Surprisingly to those of us who managed to leave adolescence behind, a bizarre confusion between sex and health has been playing out for at least one loudmouthed simpleton.
So I'll spell it out for Mr. Limbaugh.
Granted, so-called "birth control" pills or "oral contraceptives" are unfortunately named. These medicines are actually hormone therapy. In fact, they are the type of hormone therapy least likely to cause side effects.
The Birds and the Bees
Contraception is only one of many reasons that this medication may be prescribed.
The type of hormone therapy, dubbed "The Pill" in the sixties, and still generally referred to as birth control pills or oral contraceptives, is often prescribed for the following symptoms:
To decrease anemia.
For protection against pelvic inflammatory disease.
To prevents ectopic pregnancy for women who are at particular risk for this potentially life-threatening condition.
To reduce or cure acne.
To reduce symptoms of fibrocystic breast conditions.
To reduce risks of ovarian cysts.
To prevent homonal fluctuations that are responsible for excessive bleeding, cramping, headaches and other discomforts.
Some studies indicate that The Pill can help prevent osteoporosis.
There are also indications that in some cases The Pill may contribute to lessening PMS symptoms
So, birth control pills would more accurately be called Hormone Therapy Tablets, since they are prescribed for so many health considerations other than birth control. (Please note: like all medications, this type of Hormone Therapy Tablet may have side effects, and these should be taken seriously, and discussed with one's health care professional.)
By making menstrual cycles more predictable and less painful, and enhancing women's health in so many ways, the use of Hormone Therapy Tabs may result in less time missed from jobs or school. Therefore, they may be far more economical for the individual and society than dealing with the expenses of the health issues that they are designed to cure or prevent.
So, in no way should the use of Hormone Therapy Tabs be primarily associated with sexual activity.
Limbaugh has focused the spotlight on the issue of spending taxpayers' money on a health care item that the uninformed believe is designed to enhance a promiscuous woman's sex life. So, let's compare the use of "The Pill" with a health care item that is primarily designed to enhance a man's sex life: Penile Implant Surgery.
Is That a Pistol in Your Pocket or Are You Happy to See Me?
Because I was providing a ride for someone attending a medical event, I found myself - unexpectedly and uncomfortably - sitting in on an excruciatingly thorough presentation on penile implant surgery. I was trapped in the middle of the large auditorium, unable to make a genteel escape.
I saw more huge, projected images of penile anomaly than anyone has a right to see in a lifetime, let alone in one evening. The graphic images of monstrous needles and other sharp objects attacking acutely sensitive areas - all enlarged to the size of a barn - were deeply traumatizing.
Then, the two doctors giving the presentation admitted that the third doctor on the panel was unable to be there, as he had been called away on a sudden emergency with a patient (leaving me, and I suppose most of the rest of the audience, wondering exactly what might have gone horribly wrong.)
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