women's roles and rights and various laws regarding abortions. The controversy lies not only in these political and social issues of birth control but also in the medical aspects. How safe is the pill. Will I get cancer with an IUD. Is there any method that has no side effects.
Various methods of contraception have been available to man for a long time since the earliest recorded history efforts and techniques have been proposed to master the inevitable consequences of unprotected sexual union. Egyptian hieroglyphics tell us of ancient powers and potions used to prevent pregnancy. Hindu physicians 2000 years ago described what they thought were periods of absolutes to realty certain days of the month when women would be unlikely to conceive long ago American Indians made crude edible extracts from wild plants that would discourage fertility. In addition to these attempts people through the ages have experimented with various personal and home remedy ways to try to avoid conception with varying success and with many problems. However today we are approaching the first stage in history when pregnancy can be prevented with safety and almost complete certainty. The contemporary woman is free to have a full and complete relationship with her husband. Together they can decide with reason and planning when they are prepared to be parents. We had a long talk with
Dr. Lowell Coleman's director of the student health center at Purdue and asked him about the different methods of birth control available to couples today. Well there are many methods of. Birth control available to couples today. And I think for discussion purposes possibly that we could divide that into two major areas. What's available for the male and what's available. For the female under male use of contraception. I think there's probably two things that we could talk about. Number one would be the use of the. Condom. And number two would be withdrawal. Available. To the female are many things. Some of these are. Physiological in their effect some are mechanical in their effect
so perhaps we should mention first of all the rhythm method of contraception because it's physiological. The theory behind this being that the couple would refrain from intercourse during the fitter fertile periods in the female's menstrual cycle. Also our people have you do Xing over a long period of years. The idea that they use some agent within the dush media that will come in contact with the sperm within the vagina and kill the sperm. I think that there are many contra indications. For using a douche which we might discuss later on. Three people have used for some time that gentle creams tablets agile jellies
all of these in effect are sperm out of sidle. That they contain chemical agents that come in contact with the male sperm and kill the sperms and therefore would prevent conception from taking place. And then there are the. Mechanical barriers that can be inserted into the vagina. The diaphragm probably being the most popular and and used it usually in conjunction with a cream or or jelly and the diaphragm of course is nothing more than a rubber cup then rubber cup that is inserted into the giant which catches the concepts of ejaculation then also prevents the sperm from gaining access to the or gaining entrance to the
AAs cervix. And then in the past few years the entry uterine device has become popular and this is the insertion into the uterine cavity of a spiral or a coil which may be plastic or maybe stainless steel. And I think there's been a lot of discussion about the use of the intrauterine device as to whether it's. A contraceptive device or an aborted device. Many people feel that it does not prefer vente fertilization but it does prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself into the wall of the uterus or into the enemy of the uterus. And then last of course is. The Pill. And as you and I both know there's been an awful lot of discussion
about the pill. I don't think so much discussion about its efficacy or its ability to prevent pregnancy but mostly about the potential hazards in the use of the pill. And also I think being on a college campus the moral and legal issues involved in women under 21 using the pill. In describing these various methods that are available you mentioned at least briefly how they work and we talk about the. Advantages and disadvantages of one type over the other and perhaps we should talk first of all he's you did about the the methods that are available to the mail and there are advantages or disadvantages. One of them is to answer that question I think that we said there were probably a couple of things that were available to the mail and one is with a drawl. And I frankly don't think withdraw is a very good method of contraception.
