Today’s blog is the next excerpt from the Modern Birth Control Booklet. Others will follow each day until completed. Illustrations are images acquired for blog support only and are not part of the published booklet. I am including the Table of Contents today for your convenience.

Table of Contents:

A Short History of Birth Control in the United States



Reproductive Biology Overview

Female Biology

Ovarian Anatomy and Physiology

Male Biology

Testicular Anatomy and Physiology

Abstinence, Intercourse, Outercourse

Fertilization and Implantation

Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation

Contraceptive Overview

Contraceptive Use in the United States

Long-Acting Reversible Contraception Overview (LARC)

Intrauterine Device (IUD)

Hormone Implant (numerous options)

Depo-Provera Injection

Female Barrier Methods Overview


Cervical Cap

Female Condom

Vaginal Sponge Contraceptive

Birth Control Pills, Patches and Ring Overview

Birth Control Pills

Hormone Patch


Male Contraception Overview

Male Condom

Reversible Male Contraceptive

“Natural” Contraception Methods

Common Contraceptive Failures

Contraceptive methods that don’t work:

Emergency Contraception Overview



Ulipristal (Ella)

Combination pills

Copper IUD

Abortion Overview

Factual Information

Permanent Methods of Birth Control Overview

Female Sterilization

Male Sterilization

Sexually Transmitted Disease Overview

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Chlamydia – Most reported infectious disease in the U.S.

Gonorrhea (GC) – The second most reported infectious disease in the U.S.

Genital Herpes

Genital Warts (Caused by HPV – Human Papilloma Virus)


Hepatitis Overview

Hepatitis A (HAV)

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Hepatitis C (HCV)

Zika Virus

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Pubic Lice (Pediculosis Pubis)

Scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei insect infestation)

Sexual Assault Overview

Definition of Rape

Legal Consent

What to Do if Assaulted:

Evidence Collection




Help Sources

Reducing Sexual Assault Risk

Contraceptive Summary

Miscellaneous References


Female Biology

Ovarian Anatomy and Physiology

Human females are born with two ovaries already containing a total of approximately 300,000 eggs, each carrying an X chromosome. Each egg can produce another human when fertilized. Ovaries are located within the lower abdomen, one on each side. Their functions are to produce mature eggs and hormones. The primary female hormone is estrogen.

Between ages 8-10 ovary hormone production increases and sexual maturation begins. Secondary sex characteristics are evident with early breast growth, then as puberty progresses, growth in stature, pubic hair and pelvic organ enlargement with onset of menstruation at a mean age of 13. Cyclic hormone production results in egg maturation and release. Menses may be irregular at first and then occur monthly, heralding fertility.

When an egg is released from the ovary, it is swept into a fallopian tube by its feathery ends and remains in the tube for about one day. If the egg is not fertilized by a sperm, the egg moves into the uterus and disintegrates.

Menstruation normally occurs on a 28-day cycle until ovarian hormonal production begins to fail with the onset of a pre-menopausal state. When ovarian function fails, eggs are no longer released. The woman becomes infertile and unable to bear children. Time of menopause is variable, with median onset at age 52.

Male Biology

Testicular Anatomy and Physiology

Human males are born with testes, the equivalent of ovaries in the male. There are two testicles (or testes) located in the scrotum. Their function is to produce sperm and the primary male hormone testosterone. Sperm contain either an X or Y chromosome and determine the sex of the fetus.

Puberty in boys occurs between the ages of 11-12 when testosterone stimulates secondary sexual characteristics. These include increased muscle and bone mass, voice change, growth of body and facial hair, testicle and penis enlargement, and prostate maturity.

When a male matures, semen is produced. This fluid contains sperm and numerous substances from seminal vesicles, the prostate and lubricating glands. When a male expels sperm and semen with sexual excitement, he ejaculates approximately one teaspoon of fluid called semen. The fluid contains between 200-500 million sperm each time. Each sperm is potentially able to penetrate and fertilize an egg, resulting in pregnancy.

Sperm are microscopic. One end is rounded and narrows into a slender tail. The tail moves rhythmically, moving a sperm forward in semen and vaginal fluid.

Semen can carry sexually transmitted infections/diseases (Known as STDs or STIs) including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), hepatitis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and other less common diseases such as Ebola and Zika. These viral and bacterial infections can be transmitted to sexual partners.

 Using condoms markedly reduces the potential for transmitting or acquiring these disorders. Some STDs are curable, some are not and can be fatal. Others leave scarring that may result in sterility.

Abstinence, Intercourse, Outercourse

When to have sex is a personal choice and many young people, older people, too, choose abstinence. Abstinence to most people means no vaginal intercourse and no possibility of becoming pregnant or infected with a sexually transmitted disease. However, definitions vary. To some, abstinence excludes vaginal penetration by the penis, but includes oral and anal sex, both carrying STD risk, but no risk of pregnancy unless semen spills on to the woman’s genitals. Under some of these circumstances, trust and self-control between partners must be unwavering to avoid intercourse.

What is outercourse? It is a term for engaging in sexual activity without the possibility of pregnancy. It may involve kissing, fondling, masturbation and sex toys.

Deciding to have a sexual relationship with someone is a decision with many consequences. Any long-term friendship or loving relationship requires communication and trust. Entering a sexual relationship that includes vaginal intercourse can be life-changing because of the consequences. A monogamous (one person) relationship provides safety from STDs if both partners are medically evaluated in advance and deemed free of disease. Anytime you have unprotected sex with someone untested, you are risking your life and future. You are not only risking pregnancy, but you are also risking sexually transmitted diseases that may cause sterility and be incurable.

The decision is yours to make.

Fertilization and Implantation

When a sperm enters an egg, fertilization has occurred. The egg changes abruptly and no additional sperm can enter. The joining of a sperm and an egg produces either a male (XY) or a female (XX).

The fertilized egg remains in the fallopian tube for about 4 days, but after fertilization, cells divide and the ball of cells moves along the tube into the uterus where it attaches to the lining of the uterus. This is implantation.

A hormone produced in pregnancy is the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is the hormone detected by a pregnancy test. The test remains negative until enough hCG is produced to be detected, about 3 weeks.

Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation

Menarche is when the first menstrual period occurs. This can begin as young as 8-years-old, but is usually by age 15. Each cycle is governed by hormones. Menstrual periods are variable and average 28 days. Because of variation, a woman may not know when she ovulates and can become pregnant.

The most likely time for pregnancy to occur is with intercourse a few days before and 1-2 days following ovulation. In a 28-day cycle: Day 1- Menstrual period begins with vaginal bleeding lasting 3-7 days. Day 14 – Ovulation occurs; an egg is released. The egg survives about 24 hours unless it is fertilized.


Please feel free to share this information and subscribe to our blog with your email if you are interested in following the information and blogs related to women’s health that will follow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Betty and Bev, The Lipstick Logic Sisters

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