My Great-aunt Doris has several women’s magazine prescriptions. After the magazines have made their rounds through the family, they end up coming to me so I can pick through them for recipes etc. Going through a stack of them this weekend I discovered an article in Ladies Home Journal (July 2010) by Catherine Bolgar (who I now believe is a complete idiot) on Birth Control that struck me the wrong way.
In my opinion, there were several misleading statements and an overall underplayed message about women’s fertility. Even our journalism is continuing this cycle of not educating women about their fertility and how their body works. It disturbs me greatly.
The first and second sentence of the article rubbed me the wrong way: “It seems as though every week another celebrity is talking about her quest to have a baby. There’s so much focus on infertility in the media these days that it’s easy to forget you can get pregnant right up until menopause.” WHAT? There is very little TRUE information about infertility in the media. The “celebrities” CHOOSE to have IVF, Multiples etc because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. Thank you Ladies Home Journal for being so blasé about a very real issue that is certainly NOT discussed as it should be in the media.
Under the category of Single and Dating, one of the methods recommended is an IUD. “is much less trouble and works up to 12 years with lowest failure rates.” No mention of what COULD happen should you get pregnant with an IUD or the increasing frequency of pregnancies, ectopics and miscarriages with the IUD, not to mention that IUD’s can move with as little as a 10 pound weight increase or drop. More and more information is being learned about IUD’s, and info is changing all the time, for them to be so flippant about recommending this to a young woman.
Then there is the contradictory statements: “It can take you as long as a year to get pregnant after stopping Depo shots.” Very next sentence: “Talk to your doctor if you have trouble conceiving six months after suspending birth control.” Well, if it takes you up to a year as a healthy couple or AFTER suspending the shots, shouldn’t you wait 12 months before getting panicky? They go on to say, “the doctor uses the date you last ovulated to calculate your baby’s due date.” Why NO, no they don’t. They use your OVULATION date IF YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, which the majority of women don’t and thanks to YOUR article probably won’t. They use the first cycle day (day 1 of your last period) and add 14 days to get an ESTIMATED Due date.
By this time I’m getting highly irritated at the complete lack of intelligence in the article but the next paragraph lends a doozy. “You can get pregnant a month after the baby is born, especially if you’re not breast-feeding.” Whoa. 1) I would hope you aren’t having sex in that first month as it is doubtful the doctor will release you for 6 weeks so shouldn’t that be 2 months? 2) The way that sentence is written leads you to believe if you are breast feeding you won’t get pregnant. WRONG.
Not ONE explanation of how your body works, the varying times of ovulation, not relying on the 14 day method etc. At the very end of the article they do a chart of options and the very last option with a blip for explanation: “Monitoring Your Fertility-This method has no hormones and is inexpensive but somewhat complicated. Has a high failure rate of 3-25%.”
O.M.G. No explanation as to WHAT it is, HOW you do it, etc. How fucking complicated is taking your damn temperature every morning and plugging it in to a chart? How hard is it to write a three sentence semi explanation and refer them to books or online resources should they want to investigate this method further. The whole article is promoting the IUD and even talks about sterilization but can’t even mention properly how to monitor your fertility or lack thereof?
This outdated view of requiring medical intervention, procedures or hormone inducing contraceptives pisses me off. We are not TEACHING women about our bodies and how they work and giving them the proper view of responsibility, we are shoving medications down their throats without blinking an eye. What kind of “journalist” and “women’s magazine” promotes that kind of misinformation? Do they really think they are helping women or are the writer’s and editors just that stupid?
The tag line touts “There are lots of choices…Here’s how to decide which method makes the most sense for your body and your life stage.” Yet, they do not give you real information, or an accurate overview. Way to go Ladies Home Journal. I am one of the least “crunchy” people I know, but I do not believe in belittling a woman’s intelligence and giving out such poorly written and researched information. You are officially off my reading list and I will shout it from the highest hills that you are the poorest choice for women’s health issues. You are basically a magazine with fluff ads on surgical weight loss and facelifts but have no care to represent what the majority of women NEED to know. How does it feel to be complete journalistic sell outs to your advertising dollars? You make me sick.