Birth Control Birth Control

The Truth About Birth Control, Should You Really Be on It?

But, even after 50 years there are still unanswered questions. Does birth control cause breast cancer? Will it affect pregnancy? How do we get rid of the side effects?

To give us the real (and honest) scoop we asked Dr. Yael Varnado to let us know what we should ask our doctors and how do we decide which form is best. One thing is for sure: “The use of birth control decreases the risk of female cancers like ovarian and endometrial, but the jury is still out on breast cancer,” she says. More below.

Vibe Vixen: How does birth control physically and mentally change our body?
Dr. Yael Varnado: The great thing about birth control pills is that through the years they’ve included forms that are more tolerable for women. Most ladies experience nausea, vomiting and spotting on the pill, and an overall sense of not feeling well, weight gain, moodiness.

Additionally, research shows that birth control pills decrease your libido. Women are having issues with not becoming stimulated or aroused. If you sat down with your girlfriends, some would say ‘I don’t have a problem at all’, others would say ‘I’m turned on more with the pill’ and the rest wouldn’t notice any change. However, overall 30% of American women will report that they’re sex drive is decreased on birth control.
Birth Control pillsThat’s horrible. Are there any positives changes?
A lot of dermatologist use birth control pills as a way to prevent or treat acne. The testosterone circulating in our body is responsible for the sebum hormone production. If you can decrease the amount of sebum production, you can decrease the amount of acne. If you’re testosterone is lower, your sebum production is lower, and ultimately you get less acne.

What about yeast infections?
Yes, medications that we take whether it’s antibiotics or birth control pills can offset the flora, the normal gut bacteria that we have. If you do that, that can lead to a change in PH in the rest of our body. Those changes in your PH can lead to dryness, itching, bacterial infections, and yeast infections.

Who shouldn’t be on birth control?
If you’ve had a history of cervical cancer, you’re pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. Those are the types of people who shouldn’t be using any form of birth control or contraceptive.

Let’s talk about the NuvaRing. Is it really safe for it to be in us for so long?
Yes, it’s safe, but the same people that shouldn’t be taking birth control pills, shouldn’t be taking the NuvaRing, or the patch. These are women who have a family history of heart attacks, stokes, etc. The other thing I have heard, some of my girlfriends even say this, is that during intercourse it can come out.
black woman talking with doctorYikes! That’s awful. What are three important questions every woman should ask a doctor before they begin taking contraceptives?
1. You need to share your family history; they need to know if you’re at a higher risk to have a bad outcome. If you’re a smoker you should not be taking birth control pills. You need to know if you have an increased risk of having a heart attack or blood clots.

2. You should ask what you should do if you miss a pill. Every woman that’s taking birth control should know how to take the pill (or whatever form you decide) on a regular basis and what to do if she gets off track.

3. You also need to think about your ability to get pregnant when you stop taking birth control.

Is infertility an issue if you’re on certain types of birth control?
There can be, but it depends on your body. If you’ve been on a pill where you [haven’t gotten your period] for three months, six months, or even a year then your body has been exposed to constant levels of estrogen and progestin. It may take anywhere from three to six months to get back to your regular cycle. But, we wouldn’t start worrying about getting you tested for infertility until you’ve had unprotected sex for more than a year.

Does birth control cause breast cancer?
Some studies have shown a slightly increased risk in getting breast cancer, while others report no risk at all. It depends on what kind of pill you’re taking, and your family history. I think it’s important that women know that the FDA is actively researching Yaz and Yazmine which are two newer drugs that have artificial progesterone in it.

From the Web

More on Vibe

VIBE Vixen/ Jessica Xie

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Meet Peppermint, The Boss Using Her Gifts For Good

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

Miss Peppermint started as a staple in the New York nightlife scene, and after appearing as a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she’s continued to make a name for herself.

Outside of the show, she's traveled the world and is hoping to release her third album, which she hints will be influenced by the '90s, R&B, and neo-soul. She's also planning on re-releasing her debut album, Hardcore Glamour, for its 10-year anniversary.

"I'll be doing a lot in New York this year for World Pride," she explains to Boss Talk's host, J'na Jefferson. Pride takes place throughout June. "The last album I dropped was 2017... I'm excited about that, I'm writing it now. It's just poems, but I'm excited."

Peppermint, who was the first openly transgender contestant on the Emmy Award-winning show, was also the first transgender woman to originate a principal role on Broadway for her role as Pythio in Head Over Heels. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Head Over Heels (@hohmusical) on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:26pm PST

"On paper, it shouldn't make sense... it's hard to explain what it is," she says of the musical, which combined a loose adaptation of 16th-century piece The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of the new wave group, The Go-Go's. It closed in late-2018.

"The better way to explain it now that it's over and closed is 'a revolutionary show about dismantling the patriarchy...'" she says about Head Over Heels. "I knew that they wanted to cast a trans actor... I wanted to put as much as I could into it, and try to do our non-binary siblings well and proud... [the show] became something I really believed in."

Peppermint continues to share her love of performing all over the world and is also an activist, who aims to promote the importance of LGBTQIA representation and advancement. She has worked and supported organizations such as The Point Foundation, which aims to help LGBTQIA students attend college. 

"People are just starting to catch on that having queer voices is essential and inevitable," she says of further representation of LGBTQIA individuals in media and entertainment. She praises Pose creator Ryan Murphy for showcasing trans people of color both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.

"Giving [trans people] the power to speak for themselves, rather than slapping the community with stereotypes or archetypes... we're past that," she continues. "We're not in the phase where they're feeling comfortable to be who they are, but I think we're getting close."

Listen to the full episode below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

Continue Reading

Top Stories