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Reproductive Health

Birth control options: spermicide

Spermicides are chemicals that kill sperm. They can be inserted into the vagina. Spermicides alone are not a very effective method of birth control. When used perfectly, spermicides have a 15 per cent failure rate. In typical use, the failure rate is 29 per cent. Combining spermicides with other birth […]

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Birth control options: sponges

The sponge is a soft, round piece of polyurethane foam containing several different spermicides. It can stay in your vagina up to 30 hours. The sponge: absorbs and traps sperm uses spermicide to kill sperm sits in front of the cervix making it more difficult for sperm to enter The […]

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Birth control options: the diaphragm

The diaphragm is a shallow dome-shaped cap of latex with a flexible rim. It is filled with spermicide and covers the entry to the cervix, preventing sperm from entering the uterus. It must be combined with spermicidal creams or jellies to prevent pregnancy. A diaphragm should be left in place […]

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Birth control options: the patch

The birth control patch is a hormonal method of birth control, like birth control pills, Depo Provera or Mirena. The patch contains the same forms of progesterone and estrogen found in many birth control pills. A new patch is applied each week and the hormones are absorbed through the skin. […]

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Birth control options: the pill

Your doctor can prescribe birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. When taken properly, birth control pills are 99 per cent effective. The pill doesn’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections. Birth control pills contain low doses of both estrogen and progestin. One type contains progestin alone. These hormones are similar […]

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Birth control options: withdrawal

Withdrawal means a man removes his penis from a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates. This prevents most sperm from entering the vagina. It is not a very effective means of birth control. It has a failure rate of four to 27 per cent. Withdrawal does not provide protection against sexually […]

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Birth control options: female condoms

Condoms are the best way to protect you and your partner against sexually transmitted infections when having intercourse. When a woman also uses a spermicide, condoms are 98 per cent effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. Traditionally, male condoms were the only condoms available. More recently, female condoms have […]

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Choosing a method of birth control

Dr. Sheila Dunn, research director of the Family Practice Health Centre at Women’s College Hospital, talks about factors that affect birth control decisions.

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Perimenopausal hot flashes

Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, a gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital, discusses risk factors for perimenopausal hot flashes and night sweats, and how they can be treated.

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Kegel exercises

Frances Stewart, RN, advanced practice nurse and nurse continence advisor at Women’s College Hospital, explains how to do Kegel exercises correctly to strengthen the pelvic floor.

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