Top 5 Reasons Why Contraception Should Be Covered for Everyone

birth control pills
Dr. Kate
is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions every few weeks on To ask her your own question, click here. This week, she addresses the recent debates about contraception.

I'm an OB/GYN, and my specialty is family planning. This means that I spend my time counseling patients, teaching students and residents, and conducting research-all about contraception. You can imagine the questions I've been asked in the past few weeks about President Obama's rule about mandatory coverage for birth control with few exceptions. What started as a debate about the rights of religious employers versus the rights of the women (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) who work for them has devolved into something ugly. It feels like in the furor about the Bill of Rights, and "cafeteria Catholics," and insurance mandates, essential information has been overshadowed. So these are my top 5 reasons why it's vitally important that contraception be covered for ALL women:

  1. Contraception makes periods better. Less bleeding, less cramping, fewer missed days of school or work or life, just because of menstruation. ESPECIALLY true for women who have dangerous amounts of bleeding each month.
  2. Contraception makes health better. The longer you use the birth control pill, you lower your chance of ovarian cysts, PID, endometriosis, uterine and ovarian cancer.
  3. Contraception makes sex better. When they're not worried about pregnancy, couples can have sex whenever they want to, at any time of the month.
  4. Contraception makes families healthier. Even if a couple wants a houseful of kids, pregnancies are healthiest when they're spaced apart. Getting pregnant too soon after birth puts the growing fetus AND its mother at risk.
  5. Contraception saves lives. Pregnancy can be wonderful when it's wanted, but it's always risky. Doctors don't make pregnant women sign a consent that they're risking blood clots, hemorrhage, hysterectomy, seizures and death…but they are. And no woman should have to face these risks unless she's truly ready.

- Dr. Kate

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