"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gender Bias, Really?

I read an article in yesterday's USA Today regarding birth control pills.  I am not a clinician, but I am a husband, a father of two adult daughters, a brother and a son.  The article was actually a debate among physicians as to whether or not birth control pills should be sold over the counter.  Some actually stated that it is a gender bias issue since condoms are available over the counter so why not birth control pills.  Huh?  Unless I am missing something, condoms are applied not ingested.  Seeing what it took for the women in my life to either get adjusted to birth control pills or be informed that they were not a candidate due to risk of blood clots and stroke, in particular, is enough for me to weigh in on the side of "what are you people crazy?".  It is obvious to me that a lot has to go into taking birth control pills and that not everyone is a candidate.  For those arguing the gender bias issue since there is no age restriction on the purchase of condoms, the same would apply for birth control pills.  So, what happens when the teenager who wants to become sexually active buys birth control pills and unknowingly is in a high-risk category for stroke?  The outcome, although more the exception than the rule, is still a bad outcome.  This is really not a good idea and I am surprised that some clinicians are advocating for the change.

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