Most couples determine when their families are complete, and the women are done having their children. This, however, is not the end of the concerns that women continue to experience and need to deal with.
Here are some of the surprising results from a survey that 1000 women took part in. Their ages ranged from 25 to 45 years old, they were in devoted relationships, were not using permanent birth control, and had determined they were done having children.
Provided Survey Results:
• 35% - Reported having a pregnancy scare after deciding they were done having children
• 80%- Revealed they would be interested in a birth control method that they don't have to think about every day
• 35%- Believed the only permanent birth control method available for women was getting their tubes tied
This survey was part of an educational program Family Size Matters made available by Bayer Health Care.
I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Suzanne Gilberg Lenz, and Beth Battaglino, CEO of Healthy Women, "The leading independent source of health information for women in the nation" some questions regarding Family Size Matters.
Questions for Dr. Gilberg-Lenz:
1. Vicki: With women who have decided they would not be having any more children , but were interested in taking a form of birth control pill, what type of options are available for them, at this time?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: "There are several options available to women seeking long-acting reversible or permanent contraception. Women should speak to their doctors to better understand their options and make a choice that is right for them. The Family Size Matters website provides tools to help."
2. Vicki : In this study, 80% of the women were looking for a birth control plan that they wouldn't have to "think about taking" each day. Would there be any choices for them to look into, or would this type of strategy limit them to require a permanent solution?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: "A woman’s relationship with her healthcare provider should be a partnership. Different birth control methods make sense at different stages of a woman’s life. Of the 900 women surveyed who are currently using some form of birth control, 66 percent are still using the same birth control they used prior to their most recent pregnancy.
Being ready for permanent birth control is a personal decision that is impacted by many different factors and circumstances. Women who are considering permanent birth control should first talk to their doctor to better understand their options. There are also non-permanent birth control solutions that are not daily that women should discuss with their doctors."
3. Vicki : If a woman chooses to be more pro-active and decides on a permanent birth control procedure, is a tubal ligation her only course of action?
Dr.Gilberg-Lenz: "Tubal ligation is not a woman’s only course of action. In fact, 75 percent of the 900 women surveyed are currently using temporary birth control methods indicated that they would be interested in learning about permanent birth control from their doctor. There are several options available to women seeking long-acting reversible or permanent contraception. Women should speak to their doctors to better understand their options and make a choice that is right for them."
Questions for Beth Battaglino:
1. Vicki : Would you be able to share a bit about Healthy Women, and being CEO of this "nation's leading independent health information source for women"?
Beth Battaglino: "HealthyWomen's award-winning website, http://www.HealthyWomen.org, was one of the first sites dedicated solely to women's health and is recognized nationally as a go-to source for trustworthy health information for women by the likes of Oprah and Dr. Oz. This dynamic, comprehensive resource gives women the latest health information, including news updates, health tips, resources and extensive coverage of hundreds of health topics. In addition to our online content, HealthyWomen produces print publications in English and Spanish. HealthyWomen regularly surveys women to learn about their attitudes and behaviors through quick online polls and its annual Women TALK® study. As part of its public health education campaigns, HW also routinely conducts national research studies to understand women's knowledge and beliefs about particular health topics. HealthyWomen excels in conducting nationally recognized public health education campaigns. In partnership with other nonprofit organizations, media, government agencies and corporations, these campaigns raise awareness of a variety of women's health conditions."
“Being the CEO of a national women’s health organization is amazing, yet at the same it can be filled with more than its fair share of challenges because we’re not tackling one disease or health condition like breast cancer or osteoporosis --we cover it all. And, we look at health and wellness from a 'mind, body, spirit' and 'ages and stages' approach which is a unique way to ensure that her lifestyle and life choices play an appropriate role in making tailored, informed health decisions. This same approach also provides her with the tools to live well -- from acupuncture to varicose veins -- if she is starting a family or thinking about starting a family -- we have great information and resources. What has been most rewarding to me is seeing how much we've grown and how the women's health industry has grown with us. In the late 80's it was newsletters and perhaps, a column in a woman's magazine or a few Q&A's on a woman's health topic. Look at us now ---screenings, seeking second opinions, asking about family history-- living well with chronic conditions and making sure that new drugs are being tested on women, not just men. We have changed the playing field when it comes to her health and I love it. Our mission has always been about education and empowerment. Here at HealthyWomen we practice what we preach. That is, the importance of taking care of you.”
Vicki: Many thanks to both Dr. Gilberg-Lenz and Beth Battaglino for taking the time to answer my questions and enlightening us about all the options that are available for women in numerous areas that will help them to be able to "take care "of themselves.
You'll want to take a moment to visit Family Size Matters website at: http://www.familysizematters.com
On this website there's a great quiz you can take to see if your family size is right for you. Another area that offers suggestions how to open communications with your spouse regarding your family size, and some relevant questions for you to ask your doctor about a form of birth control that would be suitable for you.
(Quoted and Paraphrased information in this article was obtained from information provided to me from Informational-Fact Sheets. Much gratitude to Dr. Gilberg-Lenz and Beth Battaglino for their time and answers to my interview questions, and Bayer Health Care for initiating Family Size Matters.)