Tag Archives: Weight Loss

You Should Know These 5 Facts About Birth Control

You Should Know These 5 Facts About Birth Control

Estimates state that more than 99% of the country’s women aged 15 to 44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used some form of birth control. It’s well past time for a frank discussion on some of the lesser-known facts about birth control every woman should know.

  1. There Is A Wide Variety Of Birth Control Methods

Birth control these days is about more than just the pill and condoms; in fact, a wider variety of options exists than ever before, with over a dozen methods approved for use in the United States alone. Here’s a look at some of the most popular, non-permanent methods:

  • Birth Control Pill

    The birth control pill has long been the most popular method of hormonal birth control for both teenage girls and women. It’s effective when women use it correctly, and can offer positive hormonal side effects for many, such as lightened menstrual periods and their associated pain.

  • Male Condom

    Condoms are the only method that also provides some protection against sexually transmitted infections. This barrier method of birth control has the added benefit of producing almost no side effects for women not allergic to latex.

  • IUD

    Both medicated and copper IUDs provide a barrier to implantation of an embryo into the uterine lining, while the medicated IUD also prevents sperm from reaching the egg, making it even more effective at preventing pregnancy without much chance of user error.

  • Injectable

    Commonly known as “the shot,” injectable methods of birth control feature a hormonal shot when, if given on the proper schedule, prevents pregnancy for up to three months at a time.

  • Other Methods

    Several other methods of birth control exist, though less than two percent of the population uses them. Options include vaginal rings, implants, patches, emergency contraception, barrier methods such as the female condom and diaphragm, and spermicidal methods like vaginal jelly and foam.

What is the preferred form of birth control in your state? Find out here.

 

  1. Most Women And Teenage Girls Aren’t Utilizing The Most Effective Methods

    Most women between 15 and 44 aren’t using the most effective methods of birth control. In fact, the most popular method used by family planning providers is the IUD, though only about seven percent of all women in the US use it. Health care professionals also suggest it for teenage girls for its long-term efficacy, zero chance of user error, and reversibility. Once women receive education about all the methods available to them, over 75% chose the IUD, a drastic increase from the national average.

  1. Different Methods Have Different Side Effects

    Chances are you’ve heard a TV announcer read the side effects list of the advertised birth control method and wondered to yourself if all the side effects are really worth it. While it’s true that most hormonal forms of birth control have potential side effects produced by the different hormones used – and their levels – they have different, and even positive, effects on the user. Combined hormone methods utilize estrogen and progestin, and tend to have a slightly more pronounced signs and symptoms, at least at first. Progestin-only methods skip the estrogen, a trade-off that minimizes hormonal side effects but slightly decreases the efficacy rate.

  1. The Side Effects Truly Are Minimal

    You’ve likely heard one friend or another citing the negative effects of her birth control method, including weight gain, irritability, and altered periods. However, for most women – that is, women without additional health concerns – most side effects decrease in severity and eventually disappear over time. The series of adjustments your body needs to make to incorporate the hormones involved will lessen, and weight loss is even possible at this stage.

  2. Find A Method That Works For You

    Of course, you shouldn’t stick with a birth control method that’s making you miserable – all the FDA-approved methods available in the US are effective and you have a wealth of options available. Try a hormonal method with lower levels of hormones, or an IUD without hormones. If you’re having trouble taking your birth control regularly, switch to a method with less hands-on time. The important thing is making your birth control work for you, so it can have its desired effect – pregnancy prevention.

Birth Control Isn’t Taboo

Birth Control As mentioned above, when more women learn about all the types of birth control available to them, they tend to make different choices that better fit their lifestyles. Discussion regarding your reproductive health isn’t – and shouldn’t be – taboo. Learn about the different methods of birth control that may work for you, and after you make your choice, research the side effects, risks, and how to properly use them.

Deciding when and if you want to get pregnant is one of the most significant health decisions you can make, and talking about your options with a women’s healthcare provider like Arizona Gynecology Consultants is a great first step.

Change Your Fitness Focus For This Summer And See Better Results

Change Your Fitness Focus For This Summer And See Better Results

Many women think of the winter as the time to start preparing for swimsuit season in the coming summer, but should looking good in swimwear be the main goal of a new fitness routine? Instead of focusing on looking better in a swimsuit this year, try making a few significant changes that improve your overall health, not just the way you look. In time, making these positive changes will have an undeniably positive effect on your overall health and wellness.

