The Ring Birth Control As a Type of Contraception

The birth control ring is a thin, flexible ring about five centimetres in diameter that a woman inserts into her vagina herself. The contraceptive ring is prescribed by a doctor after the woman has undergone a medical examination including her blood pressure.

The contraceptive birth control ring contains a combination of two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, like the oral contraceptive pill. The ring slowly releases the hormones throughout the vaginal wall to the bloodstream to prevent ovulation. The vaginal ring hormones may also cause a thickening of the cervical mucus and a thinning of the uterine wall.

The woman inserts the contraceptive ring into the vagina on the first day of her menstrual cycle or before the fifth day, and the ring remains in place for three weeks in a row. In this way the ring is again comparable to the combined contraceptive pill, with a ring-free week after three weeks of using the ring.

At the end of the third week, at about the same time of day on the same day as first inserted, the woman should remove and dispose of the vaginal ring, and her withdrawal bleed should start within a few days.

At the end of the fourth week, the woman inserts a new contraceptive ring on the same day as the last one was inserted, even if she is still bleeding, and the process begins again.

Another form of contraception such as condoms should be used for the first seven days when a woman first starts using the birth control ring if she has not used any contraceptive previously, because the hormones do not take effect immediately.

The contraceptive ring is held in place by the vaginal muscles so is unlikely to fall out. However, should this occur, the vaginal ring should be rinsed in cool water and reinserted within three hours. The ring can be left in place while swimming or exercising and during sexual intercourse. When in place, the ring usually cannot be felt.

Possible side effects include irregular menstrual bleeding, nausea, dizziness, headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes and vaginal irritation or discharge.

The birth control ring does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Often the choice of using the birth control ring for contraception is a couple’s decision. The woman should be comfortable with inserting the contraceptive ring into her vagina, and her partner should be comfortable with the device being there.

As the woman does not have to remember a daily commitment to contraception, the birth control ring may well suit shift workers or women who travel and cross various time zones. However, she must remember to remove the ring contraception after three weeks and to replace it a week later, or it loses its effectiveness.

In terms of returning to fertility, return of ovulation is likely to

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Childhood Obesity Prevention Studies Set in a New Context

As a nation, we’ve spent billions and billions of dollars on studies in the name of discovering a practical antidote to childhood obesity.

For example…

We have studies indicating that childhood obesity is related to our modern fast food diet.

We have studies indicating that the odds of childhood obesity are increased in a couch potato generation of kids who prefer TV and video games over riding bikes and climbing trees.

We have studies indicating that the odds of beating obesity are better for kids who have access to daily PE than for kids who lack access to daily PE.

We have studies relating childhood obesity to poor sleeping habits, to green neighborhoods, to a child’s social circles, to parents who take responsibility for their kid’s diet, and to the presence of super markets in economically challenged neighborhoods to mention only a few.

What we have yet to discover in any of our studies is a simple, implementable, documentable, and affordable solution to childhood obesity. We’ve found no magic pill, no silver bullet, no way to inspire and motivate kids to eat better/less and exercise more.

On the Other Hand…

On the other hand, think about this. Show me ten kids who live on a fast food diet, but who can do one single pull up and I’ll show you ten kids who are NOT OBESE.

Show me ten kids who love TV and video games but can do one single pull up, and I’ll show you ten more kids who are NOT OBESE.

Show me ten kids who never get PE in school, but who can do one single pull up, and I’ll show you ten more kids who are NOT OBESE.

Show me ten kids with bad sleeping habits, who live life in gray concrete neighborhoods, with no supermarkets, and who have miserable social circles, but who can do one single pull up and I’ll show you another ten kids who are NOT OBESE. In other words kids who can do pull ups are NEVER OBESE, so why don’t we just help all kids learn to physically pull their own weight?

You see helping kids to learn to do pull ups is “simple, easily implemented, easily documented, and affordable,” according to the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. So maybe that practical solution to childhood obesity prevention has been hiding in plain sight all along, but in searching high and low for complicated, high tech solutions, we’ve overlooked the obvious. Yes, kids who can do pull ups ARE NEVER OBESE! Let’s help them all learn to physically pull their own weight.

Rick Osbourne spent 17 years as a physical educator and coach. He currently writes for a living, and serves as the Executive Director of Operation Pull Your Own Weight, ( an inf

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