While recent male injectable birth control trials were largely successful, the test subjects experienced so many mood swings and reported so many instances of depression that scientists temporarily shelved the project. Women have more options for birth control, and they often report that they stop using a particular method of contraception due to mood swings and depressive episodes. While scientists continue to work on an injection that will curb male fertility for months — or years — at a time, women must choose between several different methods of prescribed birth control.
Birth control options include IUD, birth control pills, monthly shots, and abstinence. There are more than 600,000 American women who take a different approach to controlling fertility: they opt for a surgical tubal sterilization process that renders them unable to have children. Often referred to as “tying one’s tubes,” tubal sterilization is an effective method of birth control: the percentage of women who report pregnancy after tubal ligation is under the 2% mark. If you are thinking that you would like to have more children, wait before getting a tubal sterilization procedure.
Tubal sterilizations are generally performed on an outpatient basis: patients receive anesthetic and the procedure takes under an hour. Two small incisions are made, and then a camera is inserted into the patient along with the necessary equipment to perform the surgery. Medical technology has evolved to the point that the procedure can be performed without much pain or need for extended recovery. Patients may experience light spotting after undergoing the procedure and should check with their doctors if they feel pain in the affected area. Patients who undergo anesthesia for a tubal sterilization procedure should make sure that they have someone to drive them home afterwards: anesthesia can take a few hours to wear off.
In general, surgeries are evolving to become less invasive. Patients who have diabetes or a heart condition should warn their doctors in advance of receiving anesthetic, but your personal doctor should know you well enough to take the necessary precautions. In the past several years, new non-invasive scanning technology has taken a lot of pressure off of doctors and surgeons alike. Often referred to as “computed tomography,” new scanning technology is basically the equivalent of an enhanced MRI. Doctors can actually use the technology to scan brain tumors in 3D, and then print them on a 3D printer. Surgeons can take weeks to familiarize themselves with the dimensions of the patient’s tumor: the risk involved with delicate brain surgery procedures continues to diminish.
After surgery, patients should find a local store that offers a full range of medical supplies. There are several different types of medical sponges: it’s best to ask the medical supplies store to match doctors’ recommendations. Another option is to look online for medical supplies: often, the company can deliver your order to your door. Medical supplies companies are also aware that patients may not want their delivery labeled, and usually send packages that do not indicate the contents inside. In the event that you are unable to locate the precise type of supply prescribed or recommended by the doctor, you should contact the doctor’s office and ask for another recommendation.
The entire medical field continues to evolve at an astounding rate: every year, there are surgeries and cures possible that were never possible before. From male birth control to enhanced scans of patients’ brains, we live in an era where doctors keep up with every new technological advance. Doctors remain committed to saving patients’ lives, and patients have more tools at their disposal for preventative care than ever before. It’s important to go to the doctor at least once per year, and if you need to have surgery, rest assured that new technology is hard at work behind the scenes of every hospital in the United States.