Women's website Dear Sugar recently asked users to sound in on what birth control method they recommend. The answers ranged from celibacy and condoms to patches and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
While the methods varied, the users' endorsements of this product or rants against that one were universally resolute. Because, for a woman, birth control is not only a hormone or a shield or a sponge, it's so much more; the Pill, the gateway female-controlled form of contraception, has long represented a social, political and moral battlefield that embodies freedom for some and fear for others. Let's just say its easier remembering to take your pill every day than to try and wade through the issues. Even the ubiquitous "green living" perspective has been added to the list of things to consider when choosing a birth control method.
Since obtaining FDA approval in 1960, the Pill's been blamed for various maladies, such as divorce, cancer, and behavior changes, yet it remains the leading contraceptive for women in the US. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an independent sexual health and reproduction policy group, 31 percent of women of child-bearing age who use contraception are on the birth control pill, under the watchful eye of doctors, pharmacists, partners, spiritual leaders and the media. Recently, the Pill's been receiving an extra bad name, and as other methods of birth control gain popularity, we decided to set the record straight.
Rumor 1: Don't Buy Generic!
Rumors circulated the women's-focused blogosphere recently that generic birth control is less effective than its name-brand counterpart. The tale, originating from a Fox News story, seems to be exactly that—fiction.
"While there might be a slight difference in the filler components that make up a pill, the active ingredients have to be exactly the same or else the drug would never be approved," says Dr. Isabel Blumberg, an OB-GYN in New York.