Choosing Wellness Over Aesthetics

Everyone faces tremendous social pressure to look as good as possible. Modern marketing leans toward showcasing models with “aspirational” body types, the type that usually demand hyper-dedicated focus to nutrition and exercise. The average person cannot commit hours each day to looking as good as possible, so focusing health and exercise goals around aesthetics is ultimately self-defeating. However, a few small but important lifestyle changes can have tremendous results that lead to looking and feeling great.

Overcoming Social Pressures For Swimsuit Season

Advertisements constantly bombard the average American from all directions. It can be difficult for some people to recognize unrealistic beauty standards, and overcoming social pressure to look as good as possible can be significantly more challenging for some women than for others. Whenever you decide to make better decisions for yourself, you should aim to improve yourself, not just to earn the admiration of others.

While role models and fitness ambitions can be good motivational tools, they may also lead to self-esteem issues. Avoid trying to model your looks around those of celebrities or fitness models who likely have expensive dietary counselors and personal trainers to help them stay in picture-perfect shape. Instead, look for personal motivations that are meaningful to you, such as being able to keep up with your kids while you chase them around the beach this summer.

Avoiding Unhealthy Fat-Burning Gimmicks And Fad Diets

Avoiding Unhealthy Fat-Burning Gimmicks And Fad DietsThere have been countless fad diets to come and go throughout the years. There are also thousands of supplements on the market that proclaim to boost your metabolism and burn fat with minimal effort. Be wary of these fads and gimmicks. While some fast fat-burning methods may offer seemingly good results in a short window of time, these methods are rarely healthy and more often than not cause more problems than they solve.

Despite the dangers of some trendy diets, others have gained traction due to their objective health benefits and consistent results. For example, the ketogenic diet (also called the “meat and greens” diet or keto diet) essentially requires avoiding carbohydrates and sugars and eating a diet high in animal proteins and leafy vegetables. The keto diet places the body into ketosis*, or the state of burning fat stores for energy instead of deriving it from ingested carbohydrates. This is just one example of a popular diet that is actually worth investigating, and it is flexible enough to meet various dietary restrictions like food allergies or gluten sensitivity.

Balanced Nutrition Is Crucial For Weight Loss

Exercise is a crucial component of any weight loss plan, but nutrition is even more important. Proper nutrition helps the body function better overall. Many Americans do not get the recommended amounts of essential vitamins and minerals from their daily diet, and no amount of exercise can replace these deficits. Vitamin deficiency can lead to increased susceptibility to muscle overextension or soft tissue injuries.

Cultivate Better Eating Habits

Start your summer fitness plan with a thorough review of your current daily diet. The vast majority of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables each day, so consider this a good starting point. For one month, try to add one full serving of vegetables to your daily food intake. The next month, add one more. Within a few months you may notice you have adopted an entirely new eating pattern, and you should start seeing positive results sooner than you might expect.

Drinking more water is also essential to a healthy body. Nutritionists recommend 8 glasses of water every day to maintain your health. With exercising, more may be necessary to stay hydrated. Also, drink water more often to keep from unintentional snacking. You might be actually be thirsty and think its hunger. A few sips an hour should do the trick.

Creating better eating habits does not just mean knowing which foods to add to your diet but also which foods you should avoid. Try to limit alcohol consumption as much as possible and refrain from eating too many fatty, fried, or processed foods. Always opt for lean protein whenever possible and choose fresh vegetables over frozen varieties.

Expand Your Exercise Routine

Starting an exercise routine is relatively easy and can even be fun, but sticking to that routine can be a challenge. If you are committed to improving your overall health and fitness this year but find yourself dreading the next trip to the gym, consider an alternative to your usual workout routine. Instead of running on a treadmill, look for a local park or hiking trail for a new challenge. Look for community sports leagues and try out for a team. Arrange nightly bike rides with your kids. These are just a few examples of great ways to stay in shape outside of the gym.

You can also make small changes to your everyday routine. If possible, consider biking to work instead of driving. Take frequent breaks at work to stretch or even do a few desk workouts during your downtime. Whenever possible, opt to take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. These small changes mean more burned calories, and creating a daily calorie deficit is the key to losing weight.

A Caution On Calorie Deficits

A calorie deficit means you burn more calories than you consume in a given day. While the average daily calorie intake for most adults is around 2000 calories, it is always best to consult with a doctor about a healthy calorie deficit range. Too much of a calorie deficit can have serious negative health issues like a compromised immune system and diminished internal organ functions.

Ultimately, bucking the trend of social pressure to look good in a bikini is difficult for many women to overcome, but developing personalized health goals that focus on wellness over outward appearance is ultimately the better choice for any fitness plan this year.