I think that many women become pregnant with the idea that ejaculation must occur before pregnancy can occur and this isn't true because I think we're very much aware that if a male has had an ejaculation a few hours hours prior to sexual exposure. That during sexual exposure with some you rethrow see creation's that see creation's may contain sperm from the previous ejaculation and therefore withdraw method certainly wouldn't be adequate. And I think also that if you talk to the youth in our society in which I deal with that they don't really feel that they have that much control over their. Physical responses during sexual intercourse. So the disadvantage here would be effectiveness. More exacting the sin. And then I think there are some sensual effects that
are disagreeable to both couples as far as the withdrawal method is concerned. As far as a condom is concerned that has an effective agency and there are some discussions some people think that it ranges from 85 to 90 percent effective. Of course once again there are some some people that do not like to use a rubber condom because once again of the sensuality that's involved with its use but it probably is an effective method of contraception. The idea being of course that the rubber sheath would catch the total concepts of the ejaculation and if the economy does not become displaced or if there is no tear on the rubber sheet then it's probably 100 percent effective. But this doesn't always happen. I think of another. Objection to the use of the condom is that it. It is disruptive and interrupt the act itself and
that's right that it can be applied only during erection. And that probably would be maybe one justifiable complaint about the use of the condom. I think that another complaint about its youth is the quality of the condoms that are sold and. There. Some of them are probably inferior. And you know prices ranging from 10 cents to 75 cents are certainly an awful lot of difference in quality of the condoms that that are purchased on the market. How about the advantages or disadvantages of the methods available to the female. Well it would take some time to discuss this but let's go through it. I think first of all I mentioned the rhythm method. The rhythm method is a distinct advantage to those people. Who have some religious feelings about the use of contraception and I think in our society today that we certainly have to respect all of the areas of interest and thought and controversy as far as the use of contraception
is concerned. But specifically the. Rhythm method can be used effectively only in awhile and I think that has a history of having had regular menstrual periods and that she should establish the time of her or her menstrual period each month for a period of months and assuming that obviously that would take place in mid cycle on the 14th day. Then she can plan that she not be exposed sexually. A few days prior obviously nation and a few days after how many days are we talking here I don't know I think that sometimes we're talking about six or seven days a month during which she should not become exposed. That's right. And of course there are some objection to this because some people use the expression they don't like to make love by the calendar. I think the use of. A thermometer or temperature study gives a better
index of it as to when obvious lation actually take place. I mean if we use a basal thermometer and I think that we can establish the fact that during obvious lation that the temperature may rise safe importance to a degree and this probably AIDS in the effectiveness of the use of the rhythm method of contraception. But I think that those people that have practice in the records pretty much show that it is probably only about 75 percent effective. Now how about the DU and its advantages and disadvantages. Well the douche has many disadvantages one that it's not an effective method of contraception. Maybe it's some people say 70 percent affect these some people think that it's even less effective than that. The idea being that that will be used to kill the sperm. But during sexual intercourse the sperm may be implanted directly into the cervical AAs and by the time dilution takes place the sperm may be out of reach.
They do she substance. But I think there are other objections to using the deuce do other than just contraceptives as we all know that the female vagina contains bacteria that normally grow there and these bacteria serve a purpose. They regulate the acidity or the PH content of the vagina and repeated dilution with with sperm out of sidle substances may also destroy the normal bacterial flora that exists in the vagina. And if you alter this Flora you alter the pH of the vagina it becomes more alkaline and therefore more susceptible to that original infection so I think there are many gynaecologist just don't advocate the use of it as a contraceptive method or otherwise. The other chemical means that you mention where the creams and jellies and things and that kind of creams and jellies.
Once again are contraceptive devices but they're certainly not. Do not give a high percentage of protection I think once again they range I would say in 70 to 75 percent effectiveness. I think there's some. People that would prefer not to use them not only because they're not as effective as other devices but because of the physical problems and Connor with just insertion of forms jellies and creams and so forth. Of course the idea here again is that the sperm will come in contact with this for my sperm out of sidle cream or jelly of course this doesn't always happen and if it doesn't then it's during the. Period of observation then. Conception is going to take place. Now how about creams or jellies with relationship to the to the woman's health. Respect to the vagina tissues and I don't think that there's been much contra indication to its use for that reason.
How about the diaphragm and its advantages and disadvantages. Well the diaphragm of course the disadvantages would be that it has to be inserted. And this may be all right for for some people but in certain relationships where it's not practical. Once again a diaphragm becomes much more effective if a woman is seen by her physician that she has a public examination. She's instructed in it's used I mean she's measured for size and to determine that she can't use it that she doesn't have any male positions of the uterus for instance that would prevent using a diaphragm effectively. It's probably a good contraceptive device but I think the efficiency of it as a contraceptive device depends an awful lot on on the teaching that the patient has had from the physician in terms of how to use it and making certain that they're measured adequately and so forth.
