Tag Archives: birth control

Dr. Drai – Birth Control And Alcohol: What You Need To Know

Ladies, it’s the holidays. Let’s check in with Dr. Drai for a few tips to keep us sexually healthy during the festivities… 

Hi #GYNEGirls! It’s me Dr. Drai. Ladies, do you take your birth control pill right before going out to the club? Have you ever thrown up from drinking too much alcohol? Have you ever had a one night stand after throwing up? If you have answered Yes to these questions you may be at risk of your birth control pills not working properly. OMG… right? Before we dive into how alcohol affects birth control, let’s review the different types of contraception. Birth control is used for exactly what its named for- to prevent pregnancy. Some forms have added benefits like also protecting you from getting an STDs.

Here’s one of my FAV lists- 16 forms of contraception.

1.ThePill has been around for over 50 years. There are two types of birth control pills: one containing both estrogen and progesterone AND one containing progesterone only. Progesterone only pills are for limited use after childbirth. Birth control pills are meant to be taken every day. They block the ovary from releasing eggs.

2. The Patch is a thin Band-Aid looking patch that is placed on the skin once weekly. It also prevents the ovaries from producing eggs. The Patch contains both estrogen and progesterone.

3. The Ring (aka NuvaRing) is a bendable plastic ring that’s inserted in the vagina for 3 weeks by you. You take it out the fourth week to have a period. It also blocks the ovaries from releasing eggs. The NuvaRing contains both estrogen and progesterone

4. The Implant (aka Nexplanon) is a little rod that’s placed under the skin in the non-dominant upper arm by your doctor. It prevents your eggs from being released. The Nexplanon lasts for 3 years and contains the hormone progesterone.

5. The IUD is a T-shaped device made of plastic that’s placed inside of the uterus by your doctor. It works by making sperm immobile. No more swimmers! IUDs are effective for 3-5 years depending on the type you pick. There are currently 5 on the market- Mirena, Paraguard, Skyla, Liletta, and Kyleena. The Paraguard IUD is the only hormone-free one. The other IUDs contain the progesterone hormone.

6. The Depo-Provera Shot is given every 3 months. It prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. The shot contains the hormone progesterone.

7. The Male Condom (aka External Condom) is the most popular form of birth control. It covers the penis to prevent sperm from entering the vagina AND prevents transmission of STDs. Male condoms come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. Here’s a quick guide on using a condom.

Step 1: Lubricate the inside of the condom if needed.
Step 2: Pinch the tip of the condom to prevent air bubbles.
Step 3: Roll the condom down over the tip of his hard penis.
Step 4: Leave some space at the tip so the condom can collect semen.
Step 5: Unroll the condom down his shaft.
Step 6: Lubricate the outside of the condom.
Step 7: After he ejaculates make sure he pulls out immediately. If the penis softens the condom can fall off. Teach him to hold the base of the condom while doing this tip.
Step 8: Tie a knot in the condom and throw it in the trash can NOT THE TOILET.

8.The Female Condom (aka Internal Condom) is a pouch that’s inserted into the vagina that also prevents sperm from entering the vagina AND this condom prevents STDs. Here’s a quick guide on using this type of condom.

Step 1: Find a comfy spot. Stand with one foot on a chair.
Step 2: Squeeze the closed thicker inner ring together with your fingers
Step 3: Insert IT in the vagina just like a tampon. Put the condom in as far back as possible.
Step 4: Let the open thinner outer ring hang on the outside of the vulva.
Step 5: Please guide the penis into the opening of the condom. Don’t trust your BAE to do this! He may enter the vagina on the side of the condom.
Step 6: When you are finished knockin’ the boots, just twist the outer ring to remove it.

9. The Diaphragm is dome-shaped and made of silicone. It’s inserted into the vagina to be placed in front of the cervix. You must use it with spermicide.

10. The cervical cap is a silicone cup that’s inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. You must use it with spermicide.

11. The sponge is a round piece of plastic foam with a dimple on one side. It already contains spermicide. Spermicide kills sperm.

12. Emergency Contraption can be used up to 120 hours after unprotected sex. It’s best if used within the first 72 hours. There are 4 options on the market-Paraguard, Ella, Plan B, and Yuzpe. Talk to your doctor.

13. Tubal Ligation (aka sterilization) is a surgical procedure that’s done by your doctor to “tie” your tubes. It prevents pregnancy by blocking your fallopian tubes so sperm cannot get to the egg.

14. The Withdrawal method (aka pull out method) is when your man pulls out right before he ejaculates. It’s not that effective. What does Dr. Drai call people who use the pull-out method? #Parents LoL.

15. The Rhythm Method is having sex when you are not ovulating. This one is tricky. Remember you ovulate 14 days BEFORE the first day of your period. Let’s say you have your menses on the 18th of every month. This means you ovulate on the 4th of every month. The egg can only last for 36 hours BUT sperm can live in the vagina for 6 days.

16. Abstinence is when you don’t have any sexual encounters- oral sex, vagina; sex, or anal sex.

NOW let’s get back to alcohol’s effect on birth control. Alcohol doesn’t affect birth control; it affects your behavior. If you are drunk, you may not remember to use your birth control correctly or take it on time. Vomiting within 2 hours of taking the birth control pill may decrease its absorption in your body MEANING you may still release an egg. Remember ladies drink alcohol responsibly and use contraception consistently.

Until next time… it’s Dr. Drai.