Recognizing that if it's not used properly it's effectiveness decreases and that it may be inconvenient to to use it sometimes there are other disadvantages such as health or comfort. No I think that if a woman is measured adequately and the device is inserted correctly that that there is no discomfort and I don't think there's any objections as far as her health is concerned. Out the last two categories they are. Relatively new at least it seems like I can remember when they first came on the scene and that's the I you d first of all on the pill let's talk about the IUD and you mentioned briefly how it works. There is discussion of it being contraceptive or aborted with this can be considered as a disadvantage to some people. Well I suppose that it might be. I know that sometimes it you'll see some people that are are very intent in terms of making society understand that they're against abortions
but that same person would use an entry uterine device and it is using an introducer uterine device so perhaps it's relative but. I think that many people feel that that the inner uterine device does let the. Egg become fertilized but as it passes down the tube in two or three days that it cannot implant itself into the in the medium in the uterine wall. For the reasons being that there's a couple of theories that the uterine device or injury uterine device prevents the cervix from becoming close with a cervical plug that we know that exists in pregnancy. And some feel that it causes rhythmic contractions of the uterus and therefore implantation cannot take place but I think most people feel that it doesn't prevent conception from taking place. So so I suppose in the strictest sense of the word then it would be an abortive device because conception has taken place.
Now again how about in this case the health of the woman comfort. Well I think this is one of the real objections to the intrauterine device and I'm certainly not an authority but I think if you discuss it well for instance with the local Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the Lafayette area that most of them will not put or inserted an entry uterine device into an all liberals woman in other words a woman who's never had a child. The reason being that it's difficult to insert and they don't stay when they fall out. So this eliminates a large element of the population. And then there are other data dangers involved. I read recently that. One clinic in the United States from a good university in Pennsylvania has reported an incidence of rupture of the uterus in one to two hundred applications. Now I know that seems high because there are many other areas in the country that haven't reported this high incidence. But I think without a doubt that a young device can cause a serious illness. And I know that some clinics today feel that any woman that
comes in with an acute abdomen and she's had an injury uterine device rupture of the uterus has to be considered in a differential diagnosis. And there are other problems involved with it too. Not only because of the technicality involved in the insertion of the device and it takes a trained person or someone it's been trained to do this. But because of the persistent bleeding that some women have after using an injury uterine device and they have persistent bleeding and some some people report that they have excessive menstrual flow especially the first couple or three months after its insertion. Of course once in a while pregnancy complicates the use of an interviewer and device. I think that the thing is usually done they just forget about it and the device delivers with the baby that. Naturally you couldn't go in after the device and if it complicated pregnancy because this would induce an abortion. So I think that the intrauterine device has its limitations.
How about the pill. We know that it's pretty effective for me. We hear it's one of the most effective. I suppose that we can talk about the pill for hours and you hear you and I both know that there's been a tremendous amount of discussion and been a lot of articles written in lay magazines and in scientific journals and even the United States Senate has gotten into the investigation. I for one think that the medical profession is obligated to really screen the good literature and to make and objective decision about the use of the film on an emotional decision. I for one know all and certainly feel that penicillin is kill a lot more people in the United States and the birth control pill ever has. As a matter of fact bee stings and United States last year killed more people than the pill. Now I'd be the last one to deny that the pill isn't potentially dangerous. But I think that if we're aware of its potential dangers and that we insist
that women physically qualify for the pill then we certainly can reduce the hazards with its use. It's a fact of probably the most effect these type of contraception that we have. It's the easiest to use. The costs are not prohibitive. And I I certainly think that. We should continue to use the pill but to use it with integrity and with some medical intelligence like we use any other medication therefore insulin or morphine or the pill makes no difference. Now we talk about the different methods and their effectiveness I'm sure that effectiveness would determine what some people would wish to use in their birth control methods. What are some of the other decisions that a person would would would make and how would they determine which method to use. Well I think that that you are speaking as a physician you would have to individualize the treatment in terms of the patient's religion in terms of the patient's history as far as she's had shown or
not having had children. I think you have to consider her economy. I think that you would have to consider the health of her breasts and the health of her pelvis. I think you have to consider whether she had any potential problems for us as if she had diabetic does she have any other and crying dysfunctions. In other words if you're going to give contraceptive advice to a woman I think you have to consider all of these areas and then advise her to what you think that you would consider to be the best the safest type of contraception for her. Now we obviously cannot cannot look at all the contingencies involved in and not knowing the problems of individuals. We can't answer all the questions that listeners might have so where would one go in the greater Lafayette area to learn more about contraception. Well I think first of all that that if a patient is concerned
about contraception that she should talk to her family doctor and it's been my experience that most family doctors are willing and are happy to discuss contraception with their patients. Also there is the Planned Parenthood Association and Tippy Canoe company I think that's located on our sixth Street. And on the Purdue campus we certainly have made our doors open at the health service to any girl that wants to come in and discuss contraception we feel that any woman should have the privilege of at least discussing. Contraception and its availability. Open discussion of contraception and its availability may lead to beneficial AM's it did for two groups in the Lafayette area. Planned Parenthood met with a local Pharmaceutical Association in order to devise a convenient and simple way to make contraceptives available economically to the poor in the community. They created a form that could be filled out by the customer in the drug store so that he could charge his purchases prescribed
or otherwise directly to Planned Parenthood until they could afford them himself. At present Planned Parenthood receives bills totaling about $200 per month from the local pharmacies for this service. We interviewed a local pharmacy owner and part time instructor at Purdue Herald Beeman and found that this service is working rather well. We feel that no longer than planned parenthood has been active in this area that we feel like it's working very well. BI How long have you been using the service. About 18 months. How many of your customers have utilized the service in this period when our particular area we feel like that we have about 25 families that are using this now. I would say that 15 of these families use it 100 percent. They get their prescriptions filled each month and it is charged at Planned Parenthood. Now we have about 10 families who use this service only when possibly the breadwinner has had a sickness or as had a
short paycheck and this time when they use the Planned Parenthood service however they other times they pay for the service themselves so there is not a case of these people not having adequate protection but that sometimes they pay and sometimes Planned Parenthood does. That's right and the pharmacy generally tries to keep somewhat of a control to see that these people are getting their medication each month. What kind of restrictions are there on people who need this assistance. The only restriction to my knowledge is that the oral contraceptive must have a prescription. And here the physician as patient under medical care and the re-examine is periodic Lee. You mention the oral contraceptive. What birth control method is the most popular. When our particular pharmacy I would say the oral contraceptive or the pill is not popular probably ninety nine plus percent. Do you recommend specific methods or give other advice to your customers. We don't recommend specific
methods of contraception. However we do try to get the husband and wife together where we might talk with them and find out who is going to assume the responsibility. If the husband is dissin the responsibility nicely we suggest a prophylactic. However if as the wife is going to assume the responsibility then we refer her to a family physician who will examine her and then prescribe the oral contraceptive are they in or uterine devise at this time. And she will bring the prescription to the pharmacy very choice. And here again the pharmacist. With his records watch this prescription and periodically suggested she return to the station for periodic check up to customers come to you for advice on other matters related to birth control. Well we feel like in the community pharmacy we're part of a big family and any problem that arises in the family many times is
aired through their pharmacy or their pharmacist. Now the service that we've described at Planned Parenthood helps to finance is one that we've talked about here but how do people who need to service learn about it. Well let's learn about it in two different ways I would say first we have the Planned Parenthood group. First we have the real dedicated person who works in the education and the and for mation part where they contact new brides and new mothers. Then they in turn are referred to the physician of their choice. Now this physician if he prescribed oral contraceptive writes her prescription and she in turn then takes it to the pharmacy of her choice. This is what the Planned Parenthood group function. However the word by mouth is another way they learned of this service. At that time Mrs. X will be working with the Planned Parenthood group and she will tell her
neighbor or she may tell her sister or someone else in the neighborhood and many times they will come to the pharmacy and ask advice which will in turn and recommend that they talk with the planned planned parenthood reports over 100 people are utilizing this service in the greater Lafayette area. This is beyond birth control today. Freedom and responsibility. The next program will focus on one particular method of contraception the IUD special guests today were Dr. Lowell Combs director of the student health center at Purdue University and Mr. Harold Beeman pharmacy owner and part time instructor at Purdue. The series was written and produced by Colleen Gary and narrated by David about a recording engineer as Morris Moggridge. Your announcer Roger priest. This series is presented through the instructional radio division of WBA at Purdue University West Lafayette Indiana.
This is the national educational radio network.
Birth control today
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Birth Control Methods Today
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Chicago: “Birth control today; 2; Birth Control Methods Today,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Birth control today; 2; Birth Control Methods Today.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Birth control today; 2; Birth Control Methods Today. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from