Dr. Draion M. Burch, DO (Dr. Drai) – a highly respected, board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist – is a nationally-recognized author, speaker, consultant, and go-to media expert on women’s health and transgender health issues. He travels the country to meet with women one-on-one and in groups to provide and instruct on healthcare.Dr. Drai always makes time to genuinely help those in need. He is the founder and chief medical advisor of DrDrai.com, where he discusses actionable ideas and real-world strategies to help women take control of their health. 

Should You Get An IUD Or Another Long-Acting Birth Control Method Before Trump Takes Office?

A lot of social media sites are urging women to get an IUD, which can cost upwards of $800 without insurance, or another long-acting method like contraceptive implants, before Trump takes office in January. Birth control is free under Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act – ACA) and does not require a co-payment. But, during his campaign, Trump promised to get rid of Obamacare. Now, several weeks before he takes office, Trump is beginning to say he may keep some of the more “popular” provisions of Obamacare (and what… call it “Trumpcare” or something…?)

It’s not an understatement to say women are straight up scared.  Gynecologists, Planned Parenthood and other health clinics around the country report a massive increase in calls, emails, and texts asking for birth control – especially the long-acting, reversible kind, before Trumpism spreads across our land. Women want birth control that can outlast a Trump presidency.(SuzyKnew! has to stop here and say: What a shameful way to start a presidency by making so many Americans terrified!)

Others, such as the NY Times, say not to worry. Trump can’t reverse everything the first day he walks into office. They say it will take months – maybe years – to unravel everything. Selecting a contraceptive method – especially a long-term one – shouldn’t be done hastily, and an IUD, depending on the type, can last from 3 – 10 years.

Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org
Courtesy of RHrealitycheck.org

Just over 11% of U.S. women using birth control chose IUDs. But, the highly-effective method is becoming more popular – and affordable with ACA. However, there can be side effects when you go from one type of birth control like the pill, the most popular method among U.S. women, to another method like the IUD, implant or injectable. Different contraceptive methods affect your body and menses differently. Of course, you could have your IUD removed if things weren’t working for you. But, do some “googling” and know what to expect before making a change to an IUD or implant, and of course check in with your healthcare provider.


It is clear the most vulnerable part of the ACA is the requirement that health insurers cover contraception for all women without a co-payment. Kaiser Family Foundation claims before Obamacare, 28 states covered contraception and 85% of employer plans covered contraception.

But, what about co-payments? And, 28 out of 50 states isn’t that great of a ratio. Plus, the devil is in the details

And, ladies, ladies, ladies…

Do you trust this man not do something crazy?  And fast? It took him just over a week after becoming president-elect to appoint alt-right, white nationalist Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and select Jeff Sessions as his nominee for Attorney General. Just sayin’…

SuzyKnew! just wants to make sure you have the info. It’s up to  to you to decide what to do next.

Your thoughts, ladies…?

ASK AN OBGYN: I Want To Use What Lady Docs Use For Their Lady Parts

I am sick of worrying about birth control and know I don’t want to get pregnant for at least 3-5 years.   What do lady doctors use? I mean they must know a thing or two about birth control and their lady parts, right?


Dear SuzyKnew Reader:

The IUD is one of the most popular methods among female physicians- the ultimate busy professional woman[3].

IUDs are safe, highly effective and low-maintenance. There are two types, hormonal and hormone-free.  Here are a few IUD facts:

*IUDs are classified as LARCs or long-lasting reversible contraceptive methods, meaning they work for a long time, but are reversible at anytime.  Many women report getting pregnant the first month or two after the IUD is removed.  Many women keep their IUDs in for the maximum time and then get a new one.


*Looking for a highly effective birth control method? The IUD ranks in at 99%.


*They are easy to start using, and immediately effective with no wait time.   An IUD can be inserted in a few minutes in your doctor’s office.  Pain associated with the procedure is highly individualized, but most patients experience mild cramping.


*No need to re-up your supply or obtain a script with the IUD.  Once it’s in you just check the strings every month and see your doctor once a year for your annual exam.


*It’s affordable and most insurance plans pay for the device, as well as insertion and removal.  Even if your plan doesn’t pay, you may look at the cost of the IUD over spread over several years of no cost for contraception (besides condoms for safe sex!).


*IUD use has increased among American women in all age groups and races over the past several years[1].  Maybe it has to do wit the increase in busy professional women.   It’s used by a lot of European women- 27% of women in Norway and 19% of women in France[2].





So if you are ready for a IUD, how do you choose which one?  There are two products available in the U.S.- Mirena and ParaGard.  I developed a little chart to help you.  Also, please refer to My Method, a great interactive tool that can help you find the best method for your lifestyle and needs.



Mirena ParaGard
Effectiveness in years Up to 5 years Up to 10 years
Contains hormones Releases progesterone only so it can be used by breastfeeding women and does not have side effects related to estrogen Does not contain hormones. The copper-filament makes it more effective.
Use by women with no children (nulliparous) Package insert says it’s intended for women with at least one child, although there is debate on this.  Best to go with your doctor’s advice. Package insert was changed in 2005 to allow for use among nulliparous women.
Side effect- bleeding Most women have lighter periods that can stop altogether. Many women have heavier periods for the first six months.  This may be a factor if you are anemic or are starting off with heavy periods.
Side effect- cramping Most women have little or no cramping. Many women experience longer, crampier periods on ParaGard.
Prevents STIs Nope Nope



Good luck.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr062.pdf

[2] www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/10/4/gpr100419.html

[3] Frank, E. Contraceptive use by female physicians in the United States.  Gynecol. 1999 Nov;94 (5 pt1):666-